Fruit Trees

custardapple-main

Pink Mammoth?

Pinks Mammoth, African Pride, Geffner and Tropic Sun are all varieties of Custard Apple (Annona atemoya). Originating in South America, custard apples are a sub-tropical fruit that are grown in coastal areas in Australia from far north Queensland down to northern New South Wales.

This large growing area results in fresh custard apples being available from February through to October with the peak harvest occurring during May and June.

They are an unusual looking large fruit with lumpy green skin. When cut or broken open, their creamy white soft sweet flesh can be scooped out with a spoon. Custard apples can be eaten fresh or used in cakes, drinks and smoothies, curries, cheesecake, sorbet and ice cream.

If you’d like to grow a custard apple tree at your place, you’ll need a sunny, frost free spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. In temperate zones, find a warm, humid, sheltered microclimate such as near a north facing brick wall.

Most custard apple trees grow up to 5m tall however a new variety called ‘Tropic Sun’ is smaller at 3 – 4 m and will produce fruit in 2 – 3 years. In addition to providing delicious fruit custard applies make a lovely shade tree. In cooler areas they will be semi deciduous.

Custard apple trees require little maintenance however will benefit from a spring prune to remove some branches from the centre of tree to create a more open ‘vase’ shape. Plant in well drained soil and apply Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser around the root zone at the beginning of spring and autumn. This will provide the custard apple with gentle slow release nutrients to promote healthy growth and lots of fruit as well as improving the quality of the soil.

Keep the soil moist between flowering and harvest and during flowering some hand pollination using a small paint brush, early in the day, will assist fruit yield. Fruit will be ready to harvest when the skin turns a lighter, duller green.

Recipe Ideas:

Images courtesy of Hort Innovation
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Red Love

Introducing a brand new and very special apple! It’s called ‘Redlove®’ and it’s Australia’s first red fleshed apple. It has the tart taste of a Granny Smith apple with deep red skin and flesh.

The flesh retains its colour when juiced and baked and doesn’t discolour when sliced, so you can have crisp red apple slices sitting out on a gourmet cheese or fruit platter. Won’t that get the conversation started!

The Redlove trees themselves are hardy and very attractive, with gorgeous bright pink blossoms in spring, burgundy foliage and striking bark with red and pink tones.

Reaching around 2.5 m in height and up to 2 m across it is a compact apple for cool to warm temperate home gardens, including in pots. To promote pollination and a great fruit set, grow a Redlove near another apple such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady. Look out for new Redlove potted apple trees in garden centres in June!

Planting tip: when planting new apple trees, mix some Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser into the planting hole to improve the soil and give the apple the best possible start.

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