So summer is here, and the time is right for dancing in the street. Wait… what?
No, it’s mango time, silly.
Despite popular sentiment in the great state of Florida, summer is one of my favorite seasons. Definitely in the top 4. But the reason I love summer is that I know it’s tropical fruit season.
Living in Florida allows us to grow some of my favorite fruits right at home. And once you have grown your own mango, you will quickly graduate from mango snob university. I can’t describe to you in words how much better a home-grown mango tastes than a store-bought one.
In Florida, over 500 varieties of mangos are grown. Many are dwarf trees that you can even grow in a pot. So today, I want to talk to you about some of the fantastic tropical fruits that I grow... and you can too.
So, where should we start? How about mangos? I bet you didn’t see that coming.
But seriously, mangos are one of the easiest and most productive fruit trees you can grow in Florida. I grow over 20 varieties in my backyard, and each tastes different.
Mangos can be grown from seed, or you can buy a tree from a nursery. One of my favorite places to get mango trees is the Natural Farms right here in Central Florida. I strongly recommend buying a tree. If you grow mango from seed, it can take anywhere from 5-12 years to fruit, and the fruit will not be the same as the seed you planted.
That’s how we get new varieties of mangos.
It could be better or worse, but I don’t want to wait a decade to find out I have a horrible tasting mango tree.
Trees that you buy at nurseries are grafted... not seedlings. They will fruit within a year or two, and you will get a known variety.
All of that also applies to another great fruit grown in Central Florida - avocados. There are hundreds of varieties of these as well. Several flourish in Florida and taste better than the all-so-popular Hass avocado. Often, people say they don’t want these trees because they get too big. But they will only get as big as you allow them to. With seasonal pruning, you can keep most varieties of avocado trees under 10 feet and very productive.
Then there’s papaya, lychee, passion fruit, guava, and bananas, which grow well in Central Florida.
So how about giving yourself another reason to look forward to Florida summers. I’m about that life, and you too can be about that life. Permaculture life.
Interested in meeting Andre the Farmer and learning more abour Permaculture Life: Visit permaculturelife.com and sign up for the weekly newsletter for more gardening tips. You can also follow Andre the Farmer on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. [And you can also meet him at his "day job", where he's known as Dr. Andre Baptiste, your local orthodontist!]