Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers

Citrus => Citrus General Discussion => Topic started by: loneroc1 on May 24, 2019, 06:18:28 AM

Title: Ancient lemon cultivation?
Post by: loneroc1 on May 24, 2019, 06:18:28 AM
Howdy all,

How do you grow a lemon in a pot for a hundred years, or two or three centuries? The Italians can do it. What's their secret?  Composted pine bark, perlite, turface, plastic pots, no heater outages.....osmocotio?

Thanks!  Steve H   SW Wisconsin USA zone 3  - 40F/C this past winter. - 53F all time low. - 48F in my lifetime.
Title: Re: Ancient lemon cultivation?
Post by: lebmung on May 24, 2019, 08:46:11 AM
Italians have a Mediterranean weather, which means perfect for citrus. even in northern Italy it's still possible to overwinter them in pots.
-Terracotta pots
-A good soil mix
-Soft water or rain water
-Prune the roots, prune the twigs
-Compost and manure
Title: Re: Ancient lemon cultivation?
Post by: Laaz on May 24, 2019, 09:12:29 AM
One of the biggest enemies of potted citrus is salt build up in the soil...
Title: Re: Ancient lemon cultivation?
Post by: Millet on May 24, 2019, 03:13:40 PM
According to Oscar Tintori's book on page 20, Oscar writes about the centuries old container citrus trees of the Tuscan villas. There is a method that is used on these old trees, and it is done without removing the tree from the container.  Using a small sharp knife, cut and remove a ring of soil near the edge of the container, about 5-6 cm thick as deep as possible. This space is then filled with new medium.  This is usually done when the tree has recently been watered so that the knife will enter the soil more easily. This system requires time and care and it is unlikely you will reach the bottom of the large containers, but good results are guaranteed says Oscar. Many of the century old trees are "transplanted" in this manner year after year.

Title: Re: Ancient lemon cultivation?
Post by: luak on May 24, 2019, 07:48:04 PM
I am doing the same thing as Tentory does but a bit better. Instead a knife i am using my trusted old hedge shears, over 25 years young but very sharp.

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It is blooming very heavy and healthy.
This Page mandarin is about 9 or 10 years old and potted to a smaller container, 15 gl.this past late winter.
Rootball is very small, took  of a lot of the sides and also much shallower. Shears makes cleaner cuts than a knife.
Title: Re: Ancient lemon cultivation?
Post by: Pancrazio on May 25, 2019, 08:41:52 AM
AFAIK no compost is used in traditional citrus cultivation. Compost is relatively modern; most of the stuff we used today to make compost back then were fed to chicken/pigs, or, if it was vegetable, was used to pave barns, to help cattle's rest/catch their droppings.
Then this matter was mixed with chicken/cattle feces and left to decompose for months. This lead to manure.
Traditional citrus growing made ample use of aged manure (even years old). Aged manure is a nutritious permeable matter which is a good growing medium. It needs to be left for a very long time outside to be leached by rain/sun by any excess of salt. I cant give more detail on that stuff because i never made it.
For traditional fertilization of potted citrus here i have seen in uses mostly 2 things: ground white lupin seeds ( ) used probably ad nitrogen source, and oxen's blood (I guess this helps with iron and micronutrients). Water can also play a role, but it's pretty rare nowadays to be able to water citrus with something different from faucets.
Title: Re: Ancient lemon cultivation?
Post by: loneroc1 on May 25, 2019, 09:33:27 PM
I'm finding that if I shake all the soilless medium of the roots of many plants (including citrus and roses) and plant them in the garden for the summer they do fine when I dig them up in the fall and stick them in a smallish pot of plain ole garden dirt. It's kind of disconcerting in a way. I'm curious how this relates to traditional pre-perlite container cultivation.