Fruit Production - Warm Climate

Learn to grow tropical fruits -self paced, distance education. Study tropical fruit varieties, growing techniques, soils, pruning, harvesting, for commercial production or self sufficiency.

Course Code: BHT217
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Get started!
Become an Expert in Growing Tropical Fruits  
          in warm climates 
                     or in protected places such as a greenhouse.
  • Learn to establish & manage commercial fruit production for warm climates.
  • Discover the huge variety of fruits that are grown in warm climates (hundreds)
  • Explore how many can be adapted to cooler climates -if nothing else, as container or greenhouse plants
  • As an amateur, follow a passion
  • As a professional -extend your plant skills 

This is a course for the hobby farmer or home owner striving for self sufficiency, through to the commercial fruit farmer or their staff.


Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction To Warm Climate Fruit Growing
    • Deciding what to grow
    • Where to get helpful informationm and start networking
    • Scope of Warm Fruit Growing -Review of main groups: Citrus, Berries, Nuts, Vines, Other fruits.
    • Understanding plant naming
    • Review of tropical fruit families:Anacardiaceae, Annonaceae, Apocynaceae, Bombacaceae, Burseraceae, Ebenaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Guttiferae, Lauraceae, Lecythidaceae, Malpighiaceae, Meliaceae, Moraceae, Musaceae, Myrtaceae, Oxalidaceae, Palmae, Passifloraceae, Proteaceae, Rhamnaceae,Rubiaceae,Rutaceae, Sapindaceae.
    • The botany of a fruit
    • Types of Fruits
  2. Establishing An Orchard
    • Develop a plan for the establishment of an orchard
    • Site considerations -choosing a site
    • Understanding Soils and Nutrition
    • Soil Testing
    • Several warm climate fruits are then reviewed including: Avocado Banana, Citrus, Cocoa, Coffee, Macadamia and Paw Paw
  3. General Cultural Practices
    • Fertilisers and Nutrition
    • Pest and Disease -determining and managing problems
    • What problems occur on what fruit plants
    • Weed control
    • Frost and sun protection
    • Drainage
    • Pruning
  4. Tree Fruits
    • Avocado
    • Banana
    • Star Fruit (Carambola)
    • Custard Apple
    • Durian
    • Jackfruit
    • Lychee
    • Mango
    • Mangosteen
    • Rambutan
    • Sapodilla
    • White Sapote
    • Paw Paw
  5. Nuts, Vines and Berries
    • Strawberry
    • Solanum
    • Pepino
    • Tamarillo
    • Lilly Pilly
    • Passionfruit
    • Coconut
    • Macadamia
    • Peanut
    • Pecan
    • Pistachio
    • Cashew
    • Brazil Nut
  6. Citrus and other Fruits
    • Suitability to different climates.
    • Grapefruit
    • Mandarin
    • Tangelo
    • Sweet Orange
    • Meyer Lemon and other Lemons
    • Limes
    • Figs
    • Olives
    • Guava
    • Pineapple
    • Pomegranate, Persimmon, Quandong etc
  7. Cultural Management Of A Fruit Plantation or Orchard
    • Flow charting a crop
  8. Marketing Your Produce
    • Considering marketing options
    • Market Research
    • Maintaining marketing standards and selling

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Identify different types of fruit crops, which can be successfully grown in a specific region.
  • Explain the nature of the fruit industry in a specific region.
  • Determine the cultural requirements for different fruit crops.
  • Develop a plan for the establishment of an orchard.
  • Formulate appropriate methods for marketing specific fruit crops grown in your locality.
  • Develop a calendar for cultural management of a fruit plantation, or orchard.

What You Will Do

  • Compile a resource file of different sources of information regarding commercial fruit varieties.
  • Compare the facilities used to produce six different fruit crops, in a specified locality.
  • Determine criteria for selecting a fruit variety to grow as a commercial crop in your locality.
  • Select five different fruit varieties with commercial potential for a specified location.
  • Analyse the physical layout of a specified orchard.
  • Determine the scope of commercial fruit growing in a specified locality.
  • Demonstrate standard soil tests to three different soils to determine:
    • Soil type
    • pH
    • Drainage
    • Water holding capacity
  • Evaluate the different soils tested to determine their suitability for growing different fruit varieties.
  • Analyse the culture
    • Watering
    • Weed control
    • Soil management
    • Pruning
    • Fertilising
    • Pest control
    • Disease control
  • Determine soil management practices, including:
    • Nutrition
    • Soil structure
    • Cultivation
    • Weed control
  • Determine the susceptibility of specified fruit species to pest and disease problems.
  • Explain how to control different specified pests and diseases, on different fruit varieties grown.
  • Develop sets of guidelines for pruning different types of fruits.
  • Determine the factors which are critical to growing fruit trees in the your locality.
  • Determine criteria to select a site for fruit growing in your locality.
  • Compare the physical layout of two different orchards you visit.
  • Prepare a plan for establishing a fruit growing area, in your locality, including:
    • Concept layout plan drawn to scale
    • Materials list (including plants)
    • Cost estimates for establishment.
  • Analyse different marketing systems in the fruit industry, including at local, national and international levels.
  • Explain common reasons for price fluctuations in the fruit industry.
  • Compare different fruit crops in relation to different factors, including:
    • Storage requirements
    • Storage life
    • Harvesting time
    • Shelf life
    • Transport to market
  • Evaluate the presentation and packaging of different fruits, for marketing through different marketing systems.
  • Analyse different marketing strategies used by a specific fruit grower.
  • Develop a marketing strategy, including:
    • Marketing stages
    • Marketing schedule (ie. timetable)
    • Estimated marketing costs
    • Handling procedures
    • Promotions, for a specific fruit crop.
  • Differentiate between the cultural practices undertaken by different growers, on the same crop, grown in two different localities.
  • Determine the cultural practices necessary to grow different fruit crops for a twelve month period, on a specified site.
  • Prepare a monthly calendar, covering a twelve month period, for cultural practices in a fruit plantation or orchard you choose.

What Can Be Grown in the Tropics?

Some fruits are obviously tropical or sub tropical in nature; such as mangoes and bananas.
Many others grow in both tropical and temperate climates: such as strawberries and passionfruit.
Some citrusa can grow well in temperate climates, provided they are protecteD from heavy frosts; but other citrus are not suited to temperate climates and must be cultivated in warmer places.


Citrus

Requires a large area, takes at least 3 years from planting to production of any worthwhile crop, full production takes a lot longer; trees can remain productive for a hundred years or more. Many orchards were uprooted in the late '60's and early 70's when supply exceeded demand. Since then there has been a boom in citrus processing (packaged orange juice etc) and demand has increased significantly. Another development in the past decade has been a steady trend towards mechanisation in the citrus industry. You may consider lack of finance a serious limitation to efficient production of citrus. This might be something you need to plan for in the future to be competitive.

Citrus fruit keep & transport well. Products include fresh fruit, juice, marmalade, rind/peel, and some canned and candied fruits. Small areas of ½ acre or so have been a productive unit in the past.

Berry fruits
Highly productive for the area cultivated. A couple of acres of berries can support a small family. Tree fruits may require 20 acres or more to bring a similar return. The world’s most popular berry, the strawberry; can be grown in both warm climates and temperate climates. Others, including brambles, raspberries, blueberries and currants are far less suited to warm climates.
A range of other “tropical” berries are grown for edible fruit in some parts of the world; including: some types of Lilly Pilly (Syzygium spp. And Eugenia spp.), Panama Berry (Muntingia calabura), some of Solanum species, Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum), Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora), Wampi (Clausena lansium)

Some berries last only a few seasons (eg: strawberries). Most of the berries fruits are soft and do not keep fresh for very long. Products may include: fresh fruit, jams, syrups and some frozen fruit.

Nuts
Most require a relatively large area to produce a worthwhile crop. Most nuts grow on trees and take at least 4 years from planting to the time when significant crops are produced (some 10 years or more). Keeping qualities are good if kept dry. You will require at least a couple of acres to produce marketable quantities.

Nuts which are widely grown warm climate nuts include Peanut, Cashew, Macadamia and Coconut (though Coconut and Peanut are not strictly always considered a nut).

Vines
A range of passionfruit are grown widely in tropical and sub-tropical areas around the world. Other vines sometimes grown in warm climates include Chinese Gooseberry and Grape. Even though they are not traditionally considered a tropical plant, grapes are increasingly being grown in warmer climates. Cultural methods may be a little different at times and variety selection can be important.

Grapes require a medium to large area (more than berries but not as much as nuts or citrus). Most of the world’s crop is dried or used for wine, but fruits are also dried, juiced and eaten fresh.

Growing for drying is only worthwhile in low rainfall areas. Growing for wine can be profitable in a wide range of areas (high to low rainfall). Dried fruit or wine will keep well, but fresh fruit does not keep very long at all. Vines can require a lot of attention and take several years before bearing heavy crops.

Other fruits
Fruits that are widely grown in warm climates on a large scale include Pineapple, Banana, Avocado, Mango, Paw Paw (or Papaya), Cocoa, Coffee and some varieties of Citrus. Some of these fruits are eaten fresh, while others are processed.

The commercial potential for some of these may be limited in developed countries; however, in most countries there will always be at the very least, a niche market for fresher, locally grown produce.

HOW CAN YOU BENEFIT BY DOING THIS COURSE?

  • Learn to establish & manage commercial fruit production for warm climates.
  • Discover the huge variety of fruits that are grown in warm climates (hundreds)
  • Explore how many can be adapted to cooler climates -if nothing else, as container or greenhouse plants
  • As an amateur, follow a passion
  • As a professional -extend your plant skills 
This is a course for the hobby farmer or home owner striving for self sufficiency, through to the commercial fruit farmer or their employees.


 
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Jacinda Cole (Horticulturist)

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer.
She was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up her own landscaping firm. She spent three ye

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