There is nothing more rewarding than gathering your own produce from your backyard.
Towards the end of 2016, I bought 3 passionfruit vines from Bunnings. They’re the standard “Nelly Kelly” range, and I planted them along the back fence a few metres apart. Let me tell you, they grow super-fast! Just over 12 months later, they cover two thirds of the fence and we are already harvesting our first passionfruit.
Passionfruit are incredibly easy and fast to grow. I added a couple of handfuls of blood and bone to the hole when I planted the vines, and apart from adding some chicken manure once last year, I haven’t done anything else to them apart from watering.
I was concerned about one vine which struggled to grow as a gumtree was blocking the sunlight from the vine. But as soon as summer arrived and the sun moved higher it was getting enough sunlight to spur on some growth. I’m glad I didn’t pull it out when it failed to keep up with the other two, and it now too is producing fruit.
Home grown passionfruit is absolutely beautiful. There is so much pulp and it’s full and juicy and smells amazing. Nothing like the wrinkly dried up fruit you buy in the supermarket at $1 each!
I also planted a yellow cherry tomato seedling called “honey drop”. It is producing an abundance of small, yellow cherry tomatoes which burst in the mouth and have the most exquisite taste. Again, all I did was add some pelletised blood and bone to the hole at planting and kept it watered.
Tomatoes you grow in your own garden are incomparable to the ones you purchase in stores. I would strongly urge everyone to have a go at growing your own tomatoes. You won’t regret it.
It has been an absolute pleasure watching my eldest son sneak out into the garden first thing in the morning and go searching for ripened fruit. He searches thoroughly under the passionfruit leaves for the dark purple fruit, then picks the bright yellow tomatoes (plus a few slightly green ones in his eagerness). He comes inside with his pockets brimming with produce and proudly empties them in the kitchen. Then it’s a job to hold off the kids from eating the passionfruit before breakfast, and the cherry tomatoes slowly start disappearing throughout the day. They all love what we’re growing in the garden.
I am not a fantastic gardener, and am only now trying my hand at growing produce at home. When I planted my first plants, I didn’t have compost or any of the other gardening paraphernalia you hear about. To be honest, I don’t understand half of it and am sure it’s not supposed to be that complicated. But if you’re just starting out, there is nothing wrong with throwing a handful of blood and bone into a hole and planting out your seedlings. As long as you water them, they’ll grow. You may not have the bumper crop of your green-thumb neighbour who does understand it, but it’ll still produce. So why not give it a go?