Spring is Here!

pgde(Tucson Zone 9)February 20, 2012

Here are pictures of my mini-orchard. To save bandwidth, I put them into a Photobucket Album, link is below. The file names are descriptive of what you are looking at.

Here are some comments:

1. I have 2 Almonds and 1 Apricot along with the Citrus. This is the first year they have bloomed this much!

2. The Key Lime and Variegated Pink Lemon were almost killed last year. When I was done pruning the dead branches etc from them, there was almost only the main trunk left. Now the Key Lime is almost 9 feet tall and the Lemon is about 5 feet tall and 4 feet across.

3. The Moro Blood Orange is over 5 feet high (at its highest point). The fence behind it is 5' high.

4. The Valencia replaced one that died last year. It grew like crazy last summer and is now almost 7-8' high. Considering the amount of new growth now, I can'[t wait to see how big it will be at the end of this summer.

5. The Meyer Lemon was new last April (2011). It is growing very aggressively as you can see.

Sorry these aren't as colorful as some other pictures, but they portend some fruitful harvests in the future. And, I am glad I partially fertilized early (see my other post about when to fertilize considering the warm winter).

Happy gardening!


Here is a link that might be useful: February 2012 Pictures

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Very nice photos, Peter. Amazing how your Key Lime grew. For your Meyer, I would consider taking the tall branches down some. I don't know about you, but I'm not keen on climbing ladders to pick fruit. Take those tall branches down, and your Meyer will continue to branch laterally.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:25PM
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pgde(Tucson Zone 9)

Hi Patty:

Thanks for the positive comments. Is there a good time to cut back the Meyer or doesn't it matter?

I think Key Limes love the heat of the desert.

Unfortunately, I seem to have 2 trees that are very slow growing -- my Washington Navel and Rio Red Grapefruit. While both are finally showing signs of new growth, they are nowhere as big as my Blood Orange, for example or the Lime. Perhaps they are just slower growers. I didn't post any pictures. They are not diseased or anything, the leaves are a nice dark green, they just seem to be stuck in second gear (unlike the Valencia which seems to be in overdrive). They also seem to be enjoying the partial fertilizer and micros I drenched all the trees with several weeks ago. When I hit them with another shot of fertilizer at the end of February, perhaps that will help them along.

Hope all is well with your Mega-Orchard :-)


    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:54PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

The ideal time to prune is just prior to bloom or just after fruit set so that the tree can adjust its fruit load during the June drop. Minor pruning can be done at any time, but avoid late-season pruning (after end of September should be the cut off for us), which can stimulate excessive tender growth that is likely to be injured by frost.

And don't worry about your Rio Red. Mine is slower to come around, too. Meyer lemons are notoriously vigorous growers, so don't compare anything to a Meyer, or it will come out wanting :-) My Meyer, for example, must have over 100 lemons on it right now. And it getting ready to explode in bloom. And, this tree is probably only about 8' x 8'. It out produces all my other trees combined right now. And I have a LOT of trees :-) All young, but nothing can touch a Meyer out here for growth and production. Even our Valencia and Washington Navel oranges.

My trees are trying to recover from their typical chlorotic January. I'm going to water everything tomorrow and see if I can get some of my fertilizer and micronutrients to get to the roots and get everything to green up a bit more. Quite a few are starting to flush and bloom.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Ooooh, very NICE photos for sure.

I wish yard was looking like that:-( I can only imagine your excitement P!


    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Just curious, after a summer of growth has your washington navel perked up at all? I've heard conflicting reports on them. Some say they struggle with the heat of the desert. The University of Arizona lists it as a recommended variety though.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 1:50AM
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pgde(Tucson Zone 9)

Hi Cayden:

Well, yes. But, it turns out that my landscaper put in a dwarf version which is supposed to be only 6-8 feet high. The attached photo was taken this morning. There was a certain amount of new growth (which has been attacked by some insects) but now that I understand what a dwarf is, I don't expect the same kind of fast growth as my others (such as my Pink Lemon which has gone crazy....) As you can see I do have my first fruit on it, I think I had four or five but they dropped off in July because I didn't increase my irrigation early enough. I think Tucson Water loves me :-) So, would I buy it again? Yes, but not a dwarf I think. BTW, I gave up on my Rio Red, it was almost dead. Replaced it with a Pink Grapefruit and it is doing fine now. Can you believe the projected low temps for next week here? Mid to high 40's?????? And, highs in the high 80's or low 90's. Talk about temperature swings.....



    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:57AM
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