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Messages - Tom

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Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« on: October 17, 2017, 01:14:29 PM »
SoCal2warm, Iím worried about it getting too hot in your cold frame. The clear plastic can get over 100íF on a bright day. Donít forget to water more than probably usual because the soil will dry out quickly. The more you can vent on hot days the better. How cold can you expect in this location at night ? Southern California is one thing but zones 8 and 10 confuses me.

Iíve had terrible luck painting plastic black. Dyeing your water black might be easier. Iím also worried about your yellow leaves. Iím afraid they are all getting ready to shed and then you will have a problem....


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Lights in winter temps and humidity??
« on: October 17, 2017, 01:00:06 PM »
From what I can see your citrus looks fantastic. You might need exhaust fans to help ease your humidity. If you get blooms it will smell great inside ! I see citrus that you will need to pick this winter ! On a nice day with decent temps you might need to take everything back outside to spray horticultural oil for pest control. You seem to have a greenhouse in your home. From the pictures it looks like you know what you have been doing. What have you done in other years ? Again from what I can see it all looks awesome ! Tom

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« on: October 10, 2017, 11:02:03 PM »
Looks great. Nice job !

Suzanne42, thatís not what I get when I click on the link for that motel. Now I get quoted senior $65 pay now non refundable or pay $69 at check in and free cancellation. AARP or over 60 is quoted at $70. I think itís changing a little but I wrote down what it was quoting. Maybe my computer thinks Iím a member of this hotel chain or something. I still have not been quoted a dollar amount for those dates as high as the discounted Citrus Expo rates. It might be my error or a computer thing but they list a lower price every way you figure for what I am seeing. Tom

The link posted says $52 per night. ???

Citrus General Discussion / Re: new greenhouse planning
« on: September 24, 2017, 10:49:36 AM »
50 pineapples ! That's like the holy grail to me. How do your pineapples compare to fresh pineapple in Hawaii ? I got to go to Hawaii about 20 years ago and one of my best memories is how sweet the fresh pineapple tasted while we were there. I sent some to my closest friends by airmail, maybe over night (?). One of my friends is still talking about it. Unbelievable how much better fresh is ! I'm guessing your pineapple are better than anything you can buy in the grocery store at any time of year ? That's awesome Millet !!! Could you paste a link here if you have written about your experiences growing pineapples in your green house. Like do you grow them in your Rootmaker pots, how large, how long etc. ? Tom

Is it $52 per night if you don't tell them you're there for the citrus expo ? Web site link says $52 per night.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Favorite citrus options...
« on: August 11, 2017, 08:56:59 PM »
Chris1, somewhere I recently read that it estimated that every mature orange tree in Florida is infected with Greening Disease. You can google Citrus Greening disease and read about it here and other places for days. I don't have any experience way with it up here in central alabama. It has been found in Alabama too but has not spread to the center part of the state yet. Lots of people and many dollars are being spent in various areas of research.

What is a good citrus for me doesn't mean it will be good for you in central Florida. You are in what I think of as the heart of citrus country. If you keep listening and reading you will know the answer down there because that's where I think all the research is going on. Your local extension service would be able to suggest what to do and best varieties for your situation.

All of us here on this site love citrus but most of us see a terrible storm coming and you are unfortunately right in the middle of it right now.

Sugar Belle is a fairly new variety and from what I've heard it's highly touted for your area. I don't have any experience with it. It's much colder up here far from mouse land !

I hope this helps but you are opening a huge box of worms. Again I'd turn to your local extension people. They are charged with the responsibility of education of the public. They are an excellent resource. Use them. They are an arm of the University of Florida. The University of Florida is working diligently on this problem 24 hours a day. We are all hoping somebody can come up with some answers for Greening.

The name is even misleading. To most people green means good. This thing is not good. It's horrible.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Favorite citrus options...
« on: August 11, 2017, 01:04:17 PM »
Chris, I think your questions for citrus in Brevard county Florida need to start with how to keep your new trees from catching the devastating citrus disease called citrus greening. There are a few varieties thought to be resistant right now. Sugar Belle comes to mind but there may be others. Millet is correct about the two varieties he mentioned. With them you'd have oranges theoretically 12 months a year but you'd need to keep them in a controlled environment like a green house and greening could still get to you I'm afraid. It's not easy where you are. Greening has changed about everything where you are I'm sorry to say. Good luck ! Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: new greenhouse planning
« on: July 24, 2017, 08:42:31 PM »
brian, your greenhouse looks awesome. It's going to be great. Congrats on the wife and new baby/boss ! Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Growing lemons from seed?
« on: July 12, 2017, 12:52:06 PM »
Some what on topic, Meyer Lemon is the most grown citrus and the majority of them are not grafted. Granted most are grown from cuttings to save time and Meyer is fairly easy to propagate with cuttings but you could grow them from seed too as well as other methods like air layering. Seed would take a long time and if in a cold setting like zone 8 or colder, length of time for cold protection each year could be laborious. I've had better luck with potted citrus ,including Meyer lemon, staying outside as much as possible. Mine usually don't do well when subjected to long periods of time indoors. My biggest inground Meyer has had more than 300 enormous fruit each year for the last three years. I'm afraid it will have an off year this year but it's so large I might be surprised. It's difficult to count when the fruit are small and the same color as the leaves to say nothing of the wicked thorns that tear me up ! Best wishes to all. Tom

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Prison Cold Hardy Citrus Grove
« on: June 08, 2017, 09:58:59 AM »
Great post. Dr. Wayne Hanna's work is very exciting. Great job University of Georgia ! Thanks Millet. I have no idea where you find all these 'gems'. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Ponderosa Lemon vs NZL
« on: April 21, 2017, 11:35:56 PM »
The ponderosa fruit is huge. It makes a great conservation piece with friends or if you need to give a talk on citrus to a club or similar. Not really a pretty tree to me and not a very useful fruit for juice. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: In-ground Fertilizer
« on: April 12, 2017, 02:51:11 PM »
Some bags and some recommendations on line list trunk diameter or years of age as guide lines. You might be more comfortable using a trunk diameter guide.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Surplus home citrus?
« on: April 12, 2017, 02:47:37 PM »
I think the weather immediately preceding your cold event had more to do with the problem than the actual low temps. Where I live we can have an 80* day at Christmas and then a cold snap with temps not getting above freezing for 24 hours. With a new flush of tender growth [or no visible change] you have the recipe for a catastrophe. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Thanks To US Customs Office
« on: March 31, 2017, 10:20:42 AM »
The dog sense of smell is incredible and well documented other places. Their smell ability compared to human abilities has been said to be like ultra high definition 3 d compared to black and white tv. When one of those dogs sit down in the presence of a suspect that usually means they have locked in on what they have been trained to smell for. Often there is no agitation or other obnoxious signs. Usually the handler will ask simple questions and the 'quarry' has a lot to answer for. Of course different dogs are trained for differently for different situations. They are amazing ! Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of blooms, then dropping leaves
« on: March 26, 2017, 11:01:44 PM »
Sounds good and your roots look wonderful. Not much room for dirt. Magnesium sulfate , Epsom salt would help top.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: So what is a Tangerine?
« on: March 25, 2017, 10:39:26 PM »
The name Tangerine has evolved from the citrus fruit that was exported through Tangiers. It was often seeded. Juanita is know as a tangerine in USA I believe and it ,famously to some, grew from a seed of a tangerine purchased from a grocery store. I've heard some say things like a manderin can be a tangerine but all tangerines are not mandarins. I think others substitute the name satsuma where they wish. I have to say when you say citrus reticulata you've said it all, seedless or not !

And of course seedless does not mean completely seedless. It can be very confusing. All I want to know is what is the common name and how does it taste. And then of course the same citrus retculata does not taste the same depending on where it was grown and what root stock it was grown on. Quality and taste vary a lot !

And not to sound like a smart ___, I've tasted fruit off my own tree from different limbs that both tasted very good but very different. And that was on the same side of the tree the same day. Different sides can taste different too. The best I've ever had was fresh off someone else's tree and a year or two later that tree had very ordinary to not very good fruit.


Great article. Thank you !!

Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of blooms, then dropping leaves
« on: March 23, 2017, 08:25:56 PM »
The fertilizer doesn't usually work over night fast. About this time of year I usually put out the recommended amount of controlled release fertilizer like Osmocote. It has the little balls that disolve very slowly and at different rates. It usually last about 3-6 months depending on directions, heat and amount of  rain. Whithin a day or two I use a five gallon bucket and add 5 tablespoons Miracle Grow and water. I stir it with a stick or something to get it all dissolved. I pour that in my potted citrus or what's planted in ground as needed between spring storms when they need water. They usually stay a beautiful green all summer and have several flushes. The blooms smell wonderful. I think you need to fertilizer more. Yours are big enough to fertilizer 4 main times a year. I like to spoon feed a little some times too. The directions use years of age or diameter of trunk for how much to use and how often. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of blooms, then dropping leaves
« on: March 22, 2017, 11:48:03 PM »
Your finger works best. The cheap moisture meters are very inconsistent. Your roots look fantastic. Your soil must be pretty porous especially after adding lots of perlite. If it's as porous as I think you should be able to use water to assure no air pockets. The less your soil drains the more danger with large pots staying too wet. Do you have plenty of holes in the bottom of your large pot ?

You might be a little gun shy. You are doing lots of stuff right to have so many roots as pictured. How did you fertilize before ? Before it's all over I think you will need to prune more roots and branches or maybe you will need to put them in the ground. I think you are pushing container limits pretty much already. What came out of the 1/2 barrel looked good. How many Meyer lemons per year did you have then ?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of blooms, then dropping leaves
« on: March 22, 2017, 05:36:52 PM »
The Miracle Grow all purpose will be fine. I'm sure lots of citrus gets 8-8-8 or 13-13-13. You can use the Miracle Grow every two weeks and follow the directions. I don't think you need to do it every two weeks because it get expensive. All fertilizers seem to be salts except maybe organics. Most of those are blood meal or fish meal based for the nitrogen and they smell strong. I used some organic fertilome for fear of burn but not lately. Your pot is very large. If it's wet way down and dry on top you can water less that usual but salts could build up in the soil. The best thing for salt build up is a thorough flush. The more porous your soil the less wet way down. Your perlite should help a lot there. The plate sized zone is very good to stay out of right around the tree trunk. A famous football coach told a crowd of people that he put a small Dixie cup of 8-8-8 in the tubes of all his recently planted oaks. He said every one of them died. You can kill tomato plants the same way. I would think Home Depot or a local retail nursery would have appropriate citrus fertilizer with directions on the bag. I'm glad your roots weren't destroyed yet. I'm afraid they were on the way the wrong way !!


Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of blooms, then dropping leaves
« on: March 22, 2017, 04:08:13 PM »
I'm glad some stinky soil got left out. I've done exactly the same. I think your worms will die from the increased fertility program. You might be so fired up that it would be safer to use organic fertilizer. Your compost worms would appreciate it. Fertilome makes an organic in an orange bag around here. There regular is in a blue bag and cost less. I think both are marked as citrus and nut tree fertilizer with magnesium and minor elements. Millet says citrus uses fertilizer in a ratio of 25-5-15 or anything in a multiple of 5-1-3. I use water soluble fertilizer sometimes and I like controlled release like the small BBs you see in recently purchased potted plants. I'm afraid to use too much for fear of burn but I do like green plants !

Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of blooms, then dropping leaves
« on: March 22, 2017, 03:25:21 PM »

All that sounds and looks good to me. If your rootball is almost 1/2 of what is was 2 months ago I still think you need to cut some of the top branches off. I just looked at your pictures especially the last or bottom picture. Maybe you pruned enough already. It might be better to thin out the middle sometime so more light can get inside. Probably that's just an individual preference. I think more light inside would make more fruit inside but fruit all around the outside might look great.

A former extension citrus expert told me if everything was perfect for a Meyer lemon in a 1/2 barrel someone could expect 50 fruit per year. There can be 4 flushes so the 50 fruit could be spread out to some degree but most of the fruit is usually from the first flush. By picking carefully you could have Meyer lemons about 12 month each year.

Maybe with the reduced roots and low fertility you can get by with what you have already cut off of your branches. Others here might be better able to answer that question. I think you need more fertilizer , magnesium and other minor elements. I might have thrown the stinky soil away but putting it on top might be ok. From the pictures it looks like you have plenty of roots left. I think you firgured out the problem rather quickly and you will probably have a very good year !! Good luck.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of blooms, then dropping leaves
« on: March 21, 2017, 12:22:19 PM »
You can cut your tree like you want but there are guidelines. I haven't googled it in a while but yes at a v is a good place not in the middle of a limb. Anywhere two limbs are rubbing is bad so one can go. I would not want the remaining limbs to be pointing down. An angle like a 90* L is stronger than a a sharp angle less than 45* like a v. I think you need to remove a lot of limbs if your roots have disappeared. I'd think the dead rotten roots with just fall apart and smell bad. The soil will probably smell bad too. I'm sure there are lots of info found by googling and looking at you tube. I hope it's just a root bound problem. There are articles on that too. The roots go around and around. You can unwrap many of them but some will get broken. All the missing roots and damaged roots mean your top and bottom are way out of balance. I don't remember seeing that in many articles on line but I've read it here or the old citrus forum several times. The old forum seems to be back up and running but nothing added lately. The pots mentioned earlier that Millet likes are called 'rootmaker'. There are other air pruning containers that use the same principle. Good luck. Tom

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