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The easiest tropical fruit trees to grow in your garden

  • Feb 16, 2014 · 3:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

On Sunday, February 16, we'll be examining over two dozen kinds of fruit trees in the Naples garden of club members Lynn and George Dierksmeier. We'll learn how to choose, grow and care for each variety in this semi-tropical environment. We'll taste several of their fruits to help us decide which kinds of trees we might want to add to our own gardens. We'll also see how to protect trees from the occasional frosts we might experience in southwest Florida.

As a bonus we'll admire the couple's 10,000-gallon fish pond, complete with an impressive waterfall, and 50 koi ranging in length from 18" to 32". George will explain how he built the pond with concrete. In cooler climates, gardeners rarely construct ponds with concrete. When pond water freezes in winter, it expands and puts enough pressure on the pond walls to crack the concrete and create leaks. That's why most ponds today are built with a flexible liner, such as EPDM rubber. But pond water won't freeze in this sub-tropical environment, especially when it's in constant motion caused by a waterfall, so concrete is a viable option here for a permanent pond.

George has been refining the pond's filtration system and the koi's habitat since 1995, resulting in clear water and a healthy environment for the fish. We'll admire all the koi swimming in the pond, and learn about their feeding, breeding, health, protection from predatory water birds, and other considerations. We'll be told about the amount of maintenance required, in case some members are considering adding such a water feature in their gardens.

For the main part of this meeting, George will then lead us on a guided tour of the fruit grove, explaining all we need to  know to care for such trees on our own property. The trees we'll examine (although not in this alphabetical order) will include from one to ten specimens  of each of these species: avocado, banana, Barbados cherry, black sapote, brush cherry, cherimoya, fig, grapefruit, guava, lychee, mamey sapote, mango, mulberry, papaya, peach, pineapple, pitomba (a Brazilian wild apricot), plum, pomegranate, sapodilla (sapote), star apple (caimito), star fruit (carambola), sugar apple (anona), tangerine, and tropical sweet apple.

As usual at our meetings, generous members will bring their favorite foods and drinks to share with others during the friendly snack-and-chat part of this event. Members can also contribute any excess plants (or crops) they have for the free plant-exchange table. Those who do can take home other plants for their own gardens.

When you come to Lynn and George's, you'll have to park your car along the nearby streets, then walk to the house. Later arrivals might have to park several blocks away. This is a perfect time to share rides with other members, to minimize the number of cars needed. Offers and requests for carpooling are always listed on the web site, and constantly kept up-to-date. The ride-sharing page is listed first in the Message Board of the site's Discussions  section, most easily accessed by clicking on this green link: Carpooling.

To let our hosts know if you can or can't attend this event, scroll up to the RSVP link near the upper right corner of the screen, and click either Yes or No. (If your plans change, you can return to this page to revise your answer.) Visitors are always welcome at these free events, so you can invite interested friends to come along. If you do, please indicate the number in your RSVP. We anticipate a very informative meeting at Lynn and George's, and look forward to seeing you there.

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  • Lisa O.

    I was really looking forward to this meeting, however I am sick and won't be able to go. Maybe I can take a look once I'm better.

    February 16, 2014

    • Suzanne and P.

      PLEASE take care and feel better. xx Suzanne

      February 23, 2014

  • Matt

    Learned a lot.

    1 · February 17, 2014

    • Suzanne and P.

      Everyone realizes, Matt, that your photos of the club's events are always better than mine. Suzanne and I appreciate your posting them on the web site. It lets members who couldn't attend see what they missed.

      1 · February 17, 2014

    • Missi

      I enjoy seeing everyone's photos! Thanks for capturing the fun moments, guys!

      1 · February 18, 2014

  • Ruth

    Lynn & George,
    Thank you for sharing your garden & koi pond with the group.
    I couldn't hear everything so I may have missed it...Do you use the fish water for your garden?
    I loved the koi pond and waterfall. Very relaxing.
    Also, maybe someone can answer, do pine cones serve any purpose in gardening?

    February 17, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I think they grow baby pine trees...?Just kidding! They are very woody, so you can shred (mechanically) and use them as mulch.

      February 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lynn & George,
    Thanks so much inviting us all over. We enjoyed exploring your well loved fruit-stead. Vatsana and I look forward to seeing you again.

    1 · February 17, 2014

  • Bonnie Breedlove H.

    I think I need sprinklers and tree tarps. I had to leave early to pick up baby chicks

    1 · February 16, 2014

    • Missi

      Baby chicks?! Are you chicken addicted too?? :D

      1 · February 16, 2014

  • Jerry R.

    I was pointing in the air to demonstrate how bees are able to find their way home from a newly moved hive, when I hit the moving ceiling fan. When I lowered my hand, Lynn noticed that I had fewer fingers, but mysteriously no blood. Needless to say, she appeared a little shocked. I hate when that happens. Lynn, If you find any extra fingers around, please RSVP !

    February 16, 2014

  • Jerry R.

    Friendly, fun group of great people!

    1 · February 16, 2014

  • frany

    hi all. I'm putting in the address at the top but it's not working. can someone give me directions from golden gate estates please !!!

    February 15, 2014

  • Karl K.

    We are in the fridged North (IL) waiting for our grandbaby to arrive. ( - :

    February 15, 2014

    • Suzanne and P.

      Congratulations, Margaret and Karl. Suzanne and I have decided not to have any more children--just grandchildren. We love to pamper them.

      February 15, 2014

  • Karl K.

    Sorry to miss

    February 15, 2014

  • Mary G.

    We have company coming and will likely miss this day.

    February 10, 2014

    • Bonnie Breedlove H.

      I've bought it from Naples fertilizer. It's delivered free. $60. a load. I usually get 2 at a time.

      February 14, 2014

    • frany

      thank you. I have a huge farm truck so I'll go out and get some this week. appreciated :O)

      February 14, 2014

  • Missi

    In the bottom photo, I like that idea to try to keep my chickens out of my gardens. Though, I know they'd just fly over the fencing. Gosh, I don't want to have to put up a 5' wire fencing around my gardens. Hmm...what to do, what to do...

    1 · February 12, 2014

    • Lisa O.

      I have put 5' fence sections, cut 10 ft long around ever tree that the deer ate the leaves. I even put home made barbed wire over the top to try and keep the deer away so the trees can grow back. I got the fencing at Home Depot, in 100ft rolls.

      1 · February 14, 2014

    • Missi

      Oh yes, I've gotten plenty of those rolls in my time LOL It's just that having it all over is just unsightly! Not that it would be any more aesthetically-pleasing but, I might try the poly deer fencing.

      February 14, 2014

  • Lisa O.

    I am really excited to see full production fruit trees. I just put in fruit trees but have experienced bears who pull them out of the ground, deer that eat all of the leaves and freezing cold which has turned my banana leaves yellow.

    1 · February 10, 2014

    • Lisa O.

      What a good idea. i will try that once they start producing a lot more leaves. I'm notkidding when I said the deer ate almost every leaf on all trees, other than the Guava and banana trees.

      February 14, 2014

    • Missi

      If you need some eggs, let me know! My pullets & hens have been shooting out eggs like they're going out of style! LOL

      1 · February 14, 2014

  • Missi

    I adore koi & need to learn more about frost protection & growing tropical fruit in the Estates so I'm looking forward to this! Thanks for the opportunity!

    1 · February 12, 2014

    • Lisa O.

      I started my food forest after meeting Dave and Alex. Between the two of them, the knowledge they have is awesome. I have learned so much from both of them.

      2 · February 14, 2014

    • Missi

      Oh yea! When Dave started the Permie group, I meant to go to his food forest tour but it was on a weekday evening so I was already running late because I don't get out of work until at least 5 p.m. & then I got lost *blush* Dang canals in the Estates cutting streets off! I'd love to check his place out!!!

      1 · February 14, 2014

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