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Messages - brian

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Citrus General Discussion / Re: Keeping Kumquats?
« on: September 21, 2018, 05:55:52 PM »
Brian-Did the taste of the variegated kumquat ever improve for you?

I'm in zone 7 so I'm wondering to what month/temp I can keep the kumquats outside?

I lost last years crop as the tree had an unhealthy spell.  It has a good number of fruits on it now that aren't ripe yet.  I will find out fairly soon and report back.

Kumquats go into a semi dormant state as it gets colder.  They have done very well for me when other citrus have struggled when I was carrying them indoors in the winter, before I had a greenhouse.   They are listed as being able to handle temperatures in the mid-20s I believe but if you have small trees in containers I would avoid letting them freeze at all.  I always brought mine in when nights started dropping below 40F.  Be mindful that if your house is warm enough they will break dormancy and then may struggle from lack of light. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Keeping Kumquats?
« on: September 21, 2018, 05:50:35 PM »
The name given on that link is "Giant Kumquat (Fortunella margarita Nordmann seedless)"  so i assume it is the usual nordmann seedless which I've never had seeds show up in.  The fruit is elongated just like that.

Unless there is a giant version of nordmann I'm unaware of I believe this is just being embellished a bit in Italy :)

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Keeping Kumquats?
« on: September 21, 2018, 05:47:19 PM »
Hah - I was going to say that picture looks like a closeup of a nordmann seedless nagami kumquat, with a lemon photoshopped in on the top center.  And indeed that seems to be the case... first google result I found for kumquat grosso is

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Keeping Kumquats?
« on: September 21, 2018, 12:36:07 PM »
I have some giant kumquat which is similar to Meiwa( sweeter and dryer) but at least that has few seeds.

Can you tell us a bit more about this giant kumquat?  Any idea what variety it might be?  The largest kumquat I'm aware of is the nippon orangequat.  Next largest would be "red lime".

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Keeping Kumquats?
« on: September 21, 2018, 12:28:52 PM »
I'm not aware of any seedless meiwa, only seedless nagami (nordmann).  Is that what you mean?  If there is a seedless meiwa I would love to get one.

My first batch of meiwa was very dry and awful.  However my second crop was more juicy and was excellent.  Because of this I'm hesitant to judge a variety too much until I've had a few crops.  For something in between, Marumi is really good.  I think its better than meiwa and almost on par with fukushu/changshou

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Keeping Kumquats?
« on: September 21, 2018, 10:29:05 AM »
I am fascinated by kumquats and have collected nearly every variety.   I have a thread I've been updating with my opinion of the various kumquats & their hybrids:

Definitely try the meiwa fruit, it is much sweeter than nagami as it has less juice and more pulp. 

If you don't like meiwa either, you probably just don't like kumquats as meiwa and nagami represent the sweetest and most sour ends of the kumquat spectrum. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Rooting Root Stock?
« on: September 12, 2018, 12:43:22 PM »
This is interesting.  I was wondering something similar when I was disposing of branches I'd cut off FD rootstock to get them out of the way when grafting (they were crowding my target area).   Because my trees are in a greenhouse the lack of taproot isn't a big deal to me as there is no wind to uproot trees.  And FD seeds are hard to come by for me.

I'm going to try propagating flying dragon rootstock by cuttings.   

Where are you getting these varieties?  I've never seen them available in the US.  I can only find green and generic "red fingerlime" which starling1 said isn't very good.

I am using a "Zenport K106" grafting knife which is just what showed up when I searched for a grafting knife on amazon.  I think the bark is not slipping and I'm having to force it too much.   Also, I keep dropping the buds and I expect they are getting contaminated.  They are difficult to hold onto even if I leave a bit of leaf as a handle.

I'll keep at it, its nice to know that success is nearly certain with the right technique, and I simply have to improve my technique. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: my trees putting out fresh growth
« on: September 01, 2018, 10:10:21 PM »
Looks great!

What do you plan to do when they outgrow their containers?  Plant directly in the ground?  Or keep upsizing?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Natural pest control
« on: September 01, 2018, 09:58:35 PM »
Funny you mention, I'd recently bought two anoles to put in the greenhouse.  I didn't find out about their need for UVB until some time later.   I spoke to a friend of mine who has many pet lizards and he said anoles will likely survive without UVB but may be unhealthy.  That's a shame, as my glazing is the UV-blocking type.   I will look into the geckos you mentioned.  I still see the anoles even though they can easily escape the greenhouse if they choose to.  Perhaps they may venture outside and then return, I'm not sure.   I still see and hear crickets all the time in there so the food supply hasn't dried up yet.

I also have a toad that moved into the greenhouse on its own.  I see it constantly, seems to favor this FD seedling pot.

Ugh I just checked yesterday and every one of my recent set of t-bud grafts failed.  I am looking forward to the day when I can successfully bud new varieties, but so far it is out of reach for me

Citrus General Discussion / Re: How to prevent ants going up your trees
« on: September 01, 2018, 09:51:40 PM »
I had done something similar with Tanglefoot.  It worked, but it was an awful sticky mess.  I found regular borax traps combined with trying to eliminate the scale directly was more effective.  Using petroleum jelly instead of tanglefoot sounds more manageable, and I'd be willing to try it. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: in-ground in-greenhouse
« on: August 23, 2018, 09:51:09 AM »
Interesting.  I guess we will see how this plays out. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Sneaky Lemon
« on: August 22, 2018, 11:17:30 PM »
I have a small Buddha’s Hand citron tree that lorewren gave me.  I removed all but one fruitlet when it flowered as I had never seen a Buddha’s hand in person.  This fruit is now bigger than my own hand and is still green.  I am hoping it will be ripe by Halloween and I can use it to scare children  ;D

Citrus General Discussion / Re: in-ground in-greenhouse
« on: August 22, 2018, 10:27:03 PM »
Thanks, Millet.  These are definitely on Swingle, as I see the "SWG" on the tags.   I'm not sure what led me to believe they were on FD.   I recently attempted another batch of grafts as I have a good amount of 1-2yr FD rootstock trees now.  If I become successful I am going to graft all the varieties I want to plant in-ground onto FD and replace them with these new ones.   My previous grafts failed, but I expect with enough practice I will get the hang of it.

Here are the two variegated minneolas I received from Harris.   They look completely different.


#two-tone green

Citrus General Discussion / Re: in-ground in-greenhouse
« on: August 22, 2018, 01:59:37 PM »
I was reading the linke posts and also noted that the Harris trees are likely Swingle, not FD as I was thinking (not sure why).   According to UCR "'Swingle' is moderatlely salt tolerant but is not adapted to heavy clay soils or calcareous soils", which is exactly the type of soil I've planted into.  Oh well, I am going to ride it out and see how things go. 

I recently ordered two 1yr Xie Shan's from Harris, to replace mine that just croaked.   I planted one in the greenhouse soil, and one in a rootmaker-roll container.   Along with the variegated minneolas, I will see how the in-ground trees do compared to the containerized ones. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: in-ground in-greenhouse
« on: August 22, 2018, 11:50:54 AM »
Interesting... I actually received one white/green and one two-tone-green from Harris.   I was wondering why the coloring was off on this one.  Would you mind sending a link to this forum thread?

Thanks for the heads up.

EDIT - is this it?   
I guess GardenWeb is now Houzz. 

I'll have to go double-check my trees.  I received both variegated minneolas from Harris around November 2015.

The Nordmann's I've grown here in Pennsylvania taste the same as the store-bought Nagamis, but seedless.  I now have a regular seeded Nagami also but I haven't had fruit from it yet.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: When to repot
« on: August 12, 2018, 12:49:28 PM »
I can't say when the best time is, but I've successfully separated a tangle of a dozen or so ~6" trifoliate orange seedlings in a single large port without any issues.  I suspect you will be fine, just be careful not to rip the roots.

In general I've read you should repot every year to a pot a few inches in diameter larger. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Is horticultural oil safe for citrus
« on: August 11, 2018, 07:08:06 PM »
I just applied horticultural oil to my trees today.   It was cloudy and rainy all day so no worries about sun.  Some trees had open flowers, but I am willing to accept a loss of crop to prevent severe damage from scale infestation that I saw on some trees.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: August 09, 2018, 12:38:01 PM »
Awesome!   Thank you for the details.   I am thinking of putting a grid of fogger bars on my inlet shutters.  My water comes in via a Woodford frost-free faucet.  I am thinking I can attach a tee with one end for my watering host and other to the fogger pump, and initially trigger it from a line voltage thermostat.  I will look into specialized evaporative cooling controls, but the ones I saw when I looked briefly once before were very expensive.   

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: August 07, 2018, 02:38:02 PM »
Thanks for the info!   I know quite a bit about electric and plumbing so I expect I can make it work, but I had no idea where to start looking for parts.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hoop house
« on: August 07, 2018, 11:29:46 AM »
Would you mind providing a bit more information about your misting setup?  I am looking into doing the same for my 18x32' greenhouse.  I have city water which is pretty clear so I am going to try this as-is and do a RO system if it turns out to be necessary.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Spider Mites
« on: August 07, 2018, 11:00:17 AM »
The usual recommendation is horticultural oil or soap spray.  I don't know about the scent additives but I can't imagine they would hurt.  I use Dr Bronners unscented baby soap which has no detergents.  It's kind of expensive so if anybody knows a cheaper solution let me know.

I have been fighting a cottony cushion scale infestation for *years* now.  Soap spray keeps them in check but they keep coming back.  Like you, I live in a temperate area where CCS isn't native and have not brought any new trees in for a while I know that I simply haven't eradicated them all from my trees.   I am going to switch to hort oil in the fall when it cools off a bit. 

My biggest issue has been that it takes forever to spray using a 3-gal pump sprayer.  It takes me an hour and a half to coat all my trees.  I tried two different hose-end sprayers and they were complete junk.  However, you can find horticultural oil bottles with built-in hose-end sprayers (Bonide brand I think, maybe Bayer).  I read somewhere these built in sprayers are far superior to the re-useable sprayers.  I am going to try this, and if it works well see if I can modify the single-use sprayer to be re-useable.

here's the link about the sprayers:

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