January 29, 2013 - 12:22 am
Question: For many years, my family has had access to wild, abandoned quince bushes in the east San Francisco Bay area. We have since moved from there and see that you list this fruit as a tree that may survive here in the Las Vegas area with the proper soil. We have not been able to find the fruit available anywhere. It seems to be forgotten. Any help finding a source to pick or buy would be greatly appreciated.
I have brought quince into the valley from Dave Wilson Nursery in California, and they are hard to sell. Not many people know about them, and even fewer know what to do with them.
I see that Bay Laurel Nursery, an online nursery, carries quince – all of the three commonly recommended: orange, pineapple and Smyrna.
Any will grow here in Las Vegas with few problems, except for iron chlorosis (leaf yellowing with green veins) and borer problems. Quince is popular in Mediterranean and some Arab/Persian cultures where it is used in cooking a lot. Quince makes some great candies, infuses wonderful aromas into foods and makes great jams, jellies and compotes.
Plant them, but improve the soil at planting time with composted manure, and use organic surface mulch as I have recommended in the past, and it will perform well here with high-quality fruit.
Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at email@example.com. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.