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Topics - Tom

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Cold Hardy Citrus / 2016 harvest
« on: December 10, 2016, 07:46:27 PM »
I've picked all the Meyer lemons from my largest in ground tree and I got 310 Meyer lemons. My 3 in ground satsumas totaled 321 fruit so far with about 25 still hanging but green. I had 84 Kishu fruits on one in ground bush about 4 years old to me. In ground for only two years. Maybe grown and grafted 2 years before I got it so really 6 years old. Kishu is definitely my favorite so far.

I had various smaller numbers on other potted satsumas including 20 Xie Shan fruits and 6 New Zealand Lemonade fruits. I keep a variegated Eurika Lemonade tree and a Ponderosa lemon to show off if I get asked to speak to a garden club. The 3 large in ground satsumas are nameless because I've lost track of their variety names. Their rootstock is not flying dragon because the trees keep getting too big for me and I keep trimming them back. Quality has not been great but they have had huge satsuma fruit.

So far I have not had an 'off' year with any of my citrus. I think all my pruning has caused my fruit to be unusually large. I wish the satsumas were smaller because the smaller ones taste better to me.

We are going from a predicted low of 23* F this morning to a predicted high of 70* early next week.

How is the harvest going for everybody else ?


Cold Hardy Citrus / How much and how cold to ripen ?
« on: October 22, 2016, 10:30:02 PM »
How much [or how long] and how cold to make satsumas or citrus in general sweeter? I've always heard that cool nights help make satsumas and mandarins much sweeter here in Alabama than the warmer nights in Florida ? I guess the same reason Meyer Lemon gets sweeter with time ? Really everything gets sweeter with more time to ripen ?  Thanks. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Juanita tangerine
« on: March 08, 2016, 02:30:55 PM »
I bought the last Juanita tangerine plant that Stan McKenzie had for sale right now and this is not really a blatant advertisement ...... The Juanita tangerine was a seed from a grocery store tangerine originally planted in a pot with a house plant in South Carolina. The house plant died but the tangerine seed didn't and it thrived and it eventually got planted outside. Years later in 1985 or 1986 this area of South Carolina had a low temp one winter of 0* F. This chance seedling was burned back but it did not die. There must have been a brick wall near by that probably had a lot to do with its survival.

I have heard the story for years but I've never tried hard enough to locate one. I sent Stan an email on the chance he might have one but I don't think it's on his website right now. Maybe it is , I just knew he was in the same state and same general location. He told me the woman named Juanita and the parent tree died last winter. The tree had to be close to 30 years old or older and three 24 hour days below freezing when temps never got above 32* F ended its life. I'm thinking it was just too large to protect and the temps and duration were very unusual for this site.

I'm sure Stan and others will have Juanita tangerine plants for sale including at the Southeastern Citrus expo in Fort Valley Georgia this November. Maybe there is a local guy where you live that has some Juanita right now !

I know Juanita has several seeds but is said to be very fruitful and is thought by most people  to have much better flavor than the 10* tangerine (or maybe satsuma). I'm really excited about my purchase and it's supposed to be here tomorrow (Wednesday) !

Recently I read an old entry by Milet on another blog posted maybe 10 years ago where he said Juanita tangerine and Valencia orange were two excellent varieties for beginners (and future citraholics) ! That was an unexpected surprise ! I wonder if Millet has a new or recent top ten list that could be another thread on this forum ? Tom

Millet : I meant to put this new thread under cold Hardy citrus but in my joyful eagerness I must have made a mistake ! You can move this entry to cold Hardy citrus if you want.  I don't know how that works unless  I delete this entry and retype the whole thing. I can copy this by hand then delete it and type it over if you send me a private message. Tom

Cold Hardy Citrus / 2015 harvest
« on: January 17, 2016, 06:29:57 PM »
After reading a lot here and asking many questions for years, this past year I harvested 350 Meyer Lemons from one large ungrafted in ground bush. I also picked 376 Satsumas from three grafted in ground bushes. They were probably in pots for about 4 years until they just got too big. They have been in ground 4 years I think. I took a deep breath and put them in a raised bed but I knew it would be hard to keep them alive with occasional temps as low as 11* F or less. I have used old fashioned Christmas tree lights and incandescent bulbs that are getting difficult or impossible to buy. I also use a huge piece of heavy frost cloth. If temps are expected to be lower than 20* F I put a huge plastic tarp over the top during the worst of it. When we have several days of more moderate temps I uncover everything. I hope to have a real green house one day. I have New Zealand lemonade, Kishu, Xie Shan and several others still in pots. Kishu and Xia Shan are my favorites but my friends love the Meyer ! I'm very excited about the New Zealand lemonade tree. Thanks Millett for all your help and also many others. Tom

Cold Hardy Citrus / My satsuma has most fruit on low limbs ?
« on: June 18, 2015, 06:21:16 PM »
I have a large in ground Satsuma maybe 7 years old and it has not had many fruit over the years but the tree looks good. A soil test last year surprised me with a VL 45 for potash eight months ago. I've put out a little potash several times and a new soil test this week says potash is now H 366. All other nutrients levels fine. The tree has more fruit than ever this year but almost all fruit are on very low limbs. A few fruit are higher in the tree but they are in the interior of the tree and not in the sunshine. Why isn't the fruit dispersed all over the tree, especially in the sunshine ? Again, the tree looks very healthy. Thanks. Tom

I have three in ground Satsumas that still have not bloomed. A friend has two in ground doing the same thing......nothing. These trees were not hurt bad this winter and they look great but no blooms. The Satsumas in pots are doing much better. I think it must be heat or cold (slow to warm up in ground) related. Thanks. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / How do you keep varieties straight ?
« on: May 06, 2014, 11:35:44 PM »
Almost everything I've tried gets bleached out by the sun. The only thing that's ok so far are the small aluminum or copper tags that you engrave name and important information. Any better ideas ? Thanks. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / No blooms on Satsumas in ground
« on: May 05, 2014, 04:51:11 PM »
I have three Satsumas and one Meyer in ground at my farm. They had a tough winter but my protection held up and they did not defoliate. They are finally trying to have a flush of new leaves but very few blooms. I have less than five blooms on any of these trees. I have other trees in other places doing much better. The trees not doing anything are the biggest and oldest I have. Probably 8 years old and on dwarfing rootstock. The Meyer had 70 fruit last year and 130 the year before. Never much fruit on the Sats and I thought this might be a big year. Other Sats in other places are doing better. Not many insects on these trees either. The ones at home had lots of blooms and now lots of tiny fruit. The white flies exploded and I had to spray oil. Killed almost all white flies but these trees are loaded with fruit. Any ideas about why the older trees are doing so poorly? A friend has a tree we moved at his house three years ago for more sun. It looks great but no fruit or blooms either. Thanks. Tom in zone 8 on 5/5/14

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