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When to water during the summer heat

Posted by lime123 VA 7a (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 19:46

Having grown up in southern California (at a time when there were actually still citrus groves everywhere) has led me to wonder about when to water my small potted meyer lemon and bearss lime trees during Virginia's humid summer heat. I have them in "Al's potting mix" but do not know if I should let them almost dry out between waterings or should I keep keep them quite damp at all times.
Thank you most esteemed citrus gurus. Your help has been invaluable in the past.
Patricia


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Patricia don't let your trees dry out when it is 90 degrees outside. The news people are always telling us to keep hydrated when it's hot outside , plants are no different . In the winter inside you can let them dry out a bit before watering .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Brian I live in Las Vegas and have a grapefruit tree and I have the same question. Patricia lives where it is humid, I do not. I'm afraid I overwatered my tree last winter but it survived. Now I am so afraid of overwatering. I have it in 5-1-1 mix and water it every other day. It is hot now and windy. The new growth is beautiful but seems wilty to me but like I said, I'm so afraid to overwater. I'm thinking it could have some root damage from last winter? It does have many flowers and fruit. I purchased a water meter but the readings on it are always high and the plant looks like it needs water, so it's very confusing. Can you give me any advice on watering in my environment? Thanks!!

Laura


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Laura, a 5-1-1 mix might be a little light for you in Las Vegas. I live in a similar climate zone as you during the summer, as in we consistently see temps over 105. In that kind of heat your grapefruit might be struggling to uptake the water from your porous mix you have it in before the water has run out of the pot. I use a 5-1-1/ cactus mix combo that retains a little more water for us desert dwellers so the tree has more time to uptake the water. Of course I am by no means a potted citrus expert like a lot of others on the forum, I'm just adding what I think might be the problem.
Evan


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Laura the evaporation rate in Los Vegas must be crazy. I wouldn't worry about watering . I would probably be watering every day if I lived there. As long as you have really good draining soil I wouldn't worry to much. You will also have to fertilize more often do to all the watering . I live in a fairly humid climate and I water very often but I am also very confident abut my soil. I will never let them dry out.

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Thank you, Brian and Evan. I too was thinking the mix might be too light. I had just repotted it in February, do you think it would hurt it to do it again so soon, especially since we are now in hot temps.?


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Thank you, Brian and Evan. I too was thinking the mix might be too light. I had just repotted it in February, do you think it would hurt it to do it again so soon, especially since we are now in hot temps.?


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Thanks, Brian, that is very helpful. I am happy to know that now I won't be over/under watering this summer.
Patricia


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

No. it's not to early to repot again...

In fact, if you find the mix drying out to fast, it is better to repot now than to have your tree come to a wilt just once..

That hot..? Wow..Thank God not here, ever..70's and low 80's for days on end here..Feels like September for our summers...

MIke


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Mike, thanks!! Yes,it's hot, today it will be 98, which isn't too bad. :) But what's even worse for my grapefruit is the wind. Any good suggestions on a potting mix. I struggled with that choice too. Someone suggested good old Miracle Grow but I just don't know.


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Laura Patricia I just repotted my citrus with pro mix with mycorrhizae it seems to work very well . It drains really well but retains the moisture . If you take it in your hands after watering it doesn't feel heavy or muddy. Seems like really good stuff. The mycorrhizae is a fungus that attaches to the roots to help with the plant taking up the water. It is supposed to be really good in promoting root development. So it holds moisture it drains really well . I won't have to worry if it rains 3 inches it will keep constant moisture without turning to a heavy mud . I guess time will tell , someone recommended this soil to me .

Hi Mike I hope everything is going well . Since May 08 it's been really nice here . I hope the weather has been good were you are.

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Oh Brian..Finally perfect although I am lover of thunderstorms and humidity which is lacking these past few years...Boy, does one thunder shower green up my trees and shoot them with hormones..lol

I'm glad that mix works for you..It's always the long haul we worry about, at lease a years worth of use..Let us know if the structure of that mix holds up, please...
Good to see you.

Newt, those are HOT temps for potted plants, even citrus.
Hopefully they are not in dark colored pot and prtected from some of the hottest sun rays...Are they?

Finding a way to keep your roots cool during that kind of heat will do you a world of wonders..If you can't. don't be surprised if it starts to yellow on you or wilts even though there is moisture in your soil, ok. That's natural....

MIke

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Thu, Jun 19, 14 at 15:58


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Mike and Brian, thanks for that. I just ordered mycorrhizae yesterday so I will certainly use it. Is Pro Mix sold at places like Home Depot or Lowes?
My grapefruit is not in a dark pot and is shaded at the most extreme times of the day. When it's in the sun I put an umbrella over the pot which shades it nicely. Trust me, this little grapefruit is pampered like you wouldn't believe so I want to make sure I do everything possible to make it happy. Thanks for all your help. I am new to the forum and I think I'm going to love it. I always think of things but have no one to ask.


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Guys, I just found Pro Mix at Lowes and my store has it so I'll be going tonight. I didn't realize it had mycorrhizae in it already, so that's a plus. If you can think of any other tips for Citrus, please send them my way. :)


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Laura I am not sure if Home Depot sell it I bought mine at another big hardware store here in Canada . I think lowes might sell it. You are right Laura we tend to pamper our trees just as much as are pets or heaven forgive are spouses . It's all fun.

Mike I am glad everything is going really well . Your right about the trees they really do perk up after a storm. I know you and your citrus trees love the heat and humidity I do to but not all the time . I am just loving this beautiful clean Canadian air mass we have going on right now . No humidity and temperature around 75 perfect.It's hard to believe in another 10 weeks back in the greenhouse they go . Yuk.

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Brian...I get the same airmasses as you..We are so connected in the weather department...
It is beautiful, right? Then at times I love the humidity since everything smells so good and grows twice as fast..

But then, just when you get sick of it, after about let's say a day, this airmass feels good..lol

I think we are getting 5 days of it...

MIke


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

You are so right Mike the weather right now is spectacular . Right now I am sitting outside with your name sake in a Corona with a big plate of spaghetti and cheese garlic bread . Seriously I think we should petition that the name of the meyer be changed to the Meyer Mike . There is probably nobody that has done more for that lemon as you have done . Cheers buddy .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

My grapefruit tree has a lot of new growth but no matter how much I water it, the new growth is floppy. The temperatures are high, I'm in Las Vegas. The old growth is perfect, so I'm really not sure what to think. Any thoughts?


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

My trees do the exact same thing after a heavy rainstorm. When I use city water this does not happen. Just don't panic an think your tree is to dry and keep watering it and watering it . I guess it's fairly normal . The best thing to do is keep a watering schedule , if it is every 2 days or what ever keep to it , except after a heavy rainstorms .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Thanks Brian!! I am really concerned of over watering, so I have been sticking to every two days. It looks good in the morning during cooler temps so I'm sure the heat is making the leaves droop a bit. I just want it to be ok so I'm sure I'm over obsessing. ;). I wish we had rain, we have heat. ;)


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hey Brian, have you ever tried Mycorrhizal fungi on your citrus? It looks very interesting and I wonder if it works and does what they say it can.


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

I'm using mycorrhizae now with some of my trees . It is a trial run . Someone recommended it to me . The pro mix I bought had it in it . So far so good time will tell . I am a little worried now , Meyer Mike who is very knowledgeable mentioned to me that I might run into fertilizing problems and watering problems with this mix . I am keeping a close eye on it. I can say so far that I do not have a draining problem or fertilizing problem yet . I can't tell you a few trees are growing crazy in it an a few are growing a bit slower . So sort of mixed results . I do like the feel of the soil , when you squeeze it in your hand it doesn't form a mud ball . I am hoping with this heat wave coming that I will see faster growth on the slower ones . I am sorry I can't help you to much it is still kind of early to say for sure . If I see one way or the other I will let you know.

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Newtster a small p.s did you end up buying the pro mix ? What potting mix are you using now ? I hope you don't get me wrong even the slower growing trees look extremely healthy and green I am just worried something might go wrong to someone's favorite tree. So I will be the tester. It must be really hot where you live because it's beginning to heat up here. It must be a big challenge to keep citrus happy in pots with such a hot environment .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, I did buy the Pro Mix but I haven't transplanted him yet. It is so hot now and I don't want to shock it, it has been through a lot so far this year. It has a ton of new growth and four small fruit. I hope he hangs on to it. It is a challenge but I have it on the back porch that faces East so it gets the nice morning sun. I work so on the weekends I give it supervised visits with the sun throughout the day. :). What I really want is it to be a really pretty, healthy plant. If I get fruit, that's a bonus!! The soil mix is very light and it drains nicely. I have been watering it every two days and I think it's working, but next week it is going to be 112 degrees, so I may have to give it more. Plus I give it spring water because Colorado River water contains high levels of salt. Yes, it gets bottled water!! When I say I love this tree, I mean it!! ;)


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Supposed to be in the 113 zone next week out here too. I am having trouble with my potted satsuma, it's not liking the heat yet it still wants more water. I'm on the every other day watering schedule right now. Maybe the Osmocote plus wasn't a good idea after all?
Evan


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Please Please Please forgive me Laura I forgot that you lived in Las Vegas . When I check the posts I always check the last comment and the fact that I am getting old and senial . It's so nice talking to you again . I was wondering about a week ago if you had bought the pro mix.For myself so far it is working but right now i worry about recommending it to yourself or anyone because there is still to many unknowns . I would hate for you to loose your beautiful grapefruit tree . You are going to have take a picture of your tree I would really love to see it . Bottled water lol you really do love this tree that's so nice. It sounds like you are doing everything just right . So when the tree is in the sun for along period of time the new growth wilts that's interesting. It probably because there is absolutely no humidity in the air . Than at night the leaves perk right up again right. Do any of you neighbors have any citrus in pots? Laura I guess if it is not broke don't fix it . If you repot it might be better to do so when the weather cools off a bit .Don't have that problem here , we are lucky if we get about 14 days 90 or higher .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, you are so right, if it's not broke, don't fix it. Everything you say makes perfect sense so I think I will let him be for now. The wilty leaves bother me a bit but the weather is probably the problem. Unfortunately I don't know anyone else with citrus and yes, at night the leaves perk up. I have a great picture of it from last summer so I'll see if I can get it to work, I would love for you to see it!! Talk to you again soon!!

Evan, stay cool!!


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, here is my grapefruit tree. ;)

Laura


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Our temps reach 48C now and we water daily, sometimes two times a day for the heat and humidity and the plants like it ;) (IN GROUND no pots)
I have sweet lime, sour lime, mandarin and an orange. Haha even my thai jujube has a problems growing...


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Laura : WOW amazing looking tree . Very healthy looking. I wish i could grow a grapefruit here but just not hot enough to get them to fruit properly . Laura don't get rid of your pro mix it is working great for me so far . I thought you might like this pick since you guys I am sure have alot of these . Cactus growing in the land of ice and snow .

Always nice talking to you Laura .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Brian, very nice "out of zone" cactus! And a sago palm too! Newtster, very nice grapefruit tree, I hope some day my little potted satsuma gets that big. Mohammad, I now have my in ground citrus watering twice a day. Once temps reach over 100F the watering schedule goes up. I have 2 key limes, a tango mandarin, a cara cara navel orange, a gold nugget mandarin, bearss lime, a rio red grapefruit, 2 eureka lemons one is variegated and an unknown orange or mandarin tree that came with my house that hasn't produced any fruit yet.
Evan


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, very nice cactus. I need some cactus in my garden!! Is that a lemon tree? How do you get it so nice and full? That's my problem, my little tree isn't full. It's been great talking with you, Brian!!!!

Hi Evan, thanks!!!!!


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Laura it is a valencia orange tree with lots of fruit and flowers on it . It is huge , must be all the sun it receives and fertilizer . It is in the sun from morning to night . This tree has been in the same pot and soil for 8 years now . I would repot it but it seems to like it just the way it is.I really do take care of my trees like they are my babies , maybe that's why they do so well . We are having some Nevada heat going on right now , love it . Have a nice night Laura .

Evan thank you. It takes 3 people to lift that cactus out of the house to the backyard.

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, I love your Orange tree!!!! I'm glad you care for them like your babies, now I won't feel silly when I talk about my grapefruit like it's a child. By the way, his name is Newt. ;)
You mention all the sun and fertilizer. How often do you fertilize your potted tree? It is so hot now, I worry about Newt. He can only take the morning sun and I'm thinking I need to repot it. The picture I posted was from last summer and this year he doesn't look as full. But it has a lot of new growth and the next growth flush is going to be good, you can see all the buds forming. I still think now is too hot to repot, what do you think? Enjoy your warm weather!!!


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Brian, should I mist it? I have been, twice a day, but is it too much?


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, I have attached a pic of my grapefruit today. It really can't take any sun without getting wilty. I watered it a hour before I took this picture. Do you think I should repot it . I'm a bit worried today. Thanks!!!!


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Newtster, maybe the pot that it is in is getting too hot because of the color? I know many OP on the citrus forum that post about covering the black pots that citrus trees come in with paper or tin foil to help reflect the suns heat instead of absorbing it like black plastic pots can do. Not sure though, just something to think about. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!
Evan


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Laura . Happy 4th . Laura misting your tree won't do it any harm . Laura what size pot do you have that tree in? How long has it been in that same pot ? What kind of potting soil is it in ? What kind of fertilizer do you use? I use Miracle Grow all purpose a little with every watering or every second watering . I find it a little bit strange that you can't place it in the full sun . If it were in a larger pot I wonder if the tree would still wilt . I am sure there would be a problem with soil over heating in small pots down there . My personal opinion I think citrus would need to be in fairly large pots with good draining soil if they were placed in full sun . Laura I wish someone with similar climate conditions would hop into this conversation because my climate is totally different to yours . About the pro mix very strange things are happening either they love it or like my tango not liking it that much . You mentioned your tree is about to have a mayor growing flush . That's a good sign that your doing something right . Always so nice talking to you , have a fantastic holiday .

Brian

Of a pot


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, it is in a 18 inch white pot, it has only been in it since March. The potting mix is a 5-1-1 mix, which may be the problem for my area. I use a citrus fertilizer called Dr. Q's. I take every precaution to shade the pot from the sun. I haven't put it into the Promix yet. I am thinking of repotting it today. Maybe the soil is way too light!!


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Evan, thank you!! The previous picture was from last summer and it was in a black pot, but now it's in a white pot. I really think my soil is too light weight but I'm concerned to repot it now. It is so hot and I don't want to cause it harm but I think it's struggling.

Brian and Evan, have a great day and thanks for your thoughts!!!!


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Laura , I was really looking at your tree and it kind of looks like what my tango is going through in the pro mix . I see the tips of some of the leaves turning brown , I heard this can be caused from salt build up do to fertilizer or salt in your water . Is the trunk at the very bottom were it touches the soil white or the bottom of your pot were the holes are white ? I know your pot is white but maybe you can see a little of the soil through the holes and if the soil is a little white then you probably have to much salt in the soil .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Evan, thank you!! The previous picture was from last summer and it was in a black pot, but now it's in a white pot. I really think my soil is too light weight but I'm concerned to repot it now. It is so hot and I don't want to cause it harm but I think it's struggling.

Brian and Evan, have a great day and thanks for your thoughts!!!!


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Laura. Just until the hot weather passes I would remove it from the hot day sun. I would put it under a tree or let it just get morning or late afternoon sun.

When the rots over heat, it will not take up moisture which accounts for the wet soil despite shriveled leaves.
I would water as early in the morning as I could or late in the day when it is coolest allowing the roots to drink.

You would be surprised at how much light a tree gets under a tree. More than in a full sunny window.

Good luck and see if this makes a stiffened. It should)

Mike


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, well it sits on a black thing with wheels so I can move it around and it always has white stuff forming where the water comes out. It must be the fertilizer because I give it bottled spring water. ;). But we just took it out of the pot and put it into a part Promix and miracle grow potting mix with perlite. The stuff it was in was very gritty and the new leaves were light green with dark green veins so I think it was lacking nutrients, even though I fertilize. Oh, I don't see white on the base of the trunk. But what I did notice is the roots were good size but they were yellow/gold, not white. Do all roots have to be white to be healthy?


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Thank you Mike, I will certainly do that!!!! I don't want to lose it, it means so much to me!!!!!

Laura


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Laura now that you repotted the tree water it really well and dont fertilize not for awhile . The roots sound like they are healthy. Probably no white roots because it wasn't actively growing .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Thank you Brian!!! We just had a nice thunderstorm, nice rain and cool breezes!!!! Perfect!!!! ;). Great talking to you, talk soon!!!!


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hey Laura...

I just caught a point you brought up and I wanted to put your mind at rest..

Don't be afraid of over watering your tree..That is the reason why you are using the 5.1.1 mix..It is one of the most porous mixes you can use without fear of over watering, especially at this time of the year..

If you made it correctly, then your trees will be just fine..I water mine like almost every day, whether they are dry or not because I am to be away from them all day until dusk..It covers my back and prevents any trees from drying out on my poor judgment before leaving them to bake all day in the sun while I'm at work..

Brian, I hope you are enjoying this awesome weather!!
Boy, that storm whalloped my area with inches of rain and did I revel in that!!! I needed it..I wish we would get that much rain at least once a week..The down pours is very relaxing to hear..An enjoyable sound in my 3 seasons porch while the sounds of frog croak through the air..Wonder what they were doing? lol

MIke


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Laura how did your tree make out last night? It sounds like you know what you are doing , that will probably make a nice mix with the 2 potting soils. Laura with pro mix you have to wait at least a week before fertilizing . Let's hope your tree catch's on . Laura do you leave your tree outside in the winter? If you leave it outside why not pot it up in a larger pot . Wow you had a thunderstorm last night good .Is that very common in the summer ? Do you have something that catch's the rain water . Because if you ever over fertilize you can flush your tree with that water . Have a beautiful day Laura

Mike was it raining cats and dogs or was it raining more frogs ? Thanks Mike for all your help , without you I probably would have kept on fertilizing every time I watered . I was washing my trees all day , so relaxing i am in the sun and i am cooled by the spray from the water .I have a wicked tan to prove it . I have been cleaning my trees so much I don't think I have to worry about the fertilizing problem any more . There is so much water that goes into the pot . I am getting ahead with the scale problem I have been washing all week and I am off all next week so those suckers don't stand a chance . Where there are ants there are scales and I did not see one ant in any of my trees. Mike do they ever respond to a good cleaning just as much as I would think to a good rainstorm . My trees are so green and even my tango which is in the pro mix is going to have a major flush , I can see all the new growth coming and it has a lot of fruit on it . What a glorious , spectacular etc day we have going here , it is 80 degrees with a beautiful breeze . I know what your saying about the cold day your having , it was very cool here last night to . You will probably get the weather we are having right now tomorrow , something to look forward to . I saw that Boston let there fireworks go Thursday night that was a very smart decision . I wonder if that ever happened before . I am glad you and your plants were safe . Everybody on the forum was concerned .

Always nice talking to you Mike .

Brian


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RE: When to water during the summer heat

Hi Brian, the tree did great last night. It was so happy when the storm came through and the temps dropped into the 80s. The leaves were all normal. It looks good today. My tree will be going into a greenhouse for the winter. It doesn't get too cold here but cold enough and we do get freezes. The storm was great and it is normal because now we are in monsoon season so we are hoping to get a lot of rain. I do have something to catch it and did that last night. Brian, have a great day and I'll keep you posted on Newt's progress!! Wish me luck!!!!


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