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Messages - LaCasaVerde

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Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« on: October 25, 2017, 10:06:14 AM »
I wrap all the sides in one piece of poly secured by snap clamp. The roof is 1 seperate peice. The cold frame is oriented so one of the 45 degree roof sides is oriented south. The north sloping roof is clamped permanatly. The The south side I cut a piece of pvc pipe the width of the roof plus 2 feet... roll the south side poly up in it when not in use. Then roll it down and snap clamp back on. Use snap clamp to attatch poly to roller pipe. The weight of the pvc pipe keeps the poly in place allowing me to snap clamp the door tight. Have to have ladder handy but only takes 2 min vs what it used to take me...too long 
I used this fellows idea for the roof roll up- you can somewhat get a picture of what Im talking about but on the South side of the roof not in his verticle application:

This year Im going to use an IBC container full of water and place it in the structure with the Blood Orange tree as its heat source.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« on: October 24, 2017, 11:56:07 AM »

Ive moved to canopy fittings and  1 3/8 pipe primarily on cold frames. The Canopy fittings for high roof pitch can be used over and over each winter. This design will shed water, snow off the roof during winter and is strong. The tree pictured is a blood orange tree over 10 feet tall. Easy to attatch poly to with pvc snap clamps. One side of the rood is designed to roll open during warmer weather to allow heat to escape. Thid way the enclose stays covered the entire season except for the roof section. Reduces cover uncover time drastically.  This design can be enlarged to cover full size trees.

The trick to this for me is to oversize the frame so I can get 2-3 seasons each time. I burned myself out a few years ago trying to redo all the cold frames each Sept/October-

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« on: October 23, 2017, 04:25:32 PM »
Sorry to hear of your experience. All of us dedicated to preserving our citrus go to extreme lengths not to loose them in the winter. In a similar situation Id did the following- It will work to save your tree with minimal effort/time.  It is very fast and saved mine during a night time failure here. Gave me enough time to rework existing cold frame

1 stick 1 3/8 fence rail
1 recip saw with metal blade
4 sticks 1.0 inch pvc 10 foot

Cut metal pipe 1.5 feet each. hammer these into ground . Pull back out and clear ground stuck in pipe out. Reinsert pipe into ground. This will be the sleeve for the pvc pipe.  Do this at 12 oclock , three oclock, 6  oclock and 9 oclock positions around tree. Now bend pvc pipe and insert into metal pipe sleeve that is in the ground already. If wind is strong there add additional sleeves and insert pvc pipe. Tie together all pvc pipe at the apex of the bend. Throw over poly cover and way down bottoms with lumbar rock... Quick, cheapsolution.

Hang in there

scroll down this link and you will see me pointing to the metal sleeve and pvc pipe insert for visual aid.

Here are the ones that do well for me in 8b/9a

Satsuma Mandarin, Xie shan, Owari, myers lemon, cara cara, dekopon (protected), navel, HAMLIN prolific, blood (moro)

Red lady papaya, barbadoes cherry- protected

Olives- mission, arbequina

plums- catalina, santa rosa, methley, burbank

berries- arapahoe and navajo- navajo the sweetest

blue berries- vernon, titan and sunshine blue-which is dwarf and ph tolerant

pears- floridahome, warren and kieffer

Morenga has been prolific here-

Bananas- orianco, viente cohol, cali gold all producing if pup kept inside in pot over winter and planted in spring...

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Spots on Pear leaves
« on: October 15, 2017, 09:27:56 PM »
I have the same on Warren Kieffer  Floridahome and moonglow year after year.. All suffer from the same bacterial,fungal leaf spot . As mentioned above- wont hurt the pear tree as unsightly as it is. Some defoliation usually later in the summer. Spring fireblight more of a concern.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Anyone growing olives?
« on: October 15, 2017, 09:21:23 PM »
Growing mission and arbequina here. Outside unprotected. No issues disease wise, though recommend planting on a mound or higher area as ive lost both mission and arbequina  to damp soil conditions. Definitley do not do well in low wet areas.  My largest arbequina is now  6x6 but yet to produce. 3 years old now..

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Xie shan
« on: October 15, 2017, 09:15:47 PM »
Ive heard from another local grower xie shan is a lot more cold hardy than he expected. Here his owari was  lost a few years ago at 19 while the xie shan did not appear to be bothered. Your comments seem to further affirm this.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« on: October 15, 2017, 09:05:24 PM »
Great job on your cold frame!   

Citrus General Discussion / Re: White stringy substance on my limequat
« on: September 16, 2017, 11:39:47 PM »
If it were me I would call the store and explain the situation. In an effort to minimize transmission they may allow you to destroy the plant and return the root ball with receipt for exchange on the premise that the soil drench was ineffective and the plant will sucumb. That would be the right thing for them to do..The soil drench by itself in reality wont stop the spread ..only kill the existing ones on the plant..not allowing them to move on with the disease.
Unfortunatly there is no way to tell if your plant has acquired the disease at it is too premature to see the effects but there is a high probability due to you geographical proximity to high transmission rates.  That alone should be enough of an argument, but you never now. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: White stringy substance on my limequat
« on: September 16, 2017, 10:59:10 PM »
On the tag of the plant wrapped around the trunk usually will give you the soil drench date. The fact that there are as many droppings suggest that the initial drench from the store was...non existant  or it would have killed they nymphs once they began feeding imo.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: White stringy substance on my limequat
« on: September 16, 2017, 10:34:36 PM »
Soil drench with Macho 2.0 or  Bayer Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control (available in most lowes or homedepot) -advise to treat all your citrus immediatly.  Foliar spray  Malathion asap. The two act as a systemic and topical insecticide that will kill them. Asian citrus psyllid  is the host for the citrus greening bacteria that kills citrus.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Dekopon Log Zone 8b/9a North Florida
« on: July 20, 2017, 09:54:35 PM »
The denser the dekopon becomes it seems more new offshoots appear from the main . Ive removed these offshoots to keep growth focused on major limbs. Doing so also has eliminated leaf fungus..looks like greasy spo... for me  as the tree gets more airflow/sun. Had the same issue with peaches..

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Dekopon Log Zone 8b/9a North Florida
« on: July 20, 2017, 09:44:50 PM »
July 19 2017 notes

This year Dekopon 1 which produced heavily has not set any fruit. Dekopon 2 finally broke its 6 month transplant shock and has 10 fruit in mid development.  Enclosed now in an open sided greenhouse both suffered early in the season from mites which Ive killed off finally. Temperatures here approaching 95 every day have not affected them at all.  I took liberty with Dekopon 1 to soil drench with Macho 2.0 as the tree is not bearing. No leaf miner damage. 
 Ive found several articles from South Korea suggesting that the plant is alternate bearing with on and off years. Dekopon 1 has exhibited this as it did flower heavily but set no fruit.

Ive noticed as well it is difficult to granular feed these trees now with fertilizer as rain no longer provides the soil flush necessary to pull nutrients to the root zone. I poured five lbs worm castings around each and worked into the soil. Ive been usingDyna Gro liquid fertilizer  added to 10 gallons and watered in around the base once every other week at full strength dilution. Seems this fert is more for tropicals but has show to be effective over the last few months as deep green leaves and no nutrient difficencies.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of blooms, then dropping leaves
« on: March 21, 2017, 09:56:44 PM »
Ive gone through a similar situation with a persian lime. Transplanted into 5 1 1 mix and saw a rather rapid decline in the health of the pant.  I repotted again after finding a fast draining soil,  referenced by Millet some time back - miracle grow - after reading about it on an earlier thread here. The result was immediate. Within a month the plant -which had no leaves at all- flushed out and now itis  in better health than ever. When I retransplanted it was obvious the soil was soggy about 3-4 inches below the surface.

Transplant shock can also cause this as it has for me with a dekopon that is now finally growing.

Finally there is a possibility that transplanting in the winter threw the plant off as all its energy went into preflower development  as its root system was established and now is trying to abort due to shock and is experiencing nutrient deficiency/ leaf loss as a result.

No blooms at all  this year for me  after a heavy load last year.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: The best way to clear grass under trees
« on: February 28, 2017, 09:02:30 PM »
Weed wack flush to ground. Get some thick professional landscape fabric- not the stuff you buy at the big box stores. I use this:
Dewitt P5 5 x 250 Pro-5 Weed-Barrier Landscape Fabric

Stake it to the ground leaving a few inches room around the trunk. ..I use these:
Weed Barrier Fabric 6-Inch Garden Landscape Staples Stakes Pins

It lasts me 4 years exposed to the sun..  and nothing will grow around your trees. Everything else is a waste of time except for  .. round up... which has worked for me as well but needs to be reapplied often. Never killed any of my citrus - I like the one and done method myself.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Moro blood orange, wow!
« on: February 13, 2017, 05:45:04 PM »
Been in about 4 years, on trifoliata rootstock.  This year the flavor is rich and the color is darker with each fruit that I pick about every 3 days or so just to have something for breakfast.  Warm winter had also sped up the prime time about a month.  "Precious" rind, zest, smells richly of cinnamon and the color is dark orange.

About 4 days ago.

2 weeks ago.

When you say it has speed up the process by a month are you meaning the coloration or the ripeness- or both? That would place you first week or so in March for your usual Moro harvest?

Im asking because by Feb 15 Ive   picked all mine. Three trees( 4 years old ) second year crops-- not too tasty at all.  Perhaps I should be waiting into March? I pulled 60 or so yesterday and they were all meally and dry with little sweetness. Perhaps Im harvesting to early. No growers around this area to compare notes with so thank you for the info.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: harvest time, or wait?
« on: January 05, 2017, 05:09:11 PM »
I usually eat them when they are orange/yellow and no longer green... I dont grow them but do pick them off a tree here along the sidewalk. Id say when they turn color there good.

aCasaVerde and nullzero - I can certainly put lights in the plan.  Is there a way to know how much better they'll do with additional light?  I'm not sure how to evaluate if it's worth the cost for the lights and the electricity.  I'll have enough juice at the greenhouse that I can add them later, I guess...

Your building a large greenhouse. A failry expensive undertaking.  Id look at removing any sun obsticales (trees and such) or locate to an area that receives more sun.  5 hours -- really 4 hours of full sun is not optimal but doable.  You need the heat from the sun to offset heating costs. With the second half of the day cooling- suplemental heating has to replace this loss. Lighting then would also take over. I have access to a  seperate 100 amp service with mine (which is way more than enough for me), Id probably recommend you add this to your plans. Then when you go to lighting your greenhouse your not caught with insufficient juice so to speak and can pick out the lights you actually need.

shiranui has become a favorite in mine.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Canker in Texas
« on: January 05, 2017, 02:47:48 PM »
 ...lastly for those wondering why leaf miners are dangerous in tandem with this disease:

Leafminer Interaction: The Asian leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella) can infest leaves, stems, and fruit and greatly increase the number of individual lesions which quickly coalesce and form large irregular shaped lesions that follow the outlines of the feeding galleries (Figure 11). Leafminers feed on the epidermis just below the leaf cuticle. Numerous cracks occur in the cuticle covering leafminer galleries providing means for bacteria to penetrate directly into the palisade parenchyma and spongy mesophyll which are highly susceptible to infection. Citrus foliar wounds normally callus within 1-2 days, however, the extensive wounds composed of the entire leafminer feeding galleries do not callus for 10-12 days, greatly extending the period of susceptibility of galleries to infection. Leafminer infestations can be very prevalent and severe producing hundreds if not thousands of potential infection courts on individual trees. When bacterial dispersal events occur in the presence of the leafminer, not only is inoculum production greatly exacerbated, but so is the potential for infection over the entire dispersal range.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Canker in Texas
« on: January 05, 2017, 02:37:03 PM »
here citrus canker was discovered in 2014, strain not known at the time but infected all citrus. It was then that I focused on an effective program on my citrus to protect  against this threat.  The canker was found 15 miles or so from my area.  I developed CCSD (citrus canker stress disorder)
here is what Ive been doing. Of course there a side effects but overall it has worked.

Protection methods Ive employed  for canker (and greening)
-Built a 28x14 greenhouse over the ones I wanted to make sure I saved in event of spread into my citrus. The greenhouse has roll up sides with insect netting to prevent the little white moths (citrus leaf miner adults) from entering this area. 

Those not protected totaling 25, I have the followed protocol followed religiously-(this is not a recommendation- it s what i do and is a product of my understanding of the listed chemicals- use your own due dilligence.)

-No pruning, grafting period during months March-December
-No weed eating around any tree base.
-Other than rain and foliar applications keep any and all excess moisture away from the plant - in particular the leaves.
-Copper sprays 3/4 times a year to protect against leaf leasions allowing the bacteria to enter. I used to do this once only in the spring...not anymore
- Soil drench with  Imidicloprid 24 percent every month april    through   /nov after  bloom
-Every flush after bloom I foliar spray  with miticide or  Imidicloprid  as new growth easily outgrows systemic protection and is first attacked
-Contact insecticide sprayed on the leaves every 2-3 weeks.

Im looking now for the longest residual kick back topical insecticide formulation as Malathion,sevin and all those tend to be washed off and ineffective after 5-7 days. Until then  I use Malathion . This is the first defense. Could use any advice or recommendations here....

side effects- explosive mite problems.
(correction for this is easier than the canker though)

mrtexas - you are correct . gmos will be the only solution barring  the development of an injectible/foliar applied/root uptake  systemic targeted bactericide



Citrus General Discussion / Re: Canker in Texas
« on: January 05, 2017, 01:21:52 PM »

" leafminer galleries are the most common avenue of infection. Preventive bactericides common for citrus are copper products. Look for neutralized copper sulfate or copper hydroxide products. Each must be labeled for citrus."

mrtexas how large of a collection do you have- outdoors?  Being so close Id have  a set protocol in place to minimize transmission to your citrus.


1.  My site gets plenty of sun in the summer but this time of year it gets filtered/partial light from 8:30-9:30, full sun from 9:30-1:30 and then shady from then on.  Is that enough sun for tropicals or citrus in the winter?  Are some plants better able to handle it than others?

Will need sup lighting. Everything will survive without but will do better with more light.

2.  I'm hoping for 60F minimum at night but that could be unreasonable.  Which of these fruits can handle 50, 40, 30 etc for routine minimum temps?  And which can handle 50, 40, 30 etc for "once a winter" cold snaps?
All my plants which is most of all you listed do just fine with temps down to 40. Id set your temp range 45-50. I keep mine at 40 and have had no prob. 60 will be a lot more expensive.

3.  Are any of these species incompatible with the others?  IE it's easy to grow all except for X because it needs much wetter/drier/hotter/colder/etc.

If in pots you control the irrigation. Most plants will figure out there is less light and heat units and will slow or stop growing during this period. Id seperate what you want to grow into sections as mentioned. Providing for each set of plants as required. It is too extensive to list all the requirements for each type of plant. Id keep it simple and put your most cold tolerant species together in the coolest part of your greenhouse and the plants requiring more heat closer to heat sources weather barrels, heaters, inground heating and so on.  For me  the ability to control the main variables -temp, light,  irrigation are the most important. Once you have these three things accounted for ...the plants will be happy regardless of species as Id say most all are compatible with each other. Im sure there are exceptions but this is the general rule. So... design a greenhouse that can hold say 50 degrees, have the ability with supplemental lighting to provide 8 plus hours of light, be able to provide water and you can grow anything you want. Sounds simple and it is...getting to that point is not so easy. Brian I believe has an excellent thread on this exact topic.
Welcome to the forum! There are many here with greenhouses. Many with much more experience and tips than I. Ive found we all like to share what we can to help.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: After 4 long years...
« on: January 04, 2017, 10:26:13 PM »
If it is Harris Citrus Nursery here in Florida, they have been spot on for me. Ive ordered citrus from them before. Honest people. Id call them and explain the situation. I see they have Shiranui now @ 36 dollars for the larger size as well as the starter at 25. Definitely worth the call.

 Im harvesting Shiranui now and it is by far the best Ive tasted. I ate 3 yesterday that were  really sweet- sweeter than my navels.

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