Hello and welcome to Organic Edible Garden. The moon’s in the First Quarter phase and now’s the time we’re going to plant our subtropicals. We’re planting them now rather than springtime because we suffer from drought conditions here and like all subtropicals they need a lot of moisture during their growing season. Today we’re going to plant passionfruit and tamarillo and like all subtropicals, they’ve got a few things in common. Firstly, they need really really good drainage. Secondly, we like to mulch them during the summer months because they like a lot of moisture in the soil but they also like to keep their roots cool. And thirdly, they’re really gross feeders. Passionfruits are self-fertile but planting more than one gives you better pollination. We’re going to plant these about 2 metres apart. They need a lot of room to spread and their roots will go a metre either side. They’re going to need the space there so they can absorb all the nutrients they need. It’s best when planting passionfruit that you make sure your soil is high in organic matter. And they like a slightly acid soil of about 5.5 to 6 so definitely no lime. Passionfruit and tamarillo both like to be planted in a sheltered spot away from strong winds and heavy frosts. Passionfruit, like most subtropicals, will only fruit on the new season’s growth. So every year about October give it a good hard prune back. New shoots will come from this and they’ll bear the fruit for the following season. Next I’m going to give the passionfruit some fertiliser. Because I’ve just planted them and I want a lot of good leafy growth, I’m going to give them a high nitrogen fertiliser like an animal manure. I’ll also give them some rock dust just to make them strong. But then come springtime when I want it to start flowering and fruiting, I’ll lay off the high nitrogen fertiliser and just give them the rock dust. We’re going to give them a good watering-in now. And although passionfruits are reasonably hardy, they do suffer from a few pests and diseases. One of the biggest fungal problems with passionfruit is something called phytophthora. You can avoid this by making sure your passionfruit has really good drainage. The worst pest for your passionfruit are passionvine hoppers. They start off as little fluffybums and they turn into a little hopper that sucks all the nutrients out of your leaf and vine. You can get rid of them with things like neem or other (organic) insecticides, but if you really want to make your passionfruit healthy, feed it well, keep it watered and you’ll find that you won’t have many of these issues. Most of your passionfruit vines will fruit and flower within the first year of their life and they last to about 4 to 5 years. At that point it’s often best just to pull it out and start with a new one. Like passionfruit, the tamarillos want protection from strong winds and to be out of the frost area and this is a good place for them. We’re growing things like avocados and figs and feijoas which are also frost-tender and they’re doing well. When planting tamarillos I like to plant them in groups of three. Tamarillos are guild plants and they like to be grown with other trees together. Also by putting three together I can tie them onto each other and they’ll give each other support. Then when they’re roughly about 1.8 metres high, I’ll chop the tops of them off. They’ll branch out and they’ll become a canopy for which the tamarillos can grow on. I’m going to go and plant the tamarillos straight into the soil and then I’ll cover it with some manures and some rock dust and even some compost on top. I’d rather it this way – that all the nutrients goes down. If you have really bad clay soil, it’s at this time you actually want to raise it up and put your compost in and around the plant. And remember tamarillos are a member of the tomato family. You can get red tamarillos and yellow tamarillos, just like tomatoes. But it also means they’re quite sensitive. So I don’t put a stake in with my tamarillos because they can rub against the stem of the tamarillo and cause damage. Next we’ll add some of the high-nitrogen fertiliser like the chicken manure or sheep pellets… … and a bit of rock dust to get it off to a good start. And round the plants I’m going to sprinkle a good-quality potting mix and I’ve had this one open so I’m going to use this, but you can use any type of compost or even your homemade compost. That will keep the roots cool, feed the plants and keep the moisture in the soil. One of the biggest pest problems you can have with your tamarillo are white fly. And the best way to cure this is just neem oil in the evening. You’ll have to do it once and then three days later and even a third one three days after that to wipe out the population. Another pest is psyllids which is now attacking any type of the tomato family. And unless you cover your trees there’s really no cure for this. The best way to do this is plant plenty of beneficial plants around and have your trees in high health and it’ll keep them away. And don’t forget the watering which you’ll need to keep up until the rains take over.