How many of you WISH you had more sun?

meyermike_1micha(5)October 11, 2013

Yes...That is ALL I think about!

I hate it when I pick up a new Citrus tree from a local nursery LOADED with fruit and flower, several times larger than mine because they have the luxery of keeping them in ALL day sunlight all year..

Are you begging for more sun? Do you have lot's of factors limiting the amount of sun you can provide..?

For mine, they never get more than 5 hours of direct sun at once because of trees....I wish I could afford to cut them down..
Then into the house they come with less than ideal sunlight....Until the next time I can put them out.
The only time they get lots of hours of sun is spring when all the trees are still bare...Wish they would stay that way..lol
One of my friends can only provide 2, can you believe that?
My other friend lives on an open farm and can give full sun from dawn till dark! His trees are much happier than mine:-( Lucky him.

Mike

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Fri, Oct 11, 13 at 12:39

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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Mike; I put my trees on top of my roof so they get 2/3 day of sunlight. At ground level I get 2 to 6 hours at best. If you heat with oil of propane; you can heat with CFL's for about the same cost. Just place the CFL's over your trees in abasement and the basement will warm up real nice and you will do well.

Have you considered growing cherry trees. They do well in shade as do blueberries, paw paws, and kiwis. Any one of my suggestion will grow fruit that is tastier and better for you than citrus. They are also easier to grow and maintain. I am doing all those plus gooseberries and grapes. I have no complaint about lack of sunlight. My big complaint centers around the excess of clouds.

Steve

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 1:12PM
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subtropix

I love the sun too, the heck with the Citrus! I am lucky enough to have enough space to do shade gardening with the ferns or gardening in full sun of an unobstructed southern exposure year round. Winters are fairly cold but ARE definitely sunnier than in the past. I know, I used to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the past--now cured. Sun hours make all the difference--for Citrus too!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:49PM
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erwinvr101

i wish i don't live in ireland. last summer was the best summer of all with no rain for almost a month straight. we don't get that much often and it's always cloudy and windy here even in summer. though today, it was really sunny but terribly chilly.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:56PM
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garret_87(Zone 6)

poncirusguy (Steve),

Are you growing those fruits and berries in containers or in the ground? I fell in love with Citrus 4 years ago and love growing my lemon tree, but am so disappointed that I can't grow many more. Like Mike said - I wish I had more sun! (And warmer weather)

Since I only have the ability to grow one good size citrus I had to steer my fruit fever to more practical growing endeavors. It's funny that you suggested the fruit above. I have started growing many of them this year and last year. I have 1 North Star Cherry, 1 raspberry, 2 blackberries, 9 blueberries - all in containers on the sunniest spot on my balcony. All the blueberries I got dirt cheap at a fall sale at the nursery a week ago. Hopefully with good winter protection they will all come back. Although I have had the raspberry for years and it has always came back with no protection. My space is limited so as they get bigger I will thin them out and keep the strongest plants and give the rest to my brother to plant at his house.

I got the cherry this spring and it already produced 3 cherries during the summer. Btw my balcony only gets 5hrs of full sun with a few hours of dappled sun, then shade the rest of the day. I know the plants will be less productive, but I am hoping to get enough fruits and berries to make it worth while.

I had a gooseberry on mail order right now, but have never eaten one before. I liked that they grow well in shadier spots. If you know of any other berry shade tolerant plants let me know.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:15PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Garret

My citrus and figs are the only containerized plants. All other are in ground. The figs could have been in ground and I will probably do the rest of my figs in the ground. It is very hard and time consuming to grow in pots. I am also finding that squirrels eat most fruits. I lost about 10 bushels of fruit to them this year. my rooftop garden gets the most sun and I only grow thing the animals don't eat up there. Click link below.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: https://plus.google.com/photos/111099372377958308731/albums/5864651368775846321?banner=pwa&authkey=CI763rvAj8eLAg

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:55AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I shall have to look at that link again Steve...Thanks...

But still I am wondering how many here that are limited by the lack of SUNSHINE on their trees?

I fell bad for the many here that have to keep them inside, have too many trees, hardly a balcony, and who live in apartments...

I guess I am a bit lucky I have more sun than many, but then there a many here who have the luxery of sun ALL day!!!

I do have a few on my roof thanks to your great idea Steve...

How do you do it?
How do you keep your roof from rotting?
Or from caving in?
How do you get up there?
That's crazy! It's not just pots up there....Is your roof cement and did you make a raised bed up there? How does the water escape? Crazy amazing! It is a nice view...

I too am interested in growing other fruit that does not require full all day sun Garrett...Very interesting!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

My roof is a very low slope flat roof. It drops 1 foot vertical for every 10 feet horizontal. It is covered with a rubber membrane and I use foam wall 16 inches high held up by my handrail post to make the roof one huge raised bed 38 feet long, 20 feet wide and 16 inches deep.
These are the laders I use for getting up or down


The dirt goes up to the edge of the blue foam. The foam is held in place by the handrail rizer.

I sistered on laminated 2.5 inch by 4.5 in beams against the original studs and bolted the roof supports in place. The 2 by 10 roof rafters are 17 feet across. I build 2 feet deep closets on each side to narrow the support of the roof rafter to 13 feet across. This is more than strong enough. To see the overall garden click link below. Then click on individual pictures to enlarge. There are two pics of the support joist under construction. Feel free to browse around my other pics, the're all public accessible.

Thanks for asking: Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: https://plus.google.com/photos/111099372377958308731/albums/5864651368775846321?banner=pwa&authkey=CI763rvAj8eLAg

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 12:54PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Steve, I must say you are quite talented!

You must love your plants when I see all you do for them and the ideas..I'll bet there is not a day that goes by that you don't think of your plants or a way to get them more sunlight!

MIke

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Mike

Thanks for the compliment. How is your meyer lemon inside your greenhouse that is planted in the ground. Several of my tree will go in the ground of an unheated greenhouse. I am now growing 2 out of 4 of my sweetlee tangerine trees and a meiwa plus nagami kumquat. trees in my bucket lights. All 4 are setting out aggressive new growth shoots from a half inch to 2 inches a week. These bucket lights make all the difference. The 2 sweetlee trees outside look good but with no new growth. They will be coming inside within 3 days, FROST is coming

Steve

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:49PM
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Noel.101(7a)

Steve,
Your cabbage is so beautiful its out of a fairy tale.

I wished I had more sun in my yard since we bought our home. Then super-storm Sandy knocked down 7 trees in my backyard. I was able to double my vegetable garden this year, add an orchard, and a greenhouse. My husband was so bummed when the trees came down but I was the happiest girl in the world.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 7:10AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Now, not even a sunny day for days!!! Just clouds clouds clouds..Blah!!! lol

Thsi is the very reason I never have to graduate them into my home....They are exposed to as little sun as possible even if they were in open spaces...
Now the sun sets at 6 and you can not even get a sunburn at noon.....

Mike

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:21PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

here in cincinnati we get 16 hours of cloud free sunlight for 180 consecutive days. This is when the trees really grow.

my seed grown nagami, meiwa kumquat and sweetlee tangerine trees.


14 month old hardy chicago fig from cutting. 10 ripe figs and counting.


My trees 3rd litter

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:59PM
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garret_87(Zone 6)

Mike, I feel your pain. Days have been cloudy and rainy here with almost 0 direct light hitting my meyer lemon tree. The tree has been moved indoors for good now - no more in at night and out during the day. I am really pleased with the results I have had with my 150w HPS grow light. It produces really strong light and a good deal of heat. During these lousy days the tree looks and feels like it is basking in the sun.

I forgot if you use grow lights as well?

Steve, your fig looks beautiful! It looks like you have quite the hobby taking care of all those plants too. What wattage lights do you use in the buckets? Any specific brands?

Happy growing.

Garret

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:31PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

The light are either 13 watt ,or 18 watt CFL's. What ever is on sale. Bulbs rated at daylight are a little better than the yellow lights, but both work well' Temperature ,in the buckets runs about 15- 20 degrees warmer that the room temperature and holds the humidity the trees like. The hardy chicago fig prefers dry air, so I keep it out in the open. Once the lights are fitted it takes a few minutes a day to maintain and check for health. The buckets ,are ,lined with aluminium foil. Thanks for the compliment

Steve

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:56PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

Poncirus, Great pictures! I cant believe that's all on your roof! Outstanding!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:13AM
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garret_87(Zone 6)

What is still producing well during these cloudy fall days are my blackberries and raspberries. Some are still ripening up. I got these berries for my cerial this morning.

Hopefully will get a few more handfuls before the first frost. These berries have done well in containers for me.

Mike, I know this is a citrus forum but I think that plants like this would be easy and productive in your climate while you wait for your citrus to ripen. I prefer primocane raspberries/blackberries because they produce fruit in their first year.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 11:35AM
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subtropix

Here, every day has been crystal clear and sunny for weeks now but we need rain. Now there are fire warnings around due to dry, sunny, low humidity and wind. Big chill down supposed to come late next week but still sunny and dry. Have not moved the Citrus into the garage yet, so hope it stays frost free and rebounds after the chill down. Feeling real lazy this year.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 5:04PM
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johnmerr(11)

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride". You can always move to Guatemala, like I did. BTW, a most recent survey of the 10 most romantic cities in the world for retirement included two cities in Guatemala.

This post was edited by Johnmerr on Sat, Oct 19, 13 at 13:46

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 7:53PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Trying to make my own lol

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 10:13PM
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garret_87(Zone 6)

Tcamp, what kind of citrus seedling is that? Neat setup. I saw more of your pics on another post. It amazes me how much work/money these plants convince us to spend on them. I have probably spent $300 or more on supplies and grow lights for my tree over the years. Considering how happy I am with my lemon tree - I think it's worth every penny.

Am I crazy?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 5:27PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Its a Clementine seedling grew from seed its 2mo old. Not crazy in love lmao my plants give me peace cheaper than therapy and cures more lol.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 11:43PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Its a Clementine seedling grew from seed its 2mo old. Not crazy in love lmao my plants give me peace cheaper than therapy and cures more lol.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 11:49PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Its a Clementine seedling grew from seed its 2mo old. Not crazy in love lmao my plants give me peace cheaper than therapy and cures more lol.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 12:09AM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

He so I delete post my phone is crazy

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 12:11AM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

He so I delete post my phone is crazy

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 12:12AM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

He so I delete post my phone is crazy

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 12:16AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

When I post I close out that window immediately so I don't get multiple post. Then I reopen the site by logging in on a new window. It works well

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:43PM
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garret_87(Zone 6)

Nights are going to be really cold this week - into the 30's. Anyone who lives in northern states should bring their citrus inside for the winter (if you haven't yet). Provide good lighting, humidity and warmth.

Meyer Lemons can take some cold temperatures, but only for a short time. They stop growing and thriving below temps of 50-55F. Good thing to keep in mind. I ordered a temp/humidity meter on Amazon to monitor the air around my tree. If I have extra money next month I might pick up a soil temperature meter to make sure the root zone is warm enough - although I think that is a bit nitpicking, but there is nothing I won't do or buy for my tree friend.

I will post pics pics of the 10 lemons on my tree when they start to turn yellow. Hopefully next month. Then again when they are the beautiful gold/yellow color and ripe.

Also, I will be taking cuttings today or tomorrow. I have to because the new growth is growing right up to the grow light and will get burnt if I don't remove them. Fingers crossed. I will be very pleased if I can clone my tree instead of buying another citrus from Logees or Four Winds Nursery.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Sweetlee tangerine tree after transplant took about 4 weeks to completely recoop. I placed it in shade for 2 weeks then slowly increase the amount of sunlight from morning until it started wilting. After 4 weeks it tolerated full sun.


seed grown sweetlee tangerine after transplant.

I put it under the bucket light about 2 weeks ago and it started growing.


About 16 inches of growth over 6 new shoots.

BUCKET LIGHTS WORK WONDERS

You can use trash cans, octagon drywall enclosures. There are limitless possibilities for northern citrus growers.

Steve

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 8:48PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

My hats off to all of you using grow lights and buckets and other devices...

For me, it's too much work and too much of a cost to run lights all winter..

Once the sun has done it's job here, it's time for me and my trees to rest.....Until rebirth starts again in February,,

Been there done that!

Great work everyone...I can relate to not wanting your trees to stop growing during the darkest days of winter:-)

MIke

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 9:24PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Mike

If you heat with propane, oil, or electric, The lights will not run you any more money as the CFL's put out 100% heat with 15% of that heat in the visible light spectrum. If you heat with wood, coal, or natural gas. It won't pay to use electric lights. Good luck with your trees. I am still following your meyer lemon in the greenhouse.

Steve

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 9:33PM
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