How do i go about producing dwarf citrus in MN?

rcgeek1April 10, 2012

I was planning to purchase multiple dwarf citrus trees from Four Seasons growers as well as Burgess. I am planning to keep them outside when it is 70+ degrees fahrenhight (Acclimating by them being in the garage for 2 days, then in shade outside for 5 days, slowly moving it into direct sunlight) and then bring it in, following the reverse of this and at the end of the week it will end up in my basement under grow lights. I will water them every 5 days or as needed, and keep the lights on for 12 hrs a day and off vice-versa. I am planning on using a mixture of peat moss and standard potting mix,and 12 inch terra-cotta pots with drainage holes. I am hoping for a lemon, a lime and a grapefruit (all 2-3 years) from Four Winds, and a Tangerine from Burgess.

Can anyone see any weak spots in my plan? Do you guys know of or recommend any grow light brand and/or type and/or setup?

My basement is very dry in the winter, and i have heard that this can be an issue. It is a relatively large, open area with limited ventillation. Will I need a room humidifier?

Thanks for your help.

Future citrus grower,

rcgeek1

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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

adding peat moss to standard potting soil is a bad idea. Most potting soils are mostly peat anyways, so adding more peat will only make it hold more water. If you prefer to use standard soils you should add something like perlite which will aid in drainage. I keep my citrus out when its above high 40's and they do just fine. Waiting till 70's is too long in my opinion.

mike

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:11PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

I don't think Four Seasons and Burgess are very reputable nursaries . You are much better off getting all citrus trees from Four Winds or check your local home improvement stores.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:37PM
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rcgeek1

Olympia, home improvement stores do not carry these, i guarantee. I will be getting most from Four Seasons but burgess is much less costly.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:10PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

I got my Meyer lemon, clementine, kumquats from Home Depot and Lowe's in Chicago area. I saw they also have lime and other citrus tree as well. All potted, dwarf, Flowering size, reasonable cost. In later fall, you can also see some friuts hanging on the trees too.

You might want to check with the store manager to see when the plants will be in the store. I remember seeing them in the summer time when the weather is definitely warm.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:11AM
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rcgeek1

I will check; they have already been purchased from Edible Landscaping and Burgess, but i will check through June/July for trees; i would purchase them in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:10PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I agree one hundred percent that you need to change your potting mix recipe. Instead of adding yet more peat moss to a peat based medium, try adding perlite or bark fines, instead. You want to aim for something coarse textured, not so mucky (peaty).

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:24PM
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