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Xanthe White’s guide to growing corn

In the first in our series of extracts from Xanthe White's Organic Vegetable Gardening, ...
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What would a Penguin know about the birds of New Zealand? Well, if it's ...
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Chilean Guava

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chilliangauva2.jpgSometimes in NZ people call this plant the New Zealand Cranberry but it is not a cranberry at all. Other than the look of the fruit it grows and tastes nothing like real cranberries. This neat shrub makes a excellent addition to the fruit or veggie garden partly because its so easy to grow and for the lovely slightly tart berries it produces.

Chilean guavas are ideal for use in the home garden, its easily grown as a hedge as a boarder or in a container and trains into standards and topiaires with relative ease. Compact shrub 1.5 x 0.6 metres.
White-pink tinged bell-shaped flowers are borne in clusters in early summer followed by round dark red fruit early autumn when the fruit is plump and a lighter red. Very aromatic flavour and aroma.

When and Where

Chilean Guava is cold hardy hence is can be grown all over the country. Plant in full sun or part shade.. Will grow in a wide range of soils from clay to sandy but performs best in fertile, well drained loamy soil. It has no major pest or disease problems, but needs to be kept well watered through the summer months while fruit is developing.

Chilean Guava is self-fertile and bees are the chief pollinator.

Harvest when berries are soft to touch, use in jellies, jams fruit salads and pies.