Horticultural Topics of Interest

This Section contains an eclectic mix of articles on topics that have frequently been raised by members of the Rare Fruit Club when growing warm climate fruit trees in SW WA. As such, they’re probably some of the topics that would be raised by others interested in the area if they wish to grow more than a fig tree in the backyard, often with little attention or knowledge. Of course there are many more such topics that could have been included in addition to those selected below.

 Australia is the most infertile continent (barring Antarctica) & WA probably runs a good race for being the most infertile state. This presents major challenges to producing fruit in our Mediterranean climate, especially when attempting to extend the range of species & varieties to include exotics native to more tropical regions. These other regions usually have higher & more evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year than us, more favourable humidity than our dry climate, lower levels of solar radiation during hotter months, & slightly acid soils that are various loams rather than predominantly sands, usually alkaline & water repellent. Many authoritative texts have been written on fruit tree horticulture elsewhere in Australia & the world, but the problem is that our climate is sufficiently different to render some of their information & advice inapplicable. We have to adapt general management principles & practices to our specific & demanding conditions; if this is achieved, the range of species we can successfully grow here is amazing. The key is to have relevant & reliable local information.

Accordingly, the following articles are of general applicability but have additional commentary on climatic challenges & their management relevant to SW WA.