“It’s totally impossible.”
“You can’t do it.”
“They won’t work.”
“(Insert pest/disease here) kills them.”
“The chill hours are wrong.”
“The extension says you can’t.”
THE MORE YOU TELL ME IT’S IMPOSSIBLE, THE MORE I WILL DESIRE TO TRY!
I promised in a post last week that I’d tell you about my attempt to grow cherries in Florida.
It gets better than that. I am trying cherries this year… but I’m also going to try growing almonds in Florida as well. Here’s the proof:
Yes. I spent that much on an experiment. See how much I love all of you?
Apparently, you can’t grow cherries in Florida because the chill hours are wrong here… and you can’t grow almonds in Florida because the humidity messes up the fruit.
On the first problem, there is hope. People are growing apples in the tropics. Check this link out.
One of the keys seems to be stripping off the leaves to induce dormancy. No problem – I’ll do that.
As for almonds, here’s my thought: the climate is changing.
“OMIGOSH OMIGOSH OMIGOSH!!!1!!1!!! DAVID THE GOOD HAS ESPOUSED GLOBOWARMTHINK!!11!!1!!!”
No, I haven’t. But climate is a dynamic thing.
This year we had a very strange winter. Up north, people were buried under snow and suffered brutal lows… here, it was pretty warm… though much, much wetter than usual.
My thought is this: if the winter was wet, could it be that we’re shifting to a more rainy winter/dry summer climate, like much of Georgia? If so… perhaps almonds will in fact become possible here.
My goal is to get the trees going, feed them well and treat them as my honored guests… in the hope that they may start bearing and perhaps even giving me good nuts in favorable years. Just because there’s no “commercial” potential doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Somebody needs to try and write about it. I searched and searched for good data and have come up empty. So I’m making it now.
Cherry Test Varieties:
Almond Test Varieties:
North Central Florida; Latitude: 29, Longitude: -82
Trees arrived bareroot on 2/25. All 4′ tall or shorter. Planted in sand. Light dappled shade, Southwestern exposure. Spacing: 12′. Trees dormant at planting. Planters: David Goodman and Democritus “Jeffrey” Xenophon III.
Above: just-planted almond tree.
Above: just-planted cherry tree.
This, my friends, is how to really figure out what grows in your area. Try everything… be prepared to fail… and see what happens.
If these trees successfully produce any fruit at all, the seeds from those fruit will be planted right here in my yard… and we’ll try again and again until something takes, even if the parents succumb.
Updates and more photos will be posted in the future.