Let's Share our Favorite Soft Fruits: Lychee & Ground Cherry

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Let's Share our Favorite Soft Fruits

By dave
June 7, 2014

Welcome to Soft Fruits week! Blackerries, raspberries, strawberries and more. What are you growing, and which cultivars do you think everyone else should grow?

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Name: Misti
Farrrr NW Houston (Zone 9a)

Region: Texas
Jun 6, 2014 8:25 PM CST
If I were in the correct zone I'd be all about the lychee. A slightly hard outer shell that easily peels with a deliciously soft inside....oh I miss getting these fresh in south Florida. They are a treat if I can find them in any Whole Foods or Central Market here in Tx.

Ground cherries are new to me this year and I'm in love with them! I'll grow them every year from now on, I think!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jun 7, 2014 9:15 AM CST
I have a vey nice lychee tree. The fruits are absolutely to die for, if you can actually manage to harvest some!

They come with their limitations even here, and Sarasota used to be a commercial lychee growing area . . there are many large trees in the yards of the older homes around town. They bear in alternate years, a heavy crop, then a light to non-existent crop. The tree is relatively pest resistant, but in the last few years, the Sri Lanka weevils have done some damage to the leaves. Mostly cosmetic. I planted some landscape roses in the flower bed adjacent to the tree, and now the roses have their leaves munched-upon and the lychee is left alone. Sacrificial plants?

Birds and squirrels (not to mention the fruit rats and raccoons at night) absolutely love the fruit and although I've tried many methods the only one that works to keep the critters at bay is an expensive motion-detector sprinkler. The County will very likely fine me for watering when not allowed if I get caught using it, and the tree is outside the fence in the front yard, in full view of every passer-by. We have standing restrictions here on everything except micro-irrigation.

Misti, I'm surprised you wouldn't be able to grow them in the Houston area. You are the same zone as we are here. My tree came through two record cold winters a few years ago with no problems as well.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Misti
Farrrr NW Houston (Zone 9a)

Region: Texas
Jun 9, 2014 6:30 AM CST
Elaine, I'm in 9A just north of Houston proper. Unfortunately we get just a teensy bit colder than down in the city where all of the pavement is. I think there are a couple of avocado varieties we can attempt here in this zone but most of the more tropical stuff really has to be down in the city and south. About a year and a half ago, it was January, we were visiting a friend near downtown. When we left their house it wasn't terrible to walk out without a jacket, but by the time we arrived at our house an hour north having a jacket on was very much needed. There wasn't a front that had blown through or anything, just that the temperature difference between here and there was completely different. Our friend even still had tomatoes growing in her garden whereas I couldn't have even thought about having a plant growing in January. It's pretty insane how much the pavement of the city will heat things up.
Name: Jeff
Perry Iowa (Zone 5a)
Jun 9, 2014 8:12 AM CST
I love ground cherries also my Dad has grown them longer than I have been around. He picks a coffee can full and when driving munches on them...

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