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Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby CardinalTetra1 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:27 pm

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CardinalTetra1
 
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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Climate Zone: Sunset 11
I am a native SF Bay Area person who lived too long in the foggy weather of the East Bay and SF. I have been here for 14 years and I enjoy the long, hot summers in Sunset zone 11. Unfortunately, I have had no luck growing vegetables. The summer heat just fries my tomato plants, the squash plants get attacked by squash beetles, etc. But I am having good luck growing fruit, so I am putting my energies there.

My dwarf citrus (Meyer lemons, Bearss limes, Minneola tangelos and Algerian tangerines) are on the east side of our home. They benefit from the radiant heat from the house in the winter, but I also cover these with blankets when we have our winter freezes. Pomegranates, var. Wonderful, are producing excellent fruit in both full sun and partial sunny locations. Our jujube tree is beautiful and producing a lot of fruit. Not sure what you do with the jujube fruit - any ideas? Our Black Mission, Kadota and Brown Turkey figs produce a delicious crop, most of which I slice up and dry for a year round supply. Feijoa sellowiana does well here in part shade. I have several of them throughout the garden, even growing and fruiting on the north side of our home, where they get no sun for 5 months of the year. I have to hand pollinate them with a pipe cleaner as there are no bees in our neighborhood. This has really boosted fruit production in the pineapple guavas. I also purchased Tropic White and Tropic Pink guavas. These are being grown in containers and do very well in the heat and sun of the summer. They are beautiful plants, we are looking forward to some flower and fruit production in the future. I am installing a Santa Rosa plum and Early Elberta peach now, hoping to further expand the harvest.

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby RodneyS » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:53 pm

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Location: Cerritos, CA
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 11a
Welcome & Happy New Year, CardinalTetra!

Besides eating fresh, jujubes can also be dried on the tree/dehydrator & preserved in jars for jujube syrup to make tea. Specific cultivars are better for drying than others. The dried jujubes that I've tried at a local Korean supermarket are too spongy & bland for my taste.

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby CardinalTetra1 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:21 pm

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CardinalTetra1
 
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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Climate Zone: Sunset 11
Hi, Rodney:
Thanks for the ideas for the jujubes. I also should have included our Royal apricot in our garden inventory, which produced its first crop last spring

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby nullzero » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:38 pm

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Climate Zone: Sunset Zone 21
Welcome Cardinaltetra1, cool climate you have in Las Vegas. A lot you can do if you know how to maximize it. Looks like you have a good amount of drought tolerant productive fruit trees, the only one I don't see yet is the black mulberry. I would also look into getting another Pomegranate 'Angel Red' specifically, its a great productive tree.

If your looking to diversify the edible garden, I recommend in getting some Opuntia (A good Nopales variety for vegetable pads and also fruit production). Acacia Colei also makes a interesting perennial edible seed crop. Mesquite trees for the pods used for making flour. A interesting and useful drought/heat tolerant legume and tuber crop would be Morama bean (Tylosema esculentum). Coccina sessilifolia is a good drought/heat tolerant cucumber like fruit with edible tubers. Jute Mallow (Corchorus olitorius) is good for greens and a pot herb.

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby CardinalTetra1 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:54 pm

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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Climate Zone: Sunset 11
Nullzero, thanks for the ideas. I have never heard of Tylosema esulentum, Coccina sessilifolia and Corchous olitorius. I will be researching them as possible edible additions to our garden.

Our front yard is a cacti garden, with a great variety of Opuntias. Aloe vera and Aloe saponaria do especially well here, and we use a lot of them. I have large-sized, yellow-flowering type of Aloe vera that are dramatic additions to the desert landscape. The hummingbirds really enjoy all the aloe flowers in the springtime garden.

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby nullzero » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:19 pm

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No problem, if you need help with finding the sources for the seeds (I can direct you to the seed websites). Tylosema esulentum is a perennial nitrogen fixer as well, its native to the kalahari desert. Echo list it its highest rating on drought tolerance (3 out of 3) http://www.echocommunity.org/resource/c ... arming.pdf

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby gopherus » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:33 pm

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as rodney said, jujubes are good to eat when fresh. And boy, i could eat fresh jujube every day! I only have three mini-trees of li jujube and was wondering where you got yours, as i live in las vegas, too :P . Got them from star nursery but they had only a few and wouldn't ship more. Would love to plant more and would like to try other varieties as well. They say availability is always tentative..

incidentally, nullzero, black mulberry is practically unheard of here in las vegas. I've seen a feral one that is fruiting by an abandoned parking lot and have been planning to dig it up at 2 am so no one would see me :D If not, i guess will just go ahead and tell the homeless folks i see sleeping around it to get their free vitamins and antioxidants from the fruits which all of them seem to be ignoring. Black mulberry plants are banned from being sold locally in vegas because the purple coloring of the fruits stains sidewalks. Sadly, the purple color is what makes it a powerhouse of antioxidants, and this alone, should be reason to overturn the ban. Fruits taste like superjuicy gummy bears. Tried to grow them from cuttings but no luck so far.

lastly, am just a newbie in this e-group and haven't read much posts, but with just one post by nullzero, was quite impressed by the wide vocabulary when the scientific name corchorus olitorius was mentioned. Really intrigued if could grow it here in desert conditions, and have been searching high and low to procure seeds. Neither Ebay nor amazon.com offers it for sale, haha.

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby nullzero » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:42 pm

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Gopherus,

That is a shame that Black Mulberry is banned. Are you growing any Opuntia sp. (aka prickly pears?). For different Jujube varieties, I suggest you contact Roger Meyer. I can give you his email in private message. Roger probably has one of the largest collections of Jujube varieties in the U.S., he lives in Orange County, CA.

You can get vegetable corchorus olitorius from here http://www.kitazawaseed.com/seeds_molokeyhia_1.html

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby gopherus » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:57 pm

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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:18 pm
Climate Zone: 9b
boss-chief, a big thanks to you. Really appreciated.

Will be checking out kitazawaseed asap. As for Mr Meyer, i hope he ships live plants. Incidetnally, i found willisorchards.com and they ship some three or four varieties of jujube, and even black mulberry varieties at a nominal cost. But since cali is so much closer, was hoping Mr. Meyer also ships plants..
lastly, and if you don't mind me asking, how did you come across corchorus? Do you live in hawaii?

Re: Growing Fruit in Las Vegas

Postby gopherus » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:24 pm

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Climate Zone: 9b
cardinal tetra, i forgot to add that jujube are good to eat even if immature, just as it is yummy when half-ripe, or fully-ripe, or even when shriveled. It is eaten like dates.The flavor changes from tart, to moderately sweet , to extra sweet. Even better news is that it is borne by the tree for weeks, and some will remain still hanging even after the tree has lost its leaves during fall. Thus said, it is one of the fruiting trees in vegas which serve as living refrigerators, and easily has the longest 'shelf-life' among fruits. And since they are still attached to the tree the whole time, then it certainly keeps freshness on top of the long shelf-life.

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