My small farm

jcaldeira(Tropical - Fiji)December 5, 2011

First, I want to thank the generous contributors to this forum who have helped me grow citrus, meaning not only those who responded to my posted questions but also the dozens or earlier notes that I have read and learned from.

Allow me to share with you a few photos from my home. I have a small farm, near 15 acres, My wife and I are in early retirement, and income is a welcome but secondary concern.

My soil is good quality, but shallow in places before hitting the soft volcanic bedrock.

These are trash trees in the photo, until my fruit is large enough.

Below is an area already planted with citrus, custard apple, soursop, star apple, abiu and several other fruits. The big trees (mango, cashew, tamarind, and jackfruit) are up the hill.

My shadehouse, where I grow the sour orange and rough lemon rootstock, among other fruits.

Some of my cleft grafts - more successful for me than bud-grafting here because I can do it any time of the year.

One of my Meyer lemons that decided to fruit early. Should I cut it off to preserve tree energy?

Thank you for allowing me to share my farm. This forum is great.

John

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houstontexas123(z9a)

very nice

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 3:18AM
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RealLifeReslers(6)

Looks beautiful!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:07AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

John

what a great view!!. I would remove the little lemon and let that one get a bit bigger.

Mike

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:21AM
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johnmerr(11)

Definitely take off that Meyer; not a total loss, as it is already better and has more juice than say a Persian lime.

The Meyer is such a prodigious producer, that if you don't remove the fruit when the tree is young, if will make fruit at the expense of growing the tree.

Looks like you are on your way to one day producing a lot of fruits.

Good job.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 10:38AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Wow, I could only wish to have a setup like yours!

It is beautiful with soooooooo much potential, and maybe a coconut tree to boot?

Mike:-)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 3:27PM
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pgde(Tucson Zone 9)

Way cool! How much rain do you get there or do you have to water manually?

Happy Holidays...

Peter

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 5:59PM
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RealLifeReslers(6)

Everyone here seems to be grafting things....way above my head lol!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:16PM
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jcaldeira(Tropical - Fiji)

We have a rainy season (summer) and dry season (winter) here in Fiji. Citrus has no problem surviving the dry season, especially on the rough lemon or sour orange rootstock, but leaves sometimes curl in the drought. Watering is best.

The rainy season can be a problem for citrus on flat ground, but almost all my land is sloping.

There is a deep well on the farm providing an abundant supply of good quality water year-round (The Fiji Water company's well is about 20 miles from here).

Eventually I'll have flexible piping bringing water to more of the farm, but right now watering is mostly manual. That means a 500 liter (130 U.S. gallons) tank on the back of a pickup truck with some hosing and 20 liter (5 gallon) cans.

Temperatures are 75-90 in the summer and 65-85 in winter.
That's not cold enough for most citrus to turn yellow or orange when ripe. The fruit has a color break when ripe but remain mostly green. I'm curious to learn if there is any way to promote yellowing without using expensive gases or artificial coloring(?).

This is a hobby farm so I'm trying to grow as many different fruits as I can. According to my Department of Agriculture office, the land is well-suited for citrus, mango and pineapple. Cashews are new here, but the young trees seem to be taking off really well.

I'm making my beginner mistakes now. I was putting all citrus on rough lemon rootstock before learning that sweet oranges have better flavor on sour orange root. Now (a year later) I'm growing sour orange rootstock for navel and valencia oranges, and maybe grapefruit.

I'm supposed to be retired but finding myself working as hard now as I did when I was working. Who knew!

John

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:29PM
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johnmerr(11)

Your climate is not unlike Guatemala, where I live; rainy/dry seasons also. If you are growing citrus for commercial market, you might try a brief ethephon bath post harvest to enhance the color; it works well with some citrus, less well with others. You can google Ethephon for citrus color and learn the basics; the rest will be trial and error. I've been to Fiji; you can grow lots of exotic fruits there; but it looks like you are quite close to the ocean, so you might have some salt issues, especially with the mangoes and cashews. I have a beach compound at the side of the ocean here; and my citrus and mangos suffer. If you are growing your citrus for personal and friends' consumption, I wouldn't worry about the color of the skin; the inside is the same.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:29PM
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