Guava

Health Power

Loaded with vitamin C (more than double the RDA per fruit) and beneficial phytonutrients. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that prevents damage to many cells, organs and tissues such as eyes, blood vessels, heart and immune system. Full dose of vitamin C in one fruit assures water-soluble areas get protection from free radicals and that immune cells are active. High in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant known to reduce oxidative damage in cells. May also inhibit growth of some types of cancer cells. (Undergoing extensive research.) Fiber and potassium enable guava to lower blood pressure, blood glucose, plaque buildup in blood vessels, cholesterol and triglycerides while promoting smooth digestion. Some phytonutrients in guava have antibacterial and anti-fungal action that may help fight off common microbes (such as Staphylococcus, Shigella, Salmonella, Bacillus, E. coli, Clostridium, and Pseudomonas genera).

Vitamin and Mineral Content:
Vitamins – C, A, B9 (Folate) and traces of others
Minerals – Potassium, Copper, Manganese and traces of others

Disease Prevention

Guava may help protect against asthma, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, heart disease and cancers of prostate, lung, stomach, colon and many others. Can help reduce symptoms of gastroenteritis, recurring diarrhea and other digestive problems.

How to Grow

Guava is a small, tropical native tree producing delectable green fruit with tender light-yellow or red/pink interior. Grow best in temperature range of 45-90˚F. To produce fruit, mean temperature must remain above 60˚F. for up to six months (depending on the cultivar). Mature trees can withstand an occasional light frost, but young trees die right away. Choose site with full sun where wind does not exceed 10-15 mph for long periods. Guavas tolerate soil types (except compacted) and pH range 5-8. For best fruit production, roots must penetrate well into soil. For full nutrient supply and good drainage, work in some fertile plant mix rich in organic matter several weeks before planting. If you have not planned ahead, hold off adding mix or fertilizer. If soil consistency is bad, mix in regular soil 1 to 1. Buy a resistant, healthy transplant from a reputable local nursery. If planting more than one tree, space minimum 7-10 feet apart. Dig a hole 3-4 times the diameter of the root ball and 3 times deeper. Position tree in the hole so that root ball lies just beneath soil surface. Fill hole and pat down to remove air pockets. Stake tree the first year so roots get nicely anchored. Use soft fabric to tie stake to tree so as not to damage trunk. Mulch over root zone, keeping 1 foot away from trunk. In first year, fertilize about 5 times (every couple months) with highly fertile, well-balanced mix with full range of macro and micronutrients. As tree grows larger, apply more fertilizer each time. Prune young tree during first year at around 1-2 feet high to promote branching. Also tip branches at 2-3 feet to promote more branching. Harvest just as fruit softens to the touch and is easily removed. Store harvested fruit in a cool place away from sun.

Insect Control

Guava trees can be infested by a number of insects, diseases and nematodes. For most effective treatment, consult local county agricultural extension service or nearby nursery.

Tips

For best flavor, let guavas ripen on the tree. Even in cooler temperatures, they do not store long when fully ripe. Or pick them when still a bit firm just before ripening. You can then store them up to five weeks in cool temperatures. To speed up the ripening process, put them in a paper bag with a banana or apple.

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