Author Topic: winter greenhouse, year three  (Read 3567 times)

brian

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winter greenhouse, year three
« on: October 23, 2015, 07:46:41 PM »
The 10-day forecast in southeastern Pennsylvania shows mostly lows in the range of 30-40F.  Tonight I hauled all thirty or so trees up to my garage attic greenhouse (original thread here: http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=13357.0).   Luckily this year we only had one freeze so far, so I didn't have to keep taking them inside/outside before finally moving them their winter home. 

Since repotting, my largest tree is probably 75lbs when mostly dry, including the container & medium, and as tall as I am.  Carrying it up a flight of stairs isn't the most fun, but it is still bearable.  I now very much appreciate my FourWinds dwarf trees that have the nearly the same trunk thickness and rootball size but much lower, bushier canopies.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow, the sun went down before I finished tonight.

Millet

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2015, 09:22:16 PM »
Simply amazing. - Millet

cory

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2015, 10:57:42 PM »
Brian, I have enjoyed reading about and seeing your collection of citrus you are growing in your converted garage greenhouse.  Your collection is growing amazingly well.  I have thought often about adding skylights to my second floor garage as you have done.  I live in NJ and have 38 varieties of citrus growing in my greenhouse and will soon have to expand the greenhouse or add the skylights to my garage as they keep growing larger.  I move mine in and out with the weather and it is getting to be backbreaking as my trees get larger, but for me it is still worth the effort as I am fascinated with my trees and enjoy the fragrant flowers and watching the little fruitlets develop into full size fruit far from the citrus growing regions.  Keep up the good work with your trees and I do enjoy your pictures and your periodic updates about your trees and what it is like growing them in your amazing glazed roof garage.

Cory

brian

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2015, 12:33:46 PM »
Thank you.

Cory, depending on your goals I think you would be better off in terms of efficiency to insulate the garage attic and use grow lights (which generate heat) instead of relying on natural sunlight plus heaters.  However, I am happy with my solution because I simply like to be up there on a sunny day.

Here are some pictures from today:



Fukushu kumquats ready to eat.  These are currently my favorite citrus - sweet & sour, you can eat them whole and they have few seeds.
These have been easy to grow and very healthy



This fukushu is 5ft tall including container.  It didn't fruit since last winter but is just about to bloom again.


Meiwa kumquat with unripe fruit.  This tree has been a slow grower for me but it is green and healthy so I'm not concerned


Owari Satsumas, ready to eat. 



My first home grown Minneola tangelo


There is much more, but I'm having issues with image uploading so I will get to it another time.

Millet

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2015, 12:58:02 PM »
I see you have painted one side of your containers.  I bet you turn the white side to reflect the sun when the summer sun light is strong to keep the roots from becoming to hot, and turn the black side towards the sunlight in the winter to help warm the root zone. I do the same thing.- Millet

cory

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2015, 03:12:30 PM »
Thanks for posting more pictures Brian.  Your Fukushu has much darker orange fruit than mine.  Mine have always been yellow.  Mine are still green this year as they got such a late start, but like your tree, mine has started reblooming again.  Funny, I hadn't thought of just putting lights up in the garage even though I have many lights in my basement where I overwinter many of my tropical plants.  I love being in a sunny place in the winter too.  My neighbors trees have grown so large that my greenhouse does not get as sunny as it used to and I miss those sunny wintry days.  I have been thinking of changing my pots to those that you and Millet use.  I think I will start to change over to them as I have to up-pot them next spring.  I do drill many holes in the bottom and sides of my pots though to let the air in better, especially during the winter so the roots dry out better.  My Owari did not fruit this year after getting many fruits last year.  Maybe it is an alternate bearer?  It did not grow much this year either.  My two Dekapons were my most prolific trees this year, and my two Xie-Shans were second.  I'm glad Millet recommended them.

Cory

Millet

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2015, 03:22:34 PM »
Brain, your trees have really filled out over the last year . - Millet

RyanL

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 03:37:32 PM »
Wow Brian, they are improving very much! they look great as dose your greenhouse! Owari's already? I dont pick mine for another month or so, they look good though!

brian

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 03:57:49 PM »
Thanks.   I believe my trees are off the normal schedule because of the greenhouse transition.  They all had their big spring flush in the middle of winter.

Millet

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2015, 04:21:25 PM »
Yesterday I picked my first Fukushu Kumquat.  It was delicious. The pulp was sour, but not to sour, and the peel was quite sweet.  Fukushu's have a little thicker peel so the sweetness really stood out. Sour-sweet combinations are one of the food kingdoms great treats.  Nice tree.  Thanks to Brain's recommendation I purchased the tree from Looges Greenhouse. Good addition to my greenhouse.  Kumquats are the type of tree that one can pluck a fruit or two each time as they pass by. - Millet
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 10:52:27 AM by Millet »

brian

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2015, 10:44:56 AM »
Glad to hear.  Mine are excellent again this year also and almost completely seedless.  I have a few new kumquat varieties ripening right now that I have never tried, but I expect these will be hard to beat.  I just tried some Marumis from my tree for the first time and they were very good also.

brian

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2016, 11:50:55 AM »
All the snow slid right off the greenhouse face and it was a pleasant 73F in there a day after our blizzard.  Unfortunately, it took the gutter with it, but it needed replacement anyway.




Millet

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Re: winter greenhouse, year three
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2016, 12:53:34 PM »
That's what is neat about a greenhouse.  When it is cold and blowing outside you can go into the greenhouse and enjoy a "summer"day.  greenhouse give some relif when a person gets tired of winter. -Looking at the photo, it looks like you climbed up on the roof to take the picture. - MIllet