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PermEco Inc.
PermEco Inc.
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93 Golden Gully Road, Kin Kin, QLD, AU
Climate zone:
Sub tropical

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Tamarillo or Tree Tomato

Project: PermEco Inc.

Posted by Zaia Kendall about 11 years ago

This versatile little tree is great in the kitchen garden!

The Tamarillo in our kitchen garden.

The tamarillo is a very versatile tree, which grows easily in our sub tropical climate. It is native to South America. The tamarillo has a lovely semi-sweet flavoured fruit, which is similar in flavour to tomato, hence the name “Tree Tomato”.

It is a fast growing tree which grows apparently up to about 5 metres high. Our tamarillos have not grown bigger than around 1800mm and then umbrellas out. This means it creates a nice shade canopy, which is useful for growing seedlings or green leafy vegetables that cannot cope with full hot sun at the foot of the tree. The roots of the tamarillo are shallow, so they don’t invade our kitchen garden soil too much and seem to be fine to grow in our kitchen garden without disturbing any other plants. This does mean however that they need watering regularly, but they do not like being waterlogged! Well drained soil is appreciated by the tamarillo.

Water hose in the shade of the tamarillo

Our watering hose is also coiled under a tamarillo so the hose will last longer because it is not exposed to full sun due to the tree’s canopy.  It can be a wonderful shade tree for a frog pond, and we have used the tamarillo as a trellis to grow gourds on as well, which the tree seemed to cope well with as it still produced fruit.

The inside of the fruit can be scooped out and eaten raw, and the whole fruit can be cooked and made into a sauces, compotes or chutneys. I sometimes use them to bulk up tomatoes in a tomato sauce.

It is a wonderful little tree, fast growing and versatile. It can perform a number of functions in any kitchen garden as well as bearing fruit.

Fruiting tamarillo, a pretty sight! Fruits ripen at various rates, so colours vary.


Comments (1)

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Kerri Paine
Kerri Paine : Thanks for this post, very interesting.

I had a Tamarillo tree many years ago and, although only one of our family liked the fruit straight off the tree, I made the most amazing jams and longed to plant one at my new home. It is finally in!

I've pruned it at about a metre to encourage more branches and we keenly await those gorgeous fruits. It is currently the big tree but will be dwarfed (but hopefully not overshadowed) by the Curry Leaf tree eventually. Kerri
Posted about 11 years ago

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