What are we growing?

*** Last updated 29 Dec 2021 ***

We grow a wide variety of food, part of the environmental nature of The Jungle House. We focus on perennials and include self seeding annuals, which essentially act like perennials. This page gives an idea of what we’r are growing and what is possible.
In brackets is (the variety – year planted – year fruited)

Currently cropping – so while this might not be tons of produce, we figure these crops are mature and we get a crop each year.

Apple (Fuji – 2017 – 2017) – While we expect apples this year, it is still limited. Seems that polination is limited, and flowering is also limited. Possibly just needs a bit more growth.

Apricot (Babeco – 2015 – 2016) – These mature trees are monsters in the garden with incredible growth rates. We summer and winter prune to reduce vigour. Pollination and fruit set are good. Fruit fly is a huge problem and the only way to get a crop, is to bag the fruit. As a result we are taking out one tree this year to make space for the Parisianne fig. If we bag every fruit on the tree, we will have more than enough, and we need to limit the labour.

Banana (Lady Finger – 2015 – 2015) – one of the first things we’re planted our banana circle does really well cropping each year. It has thrived since the addition of the grey water from our bathrooms. Seemingly pest free it is very low maintenance and a double crop with both the banana and banana flowers being harvested. We will be trying the banana stems in future.

Cape Gooseberries (Self seeded – 2016 – 2016) – These self seed throughout the garden but crops are mainly taken from three older plants that are in strategic locations, which we replace as the plants get old. They fruit through most of the year, and also can be used as a shady understory plant. The slight aphid or worm damage to the fruit is minimal and easily eliminated at harvest.

Daylilies (seven, mostly nameless, varieties 2017) – Always a surprise for visitors. They provide a supply of sweet, juicy flowers for months through the summer, when lettuce is bitter and bolting. Pick them in the evening if the kids have not eaten them first. We now have enough flowers through the summer, to actually not be able to eat them all.

Dragon fruit (Red skin / white flesh – 2018 – 2019) – could barely contain my excitement on eating our first one. Stops growing in the heat. Bit of rust in the wet winter. Snails very fond of it, although they will not kill a mature plant. Still need to understand how to make it flower heavily.

Fig (Deanne – 2017 – 2017) – This tree is going from strength to strength. Still learning when to pick the two crops we get each year.

Lemon (Lisbon 2017 – 2022) – The tree has become a monster, and is full of lemons which we look forward to harvesting this Autumn. So excited.

Mulberry (Wild 2017) – Delighted that this wild plant has turned out to be female. Awaiting a good crop this year, but needs serious pruning to keep in check as it grows hugely.

Naartjie (Nova – 2017 – 2021) – These trees (we have two) are awesome, and while they are still small are giving amazing firm sweet fruit. In time they will become more than we can handle.

Passion Fruit or Granadilla (from seed 2018) – I have really struggled with these, young plants have been very susceptible to the ravages of animals mostly my tortoises. Not getting enough sun, fruiting is limited, but has started.

Plum (Santa Rosa – 2017 – 2021) – Our first real harvest this year. The tree needs more sun, and while they greatfully do not struggle with the worms like the Apricots, it does seem that birds are going to be a problem.

Wild or Society garlic (Indigenous 2011) – inherited from the previous owner, wild garlic still thrives in the garden, and with a little care, provides loads of garlic leaves and flowers through the summer months.

Almost there – we have high hopes for these crops, they are still young and need some time, but we see no reason why they should not succeed.

Almond (Non-Parellel 2016 and Texas 2017) – Growing really well, especially the Non-Parellel. Although both have given their first nuts, it seems that we are underfruiting for the volume of flowers we are getting, for the last two years, the flowering times of the trees are not overlapping. It is a problem.

Avocado (Fuerte – 2019) – So this has managed to survive a couple of seasons. Am hoping that it will match well with the seed planted companion, which I think has Haas parentage.

Avocado (Planted Seed – 2020) – This has done well and continues to grow well. Am hoping it will match the Fuerte. Time will tell.

Cherries (Early Sweet 2019 and Lupin 2019 – 2021) – Searched for plants for years and finally supplied by a dear friend. People say they will not fruit in Cape Town. However we have had our first cherries from a single fruiting spur. Really looking forward to the crop of this, although we might need to do some bird management.

Clementine (unknown 2017) – Growing well but could probably do with some more sun. Has started fruiting, but tree is working well below it’s potential.

Fig (Parisianne 2018) – planted as a very small tree. About to remove Apricot to give the tree space. No figs to date

Kei apple (Indigenous 2018) – The shade and the tortoises have made life difficult to these trees.

Kiwi (Unknown varieties – 2021) – Delighted to finally have these in the ground, and if the tortoise does not eat them we are really expecting good things here.

Lemon (from seed 2017) – slow growing but doing well despite tortoises and shade. Expecting it to take off soon.

Macadamia (Beaumont – 2017) – sadly this slow growing tree is many years off from producing, but does very well in it’s shady spot.

Olives (Mission 2017 and Frantoio 2017) – while we have had one fruit of the Frantoio, the trees are still young, getting to much shade and plagued by olive beetles, which really hammer the leaves. They seem to be stuck at this point. We are going to try and get more sun to them.

Orange ( Valencia 2017) – Growing well but could probably do with some sun to induce flowering. First fruit disappeared, but should be moving upto the green list this year.

Pears (Bon Cretin and Forelle 2016) – These are my espalier experiment, love watching them grow. Have flowered once but struggling with the shade and one of the brown scale. Let them go one year, and need to put some work into these. Need more sun. Am still hopeful.

Pomegranate (Wonderful 2016) – While growing well we are still awaiting the first flowers. We have improved the sun on this tree, and despite it’s size, it seems to be reluctant to start giving fruit.

Plum (Cherry 2019) – Growing well, although could probably enjoy a bit more sun.

Prune (van der Merwe 2016) – Quite slow growing although doing ok. Still no flowers, but might appreciate more sun.

Raspberry (Meeker 2015) – We have just not found the right place for these. Each year we manage to get one or two berries, but they really are under performing. Currently in their second position, it feels as though they are just too hot with the flowers almost burning off each year. Pollination might also be an issue.

We have a problem – these plants are not doing well despite attention. Hopefully there is something we will learn here.

Dragon fruit (Yellow skin 2019) – A chance find and have actually never even tried the fruit. After a good season of growth, this sadly passed when the tree it was growing on died, fell over and the plant environment changed too dramatically while we were aways for a long time. So sad.

Grapefruit (Ruby 2017) – After turning yellow in its first year, it had minimal leaf growth yet puts out loads of flowers in the spring. This tree did not make it.

Litchi (Seed 2018) – Sadly this did not make it after such a hopeful start.

Papaya (from seed) – have never managed to get this beyond the first year. Snails can eat a knee height plant to the ground in a matter of days. Will keep trying.

Pineapples (store bought tops 2019) – Although starting these has never been a problem getting them to grow on had failed. Possibly the hot dry summers. The new wicking bed trial has not worked well, mostly due to the wicking bed cracking, will be moving them to a new spot.

Dreaming – there are so many crops out there that we would love to grow. Some we need to be realistic about our chances, while others we might be pushing the boundaries a bit. This includes some plants that are still in pots, seed packets or so new in the ground that we still have to see how they respond.

Papino Melon (Unknown – 2021) – After our rabbit ate this to a stump, it has recovered and we look forward to the first harvest.

In fairness this dreaming list is now fairly exhausted, as we have run out of ideas, as we have so much in the garden. I would love a yellow dragon fruit again, another apple maybe.

Annuals – While we aim at perennials and self seeding annuals, we, like others, grow ‘normal’ vegetables. It is the place where most people start, and can grasp the easiest before taking on a food forest.

Purslane (Self seeding annual weed 2018) – a real find after realizing it is edible. Generally harvest it from wild plants, although do transplant it around the garden from time to time.

Summer Bush Bean (Roquefort) – we have been growing this yellow Bush bean for many years now. We eat it mostly fresh and I just stick it in wherever I can find a gap. Essentially a filler crop, sometimes getting 3 – 4 plantings a season. We save our own seed and sell some each year.

Winter broad bean (Aquadulce) – Amazing bean for the winter rainfall region. Plant in April, forget about them and harvest in The Spring. Cared for by mother nature herself. These have also moved to self seeding, and naturally spring up in the Autumn.