Guavas: perfect fresh fruit to grow

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Stone fruit have gone by the end of summer but apples and pears aren’t due until late autumn (fall) so what do you do for fruit in between?

Well, I’ve discovered the delicious in-between-season cherry guava is just the perfect fill-in.I bought a few different fruit trees and perennial plants about 18 months ago to help fill some gaps in my garden at home. I wanted some smaller plants for fruit to suit a moderate size backyard and some no fuss perennials to plant amongst them.

I chose a yellow cherry guava (Psidium cattleianum var. littoral) and a pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana syn. Feijoa sellowian) for fruit and some salvias for interplanting.

Guavas grow from cool temperate areas, tolerating a light frost, through to sub tropical climates.

Here’s my pineapple guava, pruned back to keep it compact, unfortunately pruning off the fruit this season. It’s surrounded by the gorgeous velvet flowers of Mexican sage (Salvia leucanth).

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This is a Salvia that is perfect for sensory gardens because the velvet flowers just beckon you to touch them. The underside of the leaf is also like cotton wool. the whole plant dies back in winter and regenerates with more vigour each springtime.

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But I’m chomping down on my cherry guava. The yellow variety is apparently sweeter than the red cherry variety and it tastes great. Eat the skin and all, just watch out for a few small but hard seeds. It’s only small fruit as seen by contrast against this Australian 50 cent peice. Perfect for a snack straight off the tree or, if you can be bothered, it also makes terrific jam.

I planted mine in a pot because I wasn’t quite sure exactly where I wanted it to go. In fact, it’s a great plant for pots, just use good quality organic potting mix and at least a 30cm (12 inch) pot. Tip pruning keeps it compact but it’s a bit tricky because you get flowers, buds and fruit all at the same time.

It’s a perfect plant for any backyard.

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