One of the simple pleasures of being a homeowner is being able to grow your own produce for your family to enjoy as part of your regular recipes. If you feel you’ve mastered the simple items and want to expand your harvest, consider trying some tropical fruits or vegetables. Not only can these items add exotic flavors to your cooking, they may have added benefits for your health.
Understanding Our Hardiness Zone
Although it may seem to cold to us on winter days, Orlando still falls into a frost-free growing zone. This means our normal temperature patterns can sustain fruits and vegetables that may not make it in northern parts of the state. A subtropical, moist climate means plant can be less hardy and still flourish here, but they may need a little additional help on chilly nights. Set them up with a heat lamp nearby or cover them with plastic tarps set on wooden stakes to keep heat inside and avoid permanent damage. Even a little front can scar a tropical plant, preventing it from producing any fruit or killing it.
What Tropical Fruits Are Easy to Grow?
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences reports that a wide range of tropical produce can grow in Orlando, including:
- Taro and cassava (yuca) root
Which ones are easiest to grow on your property will vary based on your yard conditions and type of soil. Tropical melons like pineapples, mango and starfruit need direct sunlight for most of the day, or they may grow but fail to flower. Bananas thrive in moist soil, so if your dirt is a dry variety, they may not get the amount of moisture they need unless you soak the soil daily.
Will I Save Money This Way?
You may get enough produce to save money on your food expenses, but it’s likely to be awhile before it happens. Even with ideal conditions, it can take ten months or longer for fruit to grow. As you continue caring for them, you will see the plant and roots thriving long before you can harvest anything edible. When you shop for a plant or seeds, you can try to find varieties that are made to bloom faster to cut some of the waiting time.
If you’re looking for a home in beautiful Central Florida, with ample place to plant a garden of your own, the Core Group can help! Get in touch with us today and start the process of creating a tropical inspired garden in your new home.