Wednesday, 2 December 2015

UK Autumn Harvest Survey 2015

......So, what can we really grow in the UK?

Thankyou to the excellent urban foraging website for posting up photos of loquats growing in North London! One of my favourite fruits...

 As always at this time of year, I invite growers from all over the UK to contribute their own success stories of the past growing season to share with the rest of the permaculture and horticultural community. With so many new crops being trialled in new places, let us share our experiences of which plants and varieties have done really well, and also if there's anything you've been growing that's been less than fruitful, that information could be really useful too.

In Devon we had a decent first half of the growing season, dry with lots of sun, with a much cooler and wetter August than we'd usually expect.

Despite a cool late summer though, I harvested my first ripe Siberian Kiwis! I was very excited to find in late October that the fruits had suddenly gone soft and juicy and were absolutely delicious to eat! My vine is the cultivar 'Issai' which is self fertile, although I will get many more fruits when my male vine starts flowering, hopefully next year.
If anyone else has had any luck growing hardy kiwis, please write in.

Diospyrus Kaki in the Paris Botanical Gardens, November 2015
On a tour with Martin Crawford recently, he stated that though true oriental persimmons or 'Kaki' only ripen in the UK in the best summers, hybrids between the Kaki and the American Persimmon can reliably set fruit in most years!

 The cultivar 'Nikita's Gift' is an example of this hybrid 'diospyros kaki x virginiana' - has anybody else have any good crops to report? It'd certainly make a tempting tree for many of us to try planting if it can reliably promise good crops of these exotic fruits each year!

What about Goji Berries, Chilean Guavas, Japanese Bitter Oranges, Kumquats, Chilean Hazels....... there are so many plants I'd love to gather more information about in context to growing in our very special cool temperate climate, to share with all.
Poncitus Trifoliata - Japanese Bitter Orange or Trifoliate Orange is reputed to be hardy and can set fruit in the UK

Please add a comment at the bottom of the page or email me at if you can contribute any of your own experiences of growing unusual crops in the UK.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there, you have a lot of talent and potential as it is apparent from this post, I wonder why you do not post more frequently, as i see that you have few posts over the years. Is it because you believe in quality over quantity? ;)