ONE EXOTIC fruit that we are really proud of is our Sweet Balimbing or Star Fruit for a number of good reasons.
DELICIOUS – The fruit is sweet and very juicy. It can be eaten fresh from the tree or made into refreshing juice with little honey. The fruits are bigger than most varieties available in some farms or gardens. There are no fruits available in supermarkets.
BEARS IN 1 YEAR – You don’t have to wait long before you can harvest your first fruit. The 2-feet tall grafted Sweet Balimbing at the Sarian Farm are already bearing flowers. But you have to wait for a few months before allowing the plant to bear fruit. First, transfer it to a bigger container. Wait for it to grow about four feet before allowing it to develop fruits. In just a few weeks, the fruit will be ready for picking.
GROWING IN CONTAINER – You can plant the grafted seedling in a medium-size rubberized container as can be seen in the photo. A big white pail (not the ordinary timba) will also do. This is available in some places like vegetable seed companies. We have seen that being used in a garden in Indonesia. If you use this white pail, make sure to make drainage holes at the bottom.
GROWING MEDIUM – Mix equal parts of garden soil and rice hull (better if carbonized). Fill every container a few inches below the rim then mix one kilo of organic fertilizer or vermicast plus a complete chemical fertilizer with micronutrients as booster. One such fertilizer is Z-Fert which contains several micronutrients.
AFTER PLANTING – Place the newly transplanted Sweet Balimbing in a sunny location after watering it thoroughly. Water the plant before the growing medium becomes too dry. There will come a time when the roots will penetrate the drainage holes and as they grow bigger, they can clog the holes that will result in waterlogging because the holes are clogged. There’s a solution to this. Keep on rotating the container or moving a bit farther now and then. The roots will be severed.
BAG THE FRUITS – To protect the fruits from fruitflies, bag the fruits with cloth bag or some other suitable material like newspaper doubled with transparent plastic with a few holes at the bottom. Next, Happy Eating!