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Big Island The Island of Hawaii
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:09 AM
 
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I'm seeking a home in Hilo area and looking for the best area to grow fruit trees and maintain a large garden. Any guidance would be appreciated. Mahalo!
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:36 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
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Fruit trees grow just about anywhere, unless they need a chill factor. I suspect that you will grow a large garden where you can afford enough land to grow a large garden.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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OP, I think that you should focus on finding the house based on commute to work and where the kid(s) will be going to school. Whether or not you can grow stuff will be secondary, depending on the area. I noticed that you mentioned Mountain View -- that area gets a ton of rain and some things that need more sun may not grow there. Also, Volcano Village is at a higher altitude, and some of the tropical fruits like bananas don't do well there. But where ever you end up, you'll be able to grow a lot of various fruits and vegetables; it will just be a learning process.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babysteps09 View Post
I'm seeking a home in Hilo area and looking for the best area to grow fruit trees and maintain a large garden. Any guidance would be appreciated. Mahalo!
To make it easier for people answer your question, what fruits and vegetables are you wanting to grow?
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:52 PM
 
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Cool, thanks for the feedback. I was interested in growing mango, banana, papaya, and avocado trees and as far as vegetables I'd like to begin with lettuces, broccoli, kale, asparagus, carrots, potatoes to name a few.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:38 PM
 
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Potatoes, carrots, etc may be a problem, as would any root type vegetable. Most of the island is lava w/ a thin cover of topsoil. It's possible that you could find a lot that had a sizable layer of soil, just don't count on it. You could always grow them in above ground containers of soil in boxes. The fruits trees will grow just fine. You also might want to ck w/ the county as far as how big a plot of land you can grow w/o it having to be zoned for agriculture usage. If you just wish to plant some stuff around the home, that should be fine. I am not sure how OK it is to plant a large plot of land (the majority of your yard for instance). If you're out in the booniees, no worries, but in Hilo proper this may be an issue. Everyone I knew that was doing what you're interested in was living out in Puna somewhere.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Kona
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Those trees grow anywhere pretty much. I barely have any dirt and have all the trees you mentioned plus grapefruit, lemon, orange and lime over in dry part of Kona.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Puna, Hawaii
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"I was interested in growing mango, banana, papaya, and avocado trees"

Unless you are planning to retire here, you'd better buy a place with mature fruiting trees. Banana and papaya can fruit within a few years, most of the others are long-term investments. Our place came with a huge mature avocado tree. It gave us zero avocados our first two years, 600+ avocados the next, zero the following year, and now it's making a few fruits again. Because it's a "wild" avocado tree. Eventually we'll plant a few grafted dwarf trees. I have more days fetching avocados from a 40' tree behind me than I do ahead of me. Our mango tree is at least 10 years old and it's never fruited and I'm told it may never fruit at our altitude of ~840 feet.

Most coconut palms don't fruit much higher than sea level, though they can grow well without fruiting. You CAN get high-altitude fruiting coconuts. Somebody who had a lot of foresight put 20+ of them on our lot and even at our altitude we get year round coconuts. I don't recall exactly but they are a Samoan or Tongan variety. We sell the sprouts on Craigslist for $5 each.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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Most of the tropical trees do well below about 1200' elevation although you can get some fruit at slightly higher elevations.

Try on the Waimea side of Hilo, around Pepeekeo, Papaikou, Honomu, etc. There's deep soil in those areas and you can pretty much grow everything on your list. Most of the Hamakua coast has really deep soil.

If you don't find a place with soil, you can stack rocks or build a raised garden area and then bring soil in to fill it. Although what with the amount of fire ants and coqui frogs these days, moving soil around could cause trouble.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Juneau, AK + Puna, HI
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Many mango varieties are spotty producers in East Hawaii because it's so wet. They prefer dry winters for flower and fruit set.
Wet conditions causes anthracnose, which kills off the flowers.

All the other fruits you mentioned do well in the Hilo/Puna area, even with shallow soil.

As others have mentioned, elevation can also be a limiting factor with some tropicals.
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