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Messages - SoCal2warm

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Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: April 06, 2020, 05:27:16 PM »
tiny Keraji seedling



I think today is like the first day of Spring, it's finally warming up.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: April 06, 2020, 02:15:31 PM »
Changsha mandarin, survived the winter outside unprotected

Ichang papeda, on its own roots

small plant, maybe only 5 inches high

April 6, 2020

Of course I vent it when temps get above freezing and especially if gets into 50s.
It's too bad you can't hook up some sort of automatic venting system connected to a temperature thermostat.
It must constantly occupy attention in your mind to have to worry about whether temperatures are going to go above 50 outside during the cold half of the year. That would be too much worry for me.

Kumquat is probably going to be hardier than other common citrus varieties, since it goes into a protective state of dormancy so easily (stays in dormancy).
I'm not sure if this really demonstrates "hardier grown from seed", since I would imagine the span (differential) between kumquat grown on poncirus compared to kumquat on its own roots, and some other hardy citrus grown on poncirus versus on its own roots, would not be as great.

(What I mean is the whole point of grafting a hardy citrus on poncirus is to keep it in dormancy, a trait kumquat already has, to some extent)

Generally kumquat can survive down to zone 8b, so that's already within zone 8 territory.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Frost Protection
« on: March 20, 2020, 03:50:37 PM »
Well, I haven't had good luck with my frost protection. It seems that enclosing the frame with transparent vinyl plastic leads to a greenhouse effect during sunny days, which can lead to the plant starting to come out of dormancy, and then the cold night comes and the temperature rapidly swings in the other direction. The daytime difference between inside and outside can be great, whereas the nighttime differences are only a few degrees. The hardy citrus does not handle these temperatures swings very well. Or at least that's what it seems like.

Probably would have been better to use an opaque white enclosure to avoid excessive heat build-up. Maybe even with a small vent on top to be able to leak out excessive heat.

Trees that are grown from seed (and thus are growing on their own roots) have to reach a bigger size before they begin fruiting.

That is one of the main reasons these trees are usually not grown from seed.

Grafting a tree onto rootstock limits growth, and thus diverts the tree's energy into fruit production, earlier on in the tree's lifespan.

If you try to grow a pomelo tree on its own roots, it could take a long time before it begins fruiting, and that tree could grow to be very big. In their natural state in the tropics, pomelo trees can grow to be 45 feet high.
My grandparents used to have a big orange tree that must have been over 15 feet high.

You will one day have fruit, but it might be many years.

If I had to guess, I would guess you might have to wait 5 to 8 years before that seed-grown pomelo tree, of the size already shown in that picture, begins producing fruit. Pomelo trees also take a bit longer than other varieties of citrus.

One last important point, the issue could be pollination. Unlike grapefruit, most pomelo varieties are self-incompatible, and there should be some other different variety around, if you want fruit. (This can even be accomplished by grafting in a different variety into the same tree, either a different pomelo variety or other citrus)
If you're seeing flowers, but no fruit, the issue could be pollination.

However, I think I can see some other citrus tree in the background, in that picture, so maybe that is not the issue.

  Some souce claimed that Marumi Kumquat can withstand 10F and start to lose leaves at 0F without injury. Is it a myth?
I highly doubt it. Yuzu is supposed to be hardy down to 10 F, and I am pretty certain a kumquat is not going to be as hardy as Yuzu.
(And Yuzu can definitely suffer some damage even above 10 F, so that number should not be taken to mean the plant will be just fine and healthy)

I was able to find this in my notes:

Nippon Orangequat 14 F or 10-16 F

These notes were derived from a compilation of a lot of research and anecdotal reports I read through.
I don't know if that helps any. I don't have any specific listings in my notes for Marumi kumquat.

I believe Meiwa is very nearly as hardy as Marumi, but I am by no means a kumquat expert.

Kumquats can only survive down to zone 8a, and that's only in the South, and they do not do well in the colder part of zone 8a, close to the border of zone 7.
I read of an experiment done close to Atlanta (zone 7b) where someone planted a kumquat, protecting it with a little frame covered by frost cloth, to see if it could survive. The winter killed it.

Is it the hardiest kumquat? Probably. Unless you count Ichangquat (kumquat x Ichang papeda), but that is a pretty hard one to get a hold of, and in addition the skin is said to have some moderate bitterness (although of course nothing like poncirus).

My small Ichangquat seedling appears to have survived outside through a winter in zone 8a, Olympia, WA, although the leaves do not look as good as the Yuzu.
Judging by how it has behaved, I would imagine a kumquat would really struggle up here, but I am not in the South.

There's also Sunquat (kumquat x Satsuma mandarin) but that is not any hardier than Meiwa.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Mandarin/Lemon recommendations
« on: March 17, 2020, 12:12:11 AM »
SoCal2warm, do you find a flavor difference in the juice between Lisbon and Eureka or just appearance, or ?
Eureka is bigger and looks better, but in my personal opinion, Lisbon is a just a bit juicier and has a little bit better flavor.
But they're not that different, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell the two varieties of fruit apart.

Eureka also has thicker rind.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 14, 2020, 09:55:04 PM »
There was snow falling in Olympia too, yesterday and today (March 13, 14) but it did not stick to the ground.
No snow on the ground.
The lowest temperature only went down to 27.
So I guess Vancouver got colder than Olympia further north during this late season cold wave.

Jim, how is your Early St. Ann Satsuma doing? You said you were going to leave it unprotected this winter as an experiment.
How do the leaves look?
Do they look worse than the Yuzu?

Also to mention, water loss will be much higher from heating caused by light, or heating from a heat mat, than heat that is even and circulating within a plant enclosure.
If the plant is a warmer temperature than the surrounding air, water loss will occur. This is the same principle that freeze drying works through.
Cold air holds less water, so when that air passes over a warm surface, heat is transferred to the air, and along with that heat moisture is carried away because the warmer air can now hold more water vapor.
However, if the warm air is relatively saturated with humidity, and it is not cooler than the temperature of the plant, than it will not carry away much moisture or have a drying effect.

A potential disadvantage of excessive light is that it is effectively beaming heat energy directly onto the leaves. This can put drought stress on a plant.
This is a particular consideration because plants growing in containers have smaller root systems without as much access to water.

My theory on why plants are green is because maximum photosynthesis takes place early in the morning or late in the afternoon, or in overcast weather, when there are cooler temperatures to avoid water loss. The plant closes its pores more in the heat of the middle of the day. Cooler temperatures correlate to a higher percentage of red or blue light. Also the plant does not need higher conversion efficiency when there is more light, which correlates to higher ratio of green wavelengths in the middle of a sunny day. Early in the morning, the sun is at more of an angle, passes through more layer of atmosphere, so the spectrum is shifted to longer more red wavelengths.

Also efficiency of the light probably does not matter in practice, since any inefficiency will turn into a little extra heat.
(inefficient lighting is pretty much no less efficient than an electric heater at producing heat. electric conversion to heat is one of the few things that is nearly 100% efficient)

However, heat can lead to faster water loss.

I've studied this in depth. It is possible for plants to grow under blue light alone but they are not very healthy. It is also possible for plants to grow under only red light, but their growth habit is really stunted. With a lot of red and only a little bit of blue, plants can grow just fine.
Plants grow better under white light than they do under just red + blue. I have absolutely no problem growing under 5000K, they grow great, better than any other special color LED grow lights.
However, I believe that they would grow better still under 5000K white + red. That hasn't been tested.

As for photosynthetic efficiency and wavelength, there are not any peaks, it is a relatively smooth curve. The plant has photosynthetic pigments to be able to transfer other wavelengths to chlorophyll. Theoretically, 660nm and a third as much of 650nm are the best most optimal wavelengths for efficiency, but in reality it doesn't really matter so much. (Those efficiency gains would be trivial compared to other considerations)

Green wavelengths are useful too because they can better and more evenly penetrate to chlorophyll beneath the thin surface layer of the leaf. Which is probably why they grow so good under white light.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 08, 2020, 06:25:24 PM »
The Bloomsweet is going to make it. This will be its second winter. It wasn't protected this winter. I'm kind of surprised.
However, the leaves do not look as good as the Changsha, and the Changsha in turn does not look as good as the Yuzu. Which is what one would expect according to level of cold hardiness.
The Bloomsweet does not look really good, but I suspect it will keep many of its leaves, and that it will begin to put on growth later this year. Surviving okay, but not exactly looking thriving and healthy.

The temperatures are dropping below freezing the next 3 nights. Winds are coming from the southwest and southeast. The southwest is just cold/cool winds from the ocean, while the southeast is bringing in cold winds from higher up in the mountains that are being funneled down through a basin. It's a little unusual to be having freezing temperatures this late in the year. I saw some frost on roof tops earlier this morning.   

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Calamondin x Poncirus
« on: March 05, 2020, 05:58:57 PM »
Keep in mind monoembryonic does not necessarily always mean the seed is zygotic. It could still turn out to be nucellar, and those seedling would be just like it's parents.
Leaf shape can be an indicator if you have something different, but a possible problem with that is some believe the fruit quality usually tends to be correlated with leaf shape in the offspring, trifoliate leaf hybrids tasting worse. It could be that the monofoliate offspring seedlings, if you are lucky enough to get one that's a hybrid (though you would not immediately know), will be more likely to have better taste.

setup: two 13 watt ("100 watt equivalent") LED bulbs for a 2x5 ft area, 5000K, constant light
is plenty enough light

white light seems to work better than only red + blue.
red + blue theoretically can achieve higher energy efficiency, but for home project no, because energy efficient bulbs higher effecticiency than cheap quality grow lights.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Best apple varieties for zone 10b?
« on: March 03, 2020, 04:40:46 PM »
Let me point out that if you are in zone 10b, you should not be too unhappy about not being able to growing many types of regular fruit, since there are many subtropicals and even several tropicals you are uniquely situated to grow, that people in colder climates can't.

Starfruit, for example, can grow in zone 10b. (though may have trouble with the hot dry climate in the summer, if it is not planted in the right spot) Lychee and pineapple are two more. Even many banana varieties will do great in 10b. (And of course pomegranate and grapes will have no problem)

Wax apple (not related to regular apples) is no doubt another one you haven't tried. They can grow in zone 10b in California.
I personally don't think they are as good as regular apples, but they are very "tropical" and exotic.

I'm just saying, you have the option of growing many many things that people in apple growing areas cannot.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Best apple varieties for zone 10b?
« on: March 03, 2020, 04:28:12 PM »
I investigated this subject in the past.
It depends very much on your personal tastes/preferences of course, but the best two apple varieties (if you like tart and flavorful) are Cox's Orange Pippin and Ashmead's Kernel. Going down the line, to sweeter bigger apples, you have Envy and Mutsu. Opal isn't bad either.

Now, for zone 10b, that's another matter entirely.

There was a field study done in Irvine, CA (also zone 10 ) that found that many varieties of apple could actually produce satisfactorily, even though they were rated much higher in chill requirements than what they were getting at that location. It's just these apples tended to flower and fruit throughout the year than at one time.

I can copy and paste it for you, if you're interested:
The latest reports have shown that apples tend to be more adaptable to lower-chill areas than was previously thought. A field test by Tom Spellman of Dave Wilson Nursery showed that several apple varieties rated for 800 chill hours could grow just fine in Irvine (located in coastal Southern California, which only gets 50-100 real chill hours). The following apple varieties did surprisingly well: King Tompkins, Braeburn, Gravenstein, Cox's Orange Pippin. The trees tended to flower and set fruit throughout the year rather than a specific season.

The results might have had something to do with the fact that the coastal influence has a moderating effect on temperature, and in the winter it rarely ever gets above 65 F in this region, higher temperatures being very detrimental to effective chill accumulation. In other words, the same moderating influence that prevents there from ever being any chill hours below 45 F may be, paradoxically, the same influence that allows the trees to grow well even in the absence of chill hours below 45 F.

Of course, if you are talking about real low chill apples, that's another matter, and I don't think there are a lot of different options.
From what I hear, the low chill apple varieties just taste okay. But then again there's nothing like an apple right off your own tree, and it will taste better than most of the apples from the supermarket.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Mandarin/Lemon recommendations
« on: February 28, 2020, 05:09:52 PM »
What are your recommendations for sweet seedless mandarins? Preferably with fairly high production.
Satsuma, Kishu, Shasta Gold, Page (has a similar sort of flavor to Minneola tangelo, although I slightly would prefer just eating a Minneola tangelo more than it), Dekopon (also known as "Shiranui" or "Sumo", very sweet and very rich, almost slight mango flavor), in that approximate order.
Lee x Nova is also not a bad mandarin, if you prefer the more "conventional" mandarin type of flavor.
You need to research all these varieties before you buy, because they all of their own sort of unique peculiar advantages and disadvantages, too complicated to get into here.

Xie Shan is just a sub variety of Satsuma. I am guessing it probably doesn't taste very different, although it might be slightly more sour and flavorful. Satsuma trees can take many years until the fruits coming from the tree develop maximum flavor, and the flavor can be very dependent on the growing conditions. Too many people taste a Satsuma fruit from their 2 or 3 year old tree and then (wrongly) decide that Satsuma does not really have much flavor. But in my opinion, the very best mandarins I've ever tasted came from very mature old Satsuma trees, the fruits freshly picked from the tree. The fruits start tasting worse after approximately 3 days after being picked from the tree. So this variety also seems to have a shorter shelf life than other mandarins.

Lisbon lemon is my favorite tasting of all the common variety lemons, it is the most standard lemon found in a supermarket. Ponderosa lemons are very ornamental and noticeable for their very large fruit size, a prolific fruiting of the tree, though the flavor is just a little subpar.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: February 25, 2020, 05:20:42 PM »
Here's the little Yuzu seedling, February 25

It seems to be doing just fine.

It's doing much better after this winter than it was the winter last year.
I know I posted a picture of it 11 days ago, but I thought it worthwhile to update it today because February 25 pretty much marks the end of winter and we are not going to have any freezing temperatures after today. If it could make it to now, it will do just fine the rest of the year.

If any of you really want to go see it to believe it, you can go to the Yashiro downtown Japanese garden. A little seedling that doesn't have poncirus in it is surviving outside in Olympia, this far north in latitude.
Not merely just a plant but a very small seedling, on its own roots, not grafted.
Of course I feel it is in a protected spot in a very optimal location, and being situated downtown probably also helps temperatures from going to low. But it does demonstrate the climate Yuzu can grow in.
A very interesting experiment. I'm so glad the seedling did not die-back this winter.

I expect its growth will really take off this year especially since it is growing on its own roots (not grafted).

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Lee x Nova
« on: February 25, 2020, 10:43:25 AM »
I personally feel you could go either way.

If you are really a collector, you could add it to your collection, it is worth adding to a large mandarin variety collection (of all the best varieties), but I would not be too anxious to add it.

I do think Lee x Nova is better than Dancy or Gold Nugget though, if that helps at all. It's sort of a standard, very slightly sour flavorful mandarin, a little bit of tropical mandarin flavor, nicely sweet but not out of the ordinary so.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Lee x Nova
« on: February 25, 2020, 10:36:16 AM »
Lee x Nova is a pretty good all around mandarin, and definitely an improvement on its parents. (I've tasted all three)

I think it really does depend on personal preferences though, there are different "types" of mandarin flavor.

I personally prefer the more aromatic sour mandarins. Satsuma 'Owari', Kishu and Shasta Gold are my favorites. (And Page is not bad either, has some Minneola tangelo flavor, though I would slightly prefer to eat a Minneola tangelo rather than it)

Pixie is usually the same variety as Kishu, I believe.

You do realize that transparent containers inhibit root formation and promote algae growth.
Transparent containers are what I had.

At least it allows one to easily be able to see the moisture level in the soil.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Best way to root calamondins?
« on: February 23, 2020, 05:05:18 PM »
In my experience, some varieties are much easier to root than others.
Ichang papeda and Changsha mandarin are very easy to root, Satsuma mandarin is not so easy to root.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: February 23, 2020, 04:35:20 PM »
Some light sort of rain/ice hail is falling, even though it's only ‎46F, just to give you some idea what the whether has been like. 1:30 pm in the middle of the day, February 23.

Just tiny pieces of hail, they don't last on the ground more than a few seconds before melting. I just heard the sound of the fine ice particles hitting the window.

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