New to VA 8a growing


#21

I think you can make it work!

What are the main disease worries for apples and peaches in your area?

How long do you plan to stay here (affects what you plant possibly maybe you need dwarfs or plants that are precocious and bear fruit sooner also containers speed up precocity and take to moving like a couch)

Definitely all the no spray stuff on here i think you should try and it sounds like pomgranny has had excellent results with pomegranates and there are lots of cold hardy ones available. Like blueberry said you definitely have citrus you could get going but they would need some TLC and extra effort but you would do great putting them in high tunnels or greenhouses. Look at this thread you can really do anything you want to do if you match it with the appropriate effort


#22

Hi @violagirl305, if I am to guess, your area does not suffer much from late freezes, and hence; I would try planting a couple of apricots. They will probably need a couple of sprays in the spring, but being early ripening, you may not need to spray them for the remainder of the season.

I’d think peach/plum are easier than apples, specially if you have early varieties that ripen in July, as you wouldn’t need to continue spraying and protecting from critters through September, as you would need with most apples.


#23

You may be right- my peach experience was limited, and I don’t spray so that didn’t make things easier.


#24

From hort.purdue.edu:

Robert Fortune reported that the ‘Nagami’ kumquat required a hot summer, ranging from 80º to 100º F (26.67º-37.78º C), but could withstand 10 to 15 degrees of frost without injury. It grows in the tea regions of China where the climate is too cold for other citrus fruits, even the Satsuma orange.

Say whaaat… Great, now I need to find some space in my garden. I wonder how good the yields are in a more mild climate.


#25

It is still marginal. Zone 7a here in Northern VA can go down to 0F easily. On a cold year it could go down to -10F.
But it is fun to try. :slight_smile:


#26

That would be perfect for where I’m at, which is 7b/8a.

Fejoia and jujubes might be hardy enough for Virginia.


#27

I live on the south side of Richmond in 7a/b depending on exactly which climate map you use. Since you are so much closer to the ocean I’d expect a more moderate summer than I get. It’s still going to be hot and humid with plenty of disease pressure. I spend a lot of time during the summer in the high 90s.

You might, maybe, maybe make currants, gooseberries, and black raspberries work. Maypop will do very well, but is kind of a pain to eat. I think you are probably still hot enough for Jujube to ripen. The hardier figs will do great if protected in the winter, but more tender types need to be in pots to take inside. Blackberries, red raspberries, and most of the bramble hybrids will do quite well, and maybe yellow raspberries too as they are a little more heat and light tolerant than blacks. Blueberries do well if you can keep the soil acidic or keep them in containers. Muscadines should be great, but I’ve got no idea about other grape types. I’m pretty sure somebody local to the area grows Concords, though.

I’ve had my best tree fruit successes with figs, plums, and apricots in that order although the plums & apricots have only had one fruiting year and so may be a fluke. Apples and cherries are at least theoretically possible despite my incredibly disappointing yields. I know at least one local farm has peaches, but I don’t think there is a pear orchard within 100 miles. I’m trying a pair of poms, but pomgranny should be a better source of info than me.

Before you try to grow pawpaw mailorder a couple and see if you like the taste. It’s very unusual, and a lot of people just don’t care for it. Mulberries are very good, but grow very big and don’t seem to like containers.

Most of VA’s fruit growing area is in the west half of the state farther up towards the mountains. Even Edible Landscaping’s location is quite a bit different from the coastal plain. So the extension offices and publications are all VTech backed and generally aimed at those areas.

You probably have plum curculio like I do plus all the sooty mold and japanese beetles you could ever not want. You may also have that red clay that underlies so much of VA, in which case I suggest raised beds.

If you grow you absolutely need to have a way to protect them from the birds & squirrels & deer.


#28

Yep . . . that ‘sooty mold’ is a REAL problem. It got all of our crepe myrtles . . . one by one. I finally had them chopped down - because I was afraid that it would ‘hop’ over to the pomegranates. And the Japanese beetles denude all my plum trees - unless I put out lures and traps throughout the perimeter of the orchards. (or spray)

And yes . . . Deer have ‘rutted’ against many of my new fruit trees . . . and I am afraid that they have damaged them beyond what they can stand. They seem to have loved the Apples and Peaches . . . but strangely enough, left the plums alone. ? I am going to drive those heavy metal fencing posts around each one - so that the deer cannot get close enough to rut, without getting their antlers caught!

You guys in Richmond have ‘mega’ deer, compared to ours! And they desperately need ‘thinning’. My daughter lives in Midlothian - and the deer jump her black steel fence - and help themselves to everything she plants! It is so discouraging for a new gardener. Even the so called ‘deer proof’ plants get nibbled. It’s a good bit colder than our temps, too. Even Williamsburg, just an hour north of us - - - quite a bit chillier.

We have 3 pecan trees, but have never gotten a single pecan . . . because of squirrels and nocturnal visitors. It’s pretty amazing . . . one day we have pecans on the tree. A few days later . . . . NONE. ! But, oddly enough - ‘no one’ bothers my little vegetable garden! I don’t get it?!? LOL

IT’S ENDLESS! If it’s not bugs . . . it’s fungus . . . or animals . . . drought or freezes. It makes one really in awe of those who can successfully grow fruit!!! And so envious of the peeps in California!


#29

I guess for those who live in cities where discharging a firearm can get you in trouble…a crossbow or bow & arrow might be employed to ‘thin’ the deer?


#30

The problem is that hunting season laws are real, and the deer don’t drop by at convenient times of night. Even if you shoot one, it’s gonna run and then it is likely somebody will come around asking who’s shooting deer out of season.

My particular area doesn’t seem to have a deer problem despite being pretty wooded, but I live in a subdivision not too far from the Richmond city limits.