Cheryl has been a gardener all her life and has successfully grown dragon fruit in Temora South West New South Wales. This was area I didn't expect to see good results. I look forward to working with Cheryl to see the growth of her dragon fruit V's North Queensland.
The varieties Cheryl grows are purple haze and Aussie Gold.
They do get frosts but we are in a little valley and at the base of a range of hills, so the temps seem to be a degree or two warmer than the surrounding area.
Cheryl's dragon fruit has coped well with the frosts we have had.
She has also successfully maintained a banana this year.
What suburb and state are you located?
Temora Southwest NSW
How long have you been an avid gardener for?
Been keen on gardening for most of my life. Used to help my grandmother when we visited, we also had a veggie and flower gardens.
What is your history with gardening and horticulture?
Have been gardening on a small scale for a long time. But over the past 2 years, I have stopped work due to illness and we have been growing our small orchard and garden to a much bigger scale, we have 10 figs of different varieties, a wide variety of stone fruit, mulberries, grapes, and apples and pears. We have three dragon fruit at the moment that we have grown from purchase cuttings. They are still only young, so we haven't had any fruit. I also have two banana trees as well. We live on a 1200acre farm so I have the room to grow whatever I would like. We have set up watering systems to the different areas.
What drew you to Dragon fruit?
I first tasted dragon fruit on a trip to China, I then tried the standard whites ones back here and they were pretty bland, then had the fortune to try some other varieties and they were great. We noticed some dragon fruit growing in our local town and realised that we could grow them here. So we used Facebook to find some cuttings that we could drive and pick up. That is where we started our journey.
Can you please walk me through your history with dragon fruit?
I think I answered this one above.
What was your 1st dragon fruit experience eating?
Good in China, poor in Australia
What was your 1st dragon fruit experience growing?
We have been surprised how well they have grown and how hardy they are even though we have colder winters than QLD.
What is your Favorite variety and why?
Purple haze, just love the colour and flavour. Also Aussie gold. Would love to try more though.
Best tip for growing dragon fruit. Biggest no, no for growing dragon fruit.
Prepare the area and have your growing structures ready to go.
Don't Overwater and don't allow mulch etc to sit against the base of the plants.
Biggest challenge for growing dragon fruit you have had?
We didn't know what we were doing to start off with and we didn't train them up a structure to start of with.
Keeping the birds away.
How do you fertilize?
We have used organic sheep manure we have on farm. Also a general fruit and citrus fertiliser.
How many varieties do you currently have? Three.
What soil did you pot your cutting in?
A cutting mix that we had on hand to use for our grape and fig Cuttings.