choosing citrus/fortunella variety for potted norther trees

Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)September 19, 2013

I am curious how people choose their variety of citrus. I grow a lot of veggies and fruits and i can assure you that as good as my produce is, I can get better tasting of the same at a fruit stand or grocery store when they pick it right. I can tell when it is not right. I can also get it at $0.40 / lb to $1.33 /lb for citrus. Kumquats at $7.00 /lb even if they can be found are worth growing at home The tree are tough. The fruit is small so the tree can get a lot of fruit out with out straining and they ripen all winter long while other trees a dormant. To me the kumquat is the only citrus type fruit worth growing up north.

Can any of you other citrus,ers share how you chose your tree varieties.


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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I choose my varieties based on how they taste off a tree. I have the luxury of living in "citrus country", so I can sample my CRFG friends' citrus products, go up to UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection or the Riverside Heritage Citrus Grove and taste test there. And, based on reports of various cultivars from some of my expert citrus friends. I have found that picking straight off the tree nearly always trumps anything I can get at a supermarket, and even from the farmer's market. And that's saying a lot, living in S. California, in the heart of citrus country, where so much commercial citrus is grown. So, I do my own taste testing, and I also know what I like with citrus. The kinds of flavors and complexities that appeal to me. I just about only grow what I like to eat or cook with - not a lot of "just because I can" growing here, because water is so expensive. I think what's worth growing is what you like to eat. If you really enjoy it, and are a gardener (and willing to take care of an indoor citrus tree), it's worth growing. If I were living in a non-citrus state, I would never grow kumquats, as I don't like to eat them. So for me, not worth the time and effort. I'd be growing mandarins and pummelo hybrids. And, a Meyer lemon :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)


Thanks for your response. I tried both nagami and meiwa and I liked the meiwa much better. It is worth growing for the sweet tasty skin as well as the flesh. I would not grow any other citrus because of the cold. My hardy chicago is also a real winner up here and I am propagating a bunch of them. Other wise I'll stick with my apple, peaches, pears, and plums, along with grapes, kiwis, strawberries, and blueberries. But a lot of northerners have many trees that have to be brought in every fall and these trees are expensive. Hopefully my kumquats will come through with 'no mess' fresh fruit late fall, winter and spring leaving late spring, summer, and fall for my traditional produce.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:19PM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

I was raised in So. CA where we had citrus trees growing in our back yard. I miss them since I've moved to the midwest.

This is my first real attempt at growing citrus in a container, it was what the store had and I got them at a discount, so that's why I have my 2 Meyer lemon and a Key lime.

If I am successful with these I want to venture on to others, such as clementine, kumquats, variegated lemon and more.

This is an exciting adventure!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:24PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I have both Meiwa and Nagami, and to me, they're both equally sour :-) But then, I'm just not a sour citrus fan. At all. Now, my Italian grandmother ate lemons out of hand (it still makes me cringe just thinking of it). She told me you should eat lemons every day (and figs), because it will give you a long live. She lived to nearly 100 and was in just about perfect health to the day she died. So, maybe she was right, but I still can't stand the thought of biting into a lemon, egad. Have several fig trees - every good Italian girl should - and we're enjoying them right now very much.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

We too are enjoying our figs. They started coming in early july. We have only got about 15 as our trees are small, but they sure are good. The nagami I got at krogers are very sour. The meiwa however were more sweet than sour. I do not like sour fruit myself but I dislike sweet to. A good grapefruit seems to have the complexities of flavors with out the biting sweet or sour of most citrus. I can buy grapefruit from $0.40 to$0.90 per pound. I am not going to grow them when I can get them that cheap. Kumquats on the other hand are an easy mess free fruit containing essential oils in the skin.. Grow citrus up north is not easy and it is time consuming both in labor and wait The figs on the other hand are very easy to care for and grow. Best of all. they fruit in their first year and grow like weeds.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 5:09PM
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