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Hot weather fruit trees
Summer fruit trees and their edible flowers
Summer fruit trees are perfect for edible flowers, some of which are well suited to hotter regions, while others will thrive in more temperate areas. Some fruit trees are productive in the summer, others in the autumn, while some have fruit in both seasons. Depending on the year, they may be ‘over-ripening’ or ‘over-cropping’, and depending on the geographical location, they may be subject to fungal diseases. In other words, the range of suitable fruits is wide, and this means there’s a lot to play with!
‘Big picture’: summer fruits &, fruit trees
It is recommended to purchase summer-fruiting fruit trees and plants as individual plants and trees, or as larger planting materials, preferably delivered dormant to keep the plants weed free during delivery, and to avoid incurring in ordering any extra care for the trees and plants. If you have access to irrigation, but prefer to grow fruiting trees in a greenhouse (if you have a greenhouse of course!), it will be perfect for bigger summer fruiting trees or fruiting specimens, and will save you the trouble of having to move the plants inside during winter.
If you want to keep the plants outside and avoid overwintering, consider purchasing large pots or containers that can keep the plant protected from cold, rain or temperature changes and from wind and rodents. Growing season is always a risk for rodents and deer, who can feed on fruits, and also for weather. The best way to get your trees to fruiting is to plant them with plenty of fertilizer and good growing conditions. Once the trees are in flower, make sure to water them when the trees start getting dry. The rate of water loss from the leaves will vary depending on the kind of fruit, the tree species and the size and age of the tree.
Traditionally summer fruits are prunes, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, gooseberries and many more. In summer the seasons may also be covered by other fruits that are fruiting at the same time. Such are the cases with big nectarine and peach trees that are available in supermarkets in spring and summer, and also peaches and apples that are available from autumn to spring. Remember that if your climate is temperate you can also grow fruits like apples, pears and quince, as well as nuts like hazelnuts and chestnuts.
Because plants are to be harvested for their produce, and not for their value, for some fruit the price you’re paying may be too high for a low-quality fruit or a fruit with a not-so-short growing season. In this case, it is recommended to buy summer fruit in second hand stores, and sell them on Ebay or through a neighbour, to support people who are also dealing with seasonal fruits.
Below are a few details regarding the main fruit, from time to time you will find more information to the best suited summer fruits for your climate.
Most apples are low-hanging fruits, and so you won’t have to worry about how to pick them on trees that are easily reachable. Apples should be stored in a refrigerator for best results. You can also store them for several weeks in a paper bag. Apples can also be frozen as well. For varieties that are susceptible to freeze-injury, just don’t let the temperature get lower than 20°C.
After picking your apples, you need to prepare them for storage. Remove the stem, and then cut each apple into halves or quarters. You can keep the cores in the refrigerator for weeks, but it is recommended to remove them before putting apples in the refrigerator. For apples to last longer, peel them before freezing, however this will remove some of the nutrients. If you don’t have access to a cider press, the best way to use apples is to cook them as sauces. Apples have some natural pectin which will make the sauce thicker, and can be mixed with yogurt or cream.
Apricots can be grown from seed, and have a low maintenance and short season, and are among the easiest fruit to grow, considering the plant has just a couple of growth periods, and can be easily moved to a cooler location if need be. The risk of freeze-injury is minimal, but you need to protect them from high temperatures during the growing season. Apricots are a great source of vitamin A, C and K, and are high in antioxidants and fiber. Apricots can be eaten whole or used in juices, desserts and breakfast cereals. The fruits can also be used for chutneys, jam, marmalade and pies.
As other varieties of stone fruit (peach, nectarine, plum), apricots are prone to hard fruit mites.These mites may appear small, or as a hard and white fruit, and usually aren’t noticed until the fruit is harvested. Spray treatment with a diluted mixture of ammonium sulphate or ammonium phosphate at 200-300 ppm, or with neem oil at 0.5-1% will help a great deal in getting rid of this problem. As with the rest of stone fruit, if you don’t have access to proper ventilation, it is possible to combat apple scab by spraying citrus oil at 10 ml/l, and lime oil at 30 ml/l