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cyumickey

growing passionfruit and kabocha in the Inland Empire

cyumickey
16 years ago

Hello! I am brand new to gardening, and wanted to know how/when to plant passionfruit and kabocha in the Inland Empire. Or even if it is possible. I don't think I'll have a problem with the kabocha. I'm curious about passionfruit. Any advice will be great! Thanks!

Comments (9)

  • carolync1
    16 years ago

    Passiflora edulis is very tender to frost and the Passifloras in general don't like hot summers. You could try them in a lathhouse with some winter protection. You might also try the hardier hybrid 'Incense' in part shade.

    Here in the Central Valley, Kabocha squash is harvested in June and July for export to Japan. I am not partial to winter squash in July, and I have trouble with C. maxima and C. pepo varieties in the height of summer. I generally go with members of the C. moschata family (butternut family), which are somewhat more tolerant of heat. Even they wilt in the afternoons. The Tahitian Squash has a long season and is ready to pick at about the right time of year here. I had a lot of squash bugs last year, plus black widows under the Rumbo Korean pumpkins (a C. moschata variety). Will have to be more aggressive with squash bugs this year.

  • cyumickey
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    thanks! I've been having the hardest time trying to find out about this. How do you deal with the bugs and black widows (yuck, there were some around my house that the pest man sprayed for)? I really don't like bugs (shouldn't garden then!) Do you feed, fertilize, enrich? sorry for all the questions! the side of the house gets a lot of shade, maybe I can try the passionfruit there? my regular planter box is going to be on the south side of the house... or I can plant the kabocha on that shady side.

    thanks for the advice!

  • carolync1
    16 years ago

    Both the squash and the passionfruit could probably use some afternoon shade in your climate. If you grow P. edulis (regular passionfruit) you will need to figure out how to protect it from frost, too.

    Plant health reduces bugs. So enriching the soil, etc., helps. But each bug has to be treated differently. There is a "pest" forum, I think, and UC Davis puts out a book on "Pests of the garden and small farm" or something like that. They also have a website which will give you a lot of information. Squashbugs - squish them and their eggs. They are very resilient. Black widows - learn where they like to hide, reduce hiding places, go out at night with a flashlight and spray or squish them, reduce the insects they like to eat.

  • carolync1
    16 years ago

    You can also get more ideas for growing fruits and vegetables well by doing searches on your subject in the Vegetable Gardening Forum, Fruit and Orchards Forum, etc.

    And since you are a new gardener, you should buy a Sunset Western Garden Book, look up your climate zone and check whether the plants you want to grow are recommended there. You can also check for growing tips for each plant type, information on pest control, etc.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Vegetable Gardening Forum

  • pansysoup
    16 years ago

    Good news! I've grown masses of P. edulis in Claremont, as well as other species. There are so many Passifloras. Some can't tolerate our heat; others need tropical humidity. And everything in between.

    Check out individual species on Google, or go to www.passionflow.co.uk. This is Myles Irvine's website. He's one of the world's three Passiflora Dudes and is very generous with his information there. You'll find it quite reassuring.

    And remember that we have micro-climates within micro-climates here. I'm a landscape designer, and can plant the same creature successfully at one house, when it would be in dire jeopardy a few blocks away with different exposure.

    Passionfruit? For sure. Good luck.

  • cyumickey
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    well I've finally gotten my hands on the sunset western garden book...can I just say I'm so impressed? Anyway, according to sunset, I am in zone 18.

    I'm just about ready to start my garden and am wondering if it's too late to start kabocha...don't know about the passionfruit this year as sunset says that z18 is not for passionfruit...

    thanks!

  • socal23
    16 years ago

    cyumickey,

    the Sunset zones, though more specific than USDA zones, are still generalizations and assume that you aren't going to go to any great effort to ensure your plants are ideally sited (usually a pretty safe assumption). If your passionflower is given partial or dappled shade in summer and receive some protection in winter (an overhang or a southern exposure) they will probably do fine for you.

    Ryan

  • sonotaps
    16 years ago

    If this helps, I grow P. Edulis in Phoenix and it grows like a weed. Good fruit quality. Our sun is brutal here but at least we get the monsoon some years.

    As mentioned above, microclimates work. Once established, they take more sun than you would expect. No problem with cold here. I have it planted on eastern exposure.

    Books are a good guideline but not the definitive final answer.

  • cyumickey
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    thanks. I was looking at the yard and wondering if I could plant along the side fence where we have a 3' concrete walkway and 1' available for planting. I'm sure my husband wouldn't let me though! LOL

    btw, too late to start kabocha? southern exposure? full sun?

    thanks a bunch!