Plants have tremendous tenacity. If I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that.
Case and point, passionfruit.
Passionfruit don’t tolerate frost…
I harvested my leek seeds somewhat too early last year. Lesson learned. I’d not had the heart to toss them out so I kept them but when Orik got in and pulled the heads apart, scattering the seed pods across the floor, I swept them up and debated throwing them out. Instead, on a whim, I threw them in a vacant area of the front garden, burying them lightly and figured I’d see what happened, assuming nothing would. This afternoon whilst I was weeding nearby I happened to glance across…
And my totally frost-toasted banana? Well, it’s got green bits now, and one of my 2 seed grown mangoes looks happy. I’m holding a skerrick of hope for my transplanted avocados too. Just a smidgen. 😉
I have a theory now with gardening. The experts tell us what you can and can’t grow, when and where and in most cases they are right. I mean, it’s fairly clear that growing frost sensitive plants in a heavy frost zone will result in dead plants but the experts don’t know everything and they don’t know your garden either. There are always exceptions to the rule and you can even create those exceptions. I’ve read about shade grown tomatoes. I’ve warmed my climate slightly in the vicinity of the passionfruit. David Holmgren has an orange tree and a macadamia, both of which are well pushing limits of the climate in which they will grow. I’ve eaten apples grown from seed (discarded apple cores out windows) and they were delicious. Seed grown apples have a poor reputation to most but not to us. 🙂
What have I learned from this? Well, I would never plant a banana outside in Ballan but I would try an avocado. 🙂 It’s always worth considering pushing those boundaries just a little. I’m growing tomatoes inside over the winter and last week I harvested 3 bright red cherry tomatoes and there are 4 more green ones on the bush at the moment.
My big bag of potatoes are all sprouting so I’ve been cutting off the sections with the sprouts and planting them in the garden. Likely the frost will toast them but what if it doesn’t? What if the warmer weather is here to stay? I will have a nice early crop of spuds, possibly even in time for Christmas! 😀 it will take them a few weeks to sprout out above ground anyway so well worth the risk I feel. I have nothing to lose but some potato peelings!
What I’m saying is that if the nursery tells you probably no, have a think about the plants needs and if you think you can provide them then consider giving it a go. You might just have the micro climate to suit. If you’re in a frosty area, look for sheltered niches or close proximity to a window or water. If it’s a plant requiring more than the average uptake of water, do you have a leaky tap? 😉 An area where you sometimes have a little standing water (if your plant doesn’t mind wet feet that is).
I grew sweet potatoes inside my greenhouse last year with great success. This year I have a raised bed right up against a fence where I intend to try growing them outside this year. Pushing the climate more than just a little but it’s worth a try. 🙂
Give it a try. Push the rules. Just a little 😀