Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Planting Chilean Guavas "Kapow"

I've been quite interested in  James Wong's "Home Grown Revolution" range from Sutton seeds. Lots of interesting and usual fruit and veg to try and grow. The other day I was feeling a little rash and ordered some things they had on special offer, one was 6 Chilean Guava plants for £10 (reduced down from £47.86). 
Well packaged delivery
 They're meant to taste like a cross between a blueberry and a strawberry and grow much like a blueberry bush with berries that are meant to be good for eating fresh as well as drying and preserving. The plants turned up looking healthy and strong (although the delivery driver had left them in full sun so it was lucky I wasn't out for too long as they'd all be dead).
Already the potential for berries this autumn.

How to ruin a perfectly good bucket... Er I mean pot

Drainage holes drilled

My mix for the plants 50-50 soil and compost with some wood ash and blood, fish and bone added for good measure

Rocks and pebbles in the bottom of each "pot" for drainage

Six "pots" ready to go

Instructions

Good roots on each plant, a little teasing of the roots out before they were planted, but I'm never sure if it makes much difference.

Placed at the front of the house where there's a slight micro climate due to the south facing wall.


I decided to plant them in pots as after dong some research on the plants, Suttons claim of them being tolerant down to minus 10 might be a little optimistic, so for the first few years they will over winter in the greenhouse to give them a little more protection, although I might leave one plant out and see how it fairs.
And as for the buckets rather than pots, it works out much cheaper than big pots (these were only one pound each) and they seem to last much longer than some pots you buy, as well as having carrying handles (compost womans suggestion from a while ago and it seems like a good idea).

Anyone else been trying new fruit or veg this year? There seems to be lots of interesting things about at the moment and I'm keen to try as many as possible.

24 comments:

  1. I like your compost mix, Kev. Is it soil based like a John Innes number 3? I seem to be buying a lot of 'cheap' peat based compost recently and they lack a lot of essential plant foods. Will you be taking cuttings from your new plants? When is the best time if so?

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    1. Its the grow bags from B&Q. 5 bags for £7. Its got peat in it but it won the which reports best compost so I thought I'd try it for that money. I might leave taking cuttings this year. I guess I can either do spring softwood cuttings or autumn ones. I'll see how they grow first.

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  2. This is something we do a lot of, using buckets for pots that is, only ours tend to be the bright orange ones from a certain large DIY store. Lovely Hubby has a penchant for orange!! He buys them ten at a time so we always have some lying around the place ready to be used.

    The only downside is that a couple of times I have been filling up a bucket with water only to find it leaking all over my wellies .... yes it was a plant pot in it's previous life!!

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    1. I've been buying them from the same place but bought the black o es as tbe plastic felt stronger. Been a bit rash and purchased over 40 this year.

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    3. Very rash .... we're only up to twenty ... at the moment :-)

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  3. An interesting fruit. I believe they can either be used as a fruit OR a vegetable. Sweet or sour. I look forward to a report later in the year.

    Nothing new here, other than a few yellow courgettes; I usually only grow green.

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    1. I grew some 8ball courgettes one year but they kept rotting from the end so I just stick to the normal ones now. These aren't normal guavas they're something completely different so not sure what they'll be like.

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  4. Fascinating1 I thought guavas were much bigger fruit? The ones I occasionally buy from Leicester market are the size of a pear, not so long. They are an aquired taste, hard to describe, up to individuals to decide, quite refreshing on a warm day and no waste, you eat the seeds and all!
    But, what a bargain hey?

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    1. These aren't normal guavas. The fruit only grow to the size of blue berries, I don't even think they're related just something to do with the taste. It'll be interesting to see what they're like.
      We had real guavas in cuba years ago and I loved tbem so if they taste anything like that I'll be happy.

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  5. What a great price! I have been pondering on buying a plant or two so it will be interesting to see how they do for you.

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    1. They've got a few special offers on so I did end up spending a bit of money but all from James wongs collection, I think it's nice to grow something a little different if you get the chance.

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  6. I've never heard of them so it'll be interesting to see how they turn out!
    Jane x

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    1. Yeah, always good to try something new.

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  7. That bucket idea is a good one, especially because of the usefulness of being able to use the handle to move the pot about. Hope those wee plants grow wonderfully large and give you loads of fruit!

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    1. So do I, my girls love berries and we never have enough!

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  8. I will be intrested to see how you get on with them, I was at a garden show last year and James Wong was there and I bought one of his Guavas off him, I overwintered it in the greenhouse and this this spring it has put on loads of growth, I also got some of Camelia Senesis and Stevia all have come through winter fine.

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    1. I should imagine he's an interesting man to talk to.
      As for the Stevia I'm always wondering about ways to reduce the sugar we buy so maybe that would be a good option. Its the difficult smallholders question - how to produce all your own sugar. (bees next for me to start solving that problem!)

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  9. I am so excited by this post. Kapow.......wonderful
    Off to google it.... I want I want

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    1. Just make sure you go to the offers page where they're £10 for 6, otherwise its about £8.99 per plant! I always like a bargain!

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  10. Hello Kev- sorry if this gets posted twice not sure if I signed in properly.
    I just wondered how your Guavas faired over wintered and whether you took them in to protect them or not?
    Did you get much fruit from them and did they grow very much?
    Many thanks
    Owen

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    1. Hi Owen, I tell you what I'll do a post on them either over the weekend or beginning of next week. They grew loads and all survived the winter.

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    2. Thanks Kev- as im buying some this weekend and wanted to see how other peoples had done!

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  11. Hi, I have two kapows growing on my allotment, they are in their second year and we have around 2 kilos of fruit in total, I just tried one and its very much a strawberry flavour with a slight hint of spice, in gonna leave them another week but am very impressed at the flavor, I am in south glous and hadlve had no issues with them in the ground with wet or cold.

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