Return to the Citrus Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Posted by benbratcher (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 16:25

Hi,

I live in Southern CA (Corona in the I.E. to be exact) and have a south-facing spot against the house that I'd like to place two basic, horizontal citrus espaliers; it can get really hot in this spot.

What would be some tasty citrus varieties you'd peel and eat (not lemons, limes)? I've heard grapefruit would do well in this heat, but I'm not personally wild about the flavor of your traditional ones. I wanted to do a Gold Nugget and Kishu mandarin, but I heard mandarins wouldn't be well suited for this intense heat and would do better positioned elsewhere.

Would navels do well? Are there any great tasting suggestions you have that would meet this criteria?

Thanks for your help!
Ben


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

I believe nagami kumquats take extreme heat as well as bloomsweet grapefruit. There are a loot of grapefruit varieties not found in the grocery store that might be worthwhile for you. What would you be looking for taste wise'

The best citrus I ever had was a millsweet lemon. It's sweetness didn't rot my teeth away and there was not sourness to chew my lips off. like perfectly mild citrus aid drink. Ooooo yaaaa


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Corona was originally all citrus, mostly Washington Navels and Lemons just like Upland. They will love the heat.
My area of Upland is about the same climate and I have no problems with any of them doing OK in the heat. My Mandarins are all purchased recently so don't know how well they do long term but they are all in full sun and are all putting out new leaves, flowers, and most are setting fruit.
I have mature, full size:
- Washington Navel,
- Minneola Tangelo,
- Pomona Sweet Lemon,
- Unknown White Grapefruit.

Last Fall and this Spring, I have added:
- Bearss and Thornless Mexican Lime
- Eureka, Meyer Lemon
- Valencia, Cara Cara, Moro, Sanguinelli, and Tarocco Orange
- Kishu, Gold Nugget, Satsuma, Pixie, Tango, and 88-2 Mandarins
- Page, Wekewa, Oro Blanco, Cocktail, Rio Red Grapefruit and/or Pomello hybrids

This post was edited by GregBradley on Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 17:22


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Ben, I would recommend one of the grapefruit or pummelo hybrids, such as Melogold, Oroblanco or Cocktail. Another great option in this hot spot would be the Minneola tangelo (also part grapefruit), or the trusty Valencia orange. I would put a Navel orange, Seedless Kish mandarin or Gold Nugget mandarin (both outstanding mandarins, btw), in a more neutral place that isn't quite so hot. Watch the leaves to make sure they don't get burnt. And, you may need to paint the exposed trunks and branches with a coat of 1/2 strength flat latex paint to prevent sunburn while your trees are young. They should do quite well as long as they get enough water, and are fertilized regularly. You're in "citrus country", so enjoy :-)

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

I think Minneola Tangelo is excellent tasting citrus. If that works best in the heat, then I would encourage you to try it. I thought I had heard that it needs to be older than many citrus to develop its best taste. I have no experience with that since mine appears to be 25+ years old.

I have been watching an 7gal black potted Gold Nugget espalier sitting at a local nursery for 3 years in the full sun. It is doing fine. We had several 110 degree days last summer. It does get hot here, but not as hot as Palm Springs or Phoenix or some other completely uninhabitable place. :)

Since Corona is in the pass in the Santa Ana Mountains, I might be concerned during the Santa Ana Winds when the superheated desert air blows southwest toward the coast. Upland is at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains and protected from that but there is a reason that they planted grapes instead of citrus 10 miles east of here closer to the base of Cajon Pass.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Greg, all my citrus are in full full sun with rare exception. Including all my mandarins (about 12 varieties). But, there's a difference between full sun out in the open, and full sun against the wall of a south-facing house/block fence :-) Now, I'm not as hot as you in Upland or as Ben in Corona, but I would still hesitate to put a Navel orange or mandarins in that exposure if I had other, better choices to select from. Anything with grapefruit in their genetics is going to do very well in that sort of environment, as the heat index will give that tree sweeter fruit for sure, so you would produce some really excellent fruit in this particular set up. And, I'm sure mature mandarins would probably do okay. But, if you had a choice - grapefruit/grapefruit hybrids vs. mandarins, I'd opt for the tree with grapefruit in it's genes, simply because you can take advantage of boosting those heat indices to produce some exceptionally sweet fruits. Greg, yes, all grapefruit take a little longer to produce really exceptional crops - about 5 years or so, sometimes longer, and that would include grapefruit hybrids as well - Minneolas, Wekiwas, Chironja, etc. Not so much that a mandarin wouldn't make it there, but to take advantage of developing probably the best grapefruits and tangelos on the block :-) And you're right - wind is much worse on citrus than heat. Fortunately being up against a wall will alleviate any wind issues I would think for Ben.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Fabulous information, Patty. You are a huge asset to this site.

I wish the first owners of my house would have known that when they planted my Grapefruit in the shade of a huge Magnolia. I have not yet figured out how to get a tractor up the stairs to my grove to move dirt and plant the trees. Your info is probably going to move a few of them around on my planting map,

Durling has #7 Espaliered Minneolas. Armstrong Claremont has one sitting in stock. Ben could probably get a closer nursery to order one for him.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

poncirusguy,
Thanks for the suggestions; never heard of the millsweet - will investigate further. To answer your question about taste, I'm looking for something sweet (not bitter like the traditional grapefrult); zero to minimal seeds would be another characteristic this choosy beggar would like. And was that a Kool Aid reference? Nice! I literally LOL'ed.

Greg,
Thanks for all your input. Sounds like you're having a lot of fun with that great inventory! It's probably too premature to ask you about your favorite tasting ones?

And thanks for the Armstrong resource! I've been to that one a number of times. I'll give them a call for price; will likely be out of my range, but doesn't hurt to ask.

Patty S.,
Wow, you're a citrus rock star to me (yes, envision a 38 year old male groupie screaming at a higher pitch than his 4 daughters); I feel so privileged getting comments from you! Thanks for sharing your tailored suggestions and knowledge for me and the rest of us. :)

So I'm thinking of the Minneola tangelo for one, and leaning towards one of the grapefruit hybrids for the second, for the reasons suggested. My only reservation is based on my experience with grapefruit and the bitter aftertaste. Is there a suggestion for a grapefruit-family variety(ies) that would totally fool me because they'd be sweet and not bitter? Something seedy would be a drawback (I read that cocktails are?), but not sure how seedy is defined.

Patty, I've read positive things from you and others about wekiwa. Would this variety be predicted to do well for my purpose?

Thanks again everyone!


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Well, now. Not sure I'm quite rock star status, lol! That would be reserved for folks like MeyerMike, who can grow container citrus in Massachusetts that rival the most gorgeous outdoor citrus. And John has it hand's down with the lovely Improved Meyer lemon. And of course Dr. Manners and Al Tapla would also be in "rock star" category without hesitation, but thank you for your kind words :-)

I would say choose between a Wekiwa and a Minneola. For me, Minneolas are a wee bit too tart, but then, they're certainly miles better off your own tree, then from the supermarket, so do keep that in mind. I would strongly recommend the Cocktail grapefruit (which is not really a grapefruit at all, but a cross between a Siamese Sweet pummelo and the Frua mandarin.) It is exactly what you're looking for - tastes like a grapefruit, but is super sweet and juicy. The best ever juice, oh my gosh. I have 3 Cocktail trees in my orchard I like them so much (only a tiny number of cultivars will rate multiple trees in my orchard). It has some seeds, but it's worth it. They are so sweet you can eat them like an orange in segments. Both the Minneola and the Wekiwa have just a few seeds, sometimes seedless. Both are good, I would say most folks would prefer the Minneola over the Wekiwa. For me, even though the Wekiwa is technically a tangelolo (3/4 grapefruit, 1/4 orange, being a hybrid of an unknown grapefruit and Sampson tangelo), I think the Wekiwa is sweeter than the Minneola, which is 1/2 Duncan grapefruit and 1/2 Dancy mandarin. Both the Melogold and Oroblanco grapefruit hybrids are seedless, but not quite as sweet as the Cocktail. If you're wanting something a little more "grapefruity", I would pick between the Oroblanco or Melogold. It does have a very small amount of the grapefruit bitter aftertaste, but not much at all. Not enough for me to dislike them - I have two Melogolds and two Oroblancos in my orchard :-) They are "siblings" and nearly identical in taste and qualities. I prefer the Melogold a tiny bit over Oroblanco, as the skin is thinner, I think it is a tiny bit sweeter and it is very, very juicy. I'm sure I've just made your decision a bit tougher!

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

hI

It is pure lemon juice with out the chew your lips off acid that require dilution and sugar to make it palatable. It's GRRRRATE.

Unfortunately all my millsweet seeds died. Resource and time constraints limit me to my existing 6 trees

The meiwa kumquat may be what you are looking for. If you are curious to see what a seed grown meiwa kumquat looks like, click link

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


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

A celebrity with humilty... now that's a rarity! :)

And yes, in the process of simplification, things have gotten a bit more complicated! Why do you recommend choosing between a Wekiwa and a Minneola? Just curious about your thought process. Is it because you are strongly advocating for the Cocktail?

Do you have a Minneola? I didn't see it in your Fall 2012 showcase of your beautiful citrus garden. I like the Minneolas sold at the market, although they push me right up to my tartness threshold. Love the ease of peeling them too, digging right into the knob. Would a Wekiwa be able to withstand the heat as well? I think I'd prefer the novelty of something not traditionally available at the grocery store.

How many seeds does the Cocktail have on average? A few per segment? Or maybe just a few per fruit?

Really piquing my interest with the fact that you have THREE Cocktail trees. Out of curiosity what are your other multiple cultivars?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

The fruit you get at any store rarely represent it true self.. These fruits are picked as soon as they reach there solids to acid ratio and off the tree and out the door so that the tree is free to produce more fruit next year. The longer you leave the fruit on the tree the better it can get. Typically cold weather is needed to bust up the acids so you'll want to determine what varieties have lower acid to begin with if you can't provide the coolness required by that variety. look in the trovita orange.. maybe it is time to look seriously into that millsweet. You can always buy other citrus on the market, but try finding a millsweet, meiwa, trovita, Bloomsweet, sanboken,

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Poncirusguy is correct - any supermarket citrus are a mediocre representation of the cultivar at best. I used to say, "why grow anything I can buy in the store" until I had a homegrown Oroblanco. What a huge, huge difference. That was many years ago, and about 120 citrus trees later :-)

Okay Ben, to your questions: the Wekiwa and the Minneola fall into basically the same category of citrus - tangelos. They are different in their flavor and qualities, though, but if you're trying to pick a tangelo, I probably would opt for the Wekiwa, since it is sweeter, and has an interesting flavor - less orange, and a little more grapefruit, but not bitter at all. Wekiwa is 3/4 grapefruit, and does very well in the heat, no problems there at all.

I don't have a Minneola because I find them a wee bit too tart for my liking, so no, believe it or not, I don't have one. But, I have a Page mandarin, which is actually a mandarin hybrid, and is my "Minneola", as it is a cross between a Minneola and Clementine mandarin. That solves the tartness issue for me beautifully. The Page mandarin probably makes the best juice I've ever had of all my citrus. And, it is an extremely prolific tree, almost as prolific as the Improved Meyer. And does not alternate bear, as many mandarins will do that tend to set heavy alternate crops. I have to thin it or I end up with a gazillion golf-ball sized fruits :-)

Cocktails I would say are low to medium seeded. Seeds never bother me, or I'd never eat a pummelo :-) And, the Chandler pommelo is so delicious, it is worth the awful seeds and touch center pith. I simply core out the center and the seeds, then peel and eat like an orange. Cocktails are not nearly as seedy, and worth having in a garden imho.

Other worthy cultivars that have multiple spots in my yard: Moro orange, Smith Red Valencia, Valentine pummelo, Cocktail, Oroblanco, the "Golds" mandarins (not really multiples, but all the "Golds" - Yosemite, Shasta, Tahoe, are similar but each worth a spot in my orchard.) And, I will probably drop in a second Gold Nugget mandarin. What a great mandarin - holds on the tree very well through July, so I have summer mandarins and not just summer oranges. Just a fabulous and "must" addition to anyone's citrus collection due to its exceptional flavor and very, very late ripening. Really will extend your citrus harvest.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Steve,
Thanks for sharing your own kumquat baby. That's neat to see the progression. How would you describe the flavor?

Patty,
So thankful for your help answering my questions. Am looking at going with the Wekiwa and Cocktail. A local nursery in Riverside, Parkview, says they can get Cocktail, but don't have Wekiwa on their list. Any suggestions of where I can get this one?

They say they can order a 7 gallon container of Cocktail. What's the consensus with going with 7 gal vs 5 gal? I was hoping for fruit sooner than later.

Thanks for the insight on your multiple cultivars; will look into those a little more. I will be planting a 7 gallon Gold Nugget and 7 gallon Kishu within the next week (ordered these a couple months ago). Do these alternate bear? If so, I may need to supplement with yet another mandarin, I suppose! :)

These will be my first citrus trees planted (I planted my first 20+ deciduous trees this past Jan/Feb). Any recommendations/suggested internet links/books for planting citrus in ground?

Many thanks,
Ben


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

The skin is sweet an has a pleasant texture to it, The insides or flesh can be sweet to a little tart depending on its ripeness. Since I had to order mine from florida and ship it USPS priority, I can't say how a fresh kumquat would taste. It would probably taste better than the best one I had. That tells me its worth growing. In my days of growing fruit I have found that I get better fruit from the orchard than I can grow but mine is better than grocery store. The advantage in kumquats is that they store for months on the tree so you have your live storage outside. They bear all winter from october till as late as may. If you have room for multiple trees, just remember that you can buy good citrus at the grocery for cheap. but there are some that you can't or are very expensive. Citrus is one of those fruits that is hard to screw up at the store. Thats what makes it a good bet. chose you tree wisely.

Thanks for the compliment, but don't try to grow from seed though. Its not worth the trouble

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

You will have to drive to Clausen in Vista for a Wekiwa. It is a very old time grower and nursery that seems to sell to nurseries. There is only a place to park one truck to be loaded at a time. My purchase of a Wekiwa, 3 other Citrus, and 5 Avocados was the smallest purchase I witnessed the day I was there.

My Wekiwa is not fruiting yet as I purchased them only a couple months ago.

My Minneola is sweeter than my Washington Navels that are much sweeter than store bought. I assume my climate, which is very similar to Ben's at Sunset zone 18-19, is the reason.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

I second those kudos to the folks who are getting citrus to grow in parts of the country with non-citrus friendly weather - I am absolutely amazed by your success. And Patty, yes you are rock star.

BTW: The only cultivars that i have currently on south facing walls are Lemons (Meyer, Lisbon, Pink), and they seem to love the heat. I had a Eustis limequat in such a position for a few months and it did very well.

This post was edited by Becauseican on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 11:40


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Thanks Greg! I called them earlier and they have what I'm looking for. What sizes did you purchase of your citrus and avocados?

Steve, I appreciate your feedback about your kumquat experience; learning more and more about citrus everyday from you folks!


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

I bought #5 citrus for $19.50 and #15 Avocados for $60 except for the Lamb Haas that is an extra $2 fee to patent holder.

Not only are they inexpensive but the plants are potted in DG (Decomposed Granite), which works much better than the excessive organic mixes that the uninformed retail market wants.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Ben, don't leave Clausen's without a Reed avocado, as well. Say hi to Ray and Gordy for me (I was just there today, left with a Bearss lime for espaliering and a Primosole mandarin). I live abouty 15 mins. from Clausen's, and I have one of just about everything they grow. Guess I'll have to swing back by and pick up a Minneola. I'm probably the only serious California citrus grower without one. Sort of like not having a Valencia orange or a Washington Navel orange (which I also don't have). Clausen's are the second largest citrus growers in S. California, and a wonderful bunch of guys. They sell to all the large nurseries here in San Diego and Orange counties. My Lamb Hass I bought from them last year must have over 100 avocados on it for next season. I'm not kidding. The ones we've picked these last few weeks were outstanding. And of course, be sure to grab one of their famous Wekiwa's, and if they still have one, a Seedless Kishu mandarin :-)

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

So very much looking forward to visiting Clausen's! Joking with my wife yesterday about moving to Vista, lol. Might be visiting them Monday. They are all out of Kishus though when I called them on Friday. Will be ok since I had already ordered a 7 gal from Parkview. But Clausen's prices are MUCH better!

What size do you recommend purchasing for citrus? And what about for avocados? Did you go with a 15 gal?

Am looking at tackling avocados next but want to make sure I go in intelligently (placement, etc.). Any books recommended for becoming more educated with citrus and avocados? UC's The Home Orchard book doesn't really cover citrus/avocados.

Ben


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Patty, I would say the great outdoor 'CITRUS WHISPERER'!

Yes, I am with everyone on this site to say that you are a HUGE assett here and if I could grow any of my trees in the ground, I would be honored to hang with you for a while to learn lots, along with a couple of others in my head I am thinking of..

It just demostrates the love and zeal you have for these fun and magnificent trees along with helping others...

Now if I only could live a bit closer to these wonderful nurseries you speak of...

Thank you and for the kind comments you always leave:-0). I'll be writing you soon..
Oops,my Mom say's hello and wanted to let you know she enjoys what you have to offer ...

Mike:-)

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 13:54


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Ben,

What did you end up settling on?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Plans are to go with a Wekiwa and a Cocktail, Mountain-Man.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Sounds great! There's a 6ft Cocktail Grapefruit in a 15gal. container at my local Home Depot I've had my eye on for the last couple months that is full of fruit and totally gorgeous but I'm having a hard time bringing it home at the $80 price they want for it.

Grrrr!!!!!!

I just need to do it before someone else does!

;-)


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Wow! Sounds beautiful! Where are you located?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

I'm in La Habra. After reading this thread over again I talked myself into going down and getting it and bringing it home. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: CocktailGrapefruitTree


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

One of the clusters of six fruits! WOW!!!! I cannot wait!


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

that tree would be at least $150 here in Cincinnasti,OH


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Got mine today! Cocktail and Wekiwa (left to right), both in 5 gal containers. Would've have liked larger, but Clausen's only had 15 gal for Cocktail, but not the Wekiwa. And since I'm putting them side-by-side (prefer uniformity), and since I need some lower branching for the espalier, I went smaller. So excited!

You can see the wall where I'm putting them in the photo in back (plan to move the table with the metal starter-plant containers and the two blueberry plants covered by the Cocktail in the photo).

My Cocktail has two fruits, but as much as love the novelty of them, I'm thinking I should move them to encourage growth. What do you think?

Mountain-Man,
Your Cocktail tree is GORGEOUS! Wow! You may have very well received it indirectly from Clausen's. Speaking to Gordon today (owner), he said they do a good amount of business to Home Depot's in the OC. And I agree with poncirusguy... you got a great tree at a great price, even for So Cal. Clausen's sells them for $60, but that means driving all the way down to Vista for it... The $20 "delivery" price to get it at HD was a steal imo! :)


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Oh, and how could I forgot to say a big THANK YOU to all who contributed their knowledge and experience to my decision-making! So much appreciated! (I can post follow-up photos as I get them up and espaliered.)


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Beautiful Trees Ben! They have correct shape and great uniformity! Keep them satisfied with FP and they will be big fruit producers before you know it!

:-D

PS love the vining bridge in the background. What kind of grapes are you growing?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Thanks MM! In the back aren't grapes, but tomatoes! Decided to try a "tomato arbor" this year for trellising and am loving it. Much easier to maintain than past ways and it has such a dramatic presence imo (forms an arch bed to bed; the two beds you see connect with, and mirror, two other raised beds of tomatoes on right).

What is "FP"? Is this a fertilizer? Now that I've decided on the cultivars and followed through with the purchase, I now need to learn more about growing and maintenance! Any suggestions outside of this site or the UC sites?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Ben, since you're wanting your Wekiwa to catch up, leave the fruit on the Cocktail. A little more energy spent towards the fruit, and the Wekiwa will catch up :-) 5 gal trees actually will establish better and grow faster than those in 15 gals. Plus, most of Clausen's 5 gal's haven't been topped, so much easier to espalier. "FP" is Foliage Pro by DynaGro. Not necessary for in-ground trees, and a bit on the expensive side. Great for container citrus, though. Just pick a good quality granular citrus fertilizer, and fertilize 3 to 4 times a year. Younger trees not so much in need as more mature trees. But, you'll know based on how green your trees look. If they get a wee bit chlorotic through the winter, don't panic. That's common for us in California due to our soils, soil pH and colder temps. You can use FP or Citrus Grower's Blend as a foliar micro-nutrient application, which can help. Also, I usually will put down a time release fertilizer in Sept/Oct, to try to tide my trees over a bit through our winters. That helps some as well.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Thanks Patty. The Wekiwa is the larger one (on right) and the Cocktail is smaller (on left). So I should go ahead remove the fruit from the smaller Cocktail as I aim for it to help catch up?

So am I hearing you say you're an advocate for the 5 gal instead of the 15 gal? Both citrus and avocados? (In process of becoming more familiar with avocados for hopeful plantings soon.) As a complete novice, I'm thinking, "well a 15 gal will get me fruit sooner, so the extra $40 might be worth it." Is this a correct way of thinking?

Tom Spellman from Dave Wilson Nurseries suggested this 3-12-12 from Gro Power (gropower.com/product_pages/flower_bloom.htm) for any of my fruit trees. Thoughts? Gordon at Clausen's suggested a 15-15-15. So I'm hearing two different things from obviously two trusted professionals... unless I misunderstood something?

Is the Citrus Grower's Blend a stand-alone fertilizer or is it a supplement to a fertilizer?

What do you use Patty? :)


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

It looks like the Wekiwa is the bigger plant to me - on the right.

My understanding from talking to Clausen is that the Wekiwa are all Standards but that the trees don't get really big. The ones in their grove are very old and smaller than my old Washington Navels by quite a bit. They seem mostly about 15' tall and 15' wide.

Hard to tell if that Cocktail is a Standard or a Semi-Dwarf. My understanding is a Cocktail Standard can get really big in the right climate - like Corona. They stay small in cooler climates.

I have only been to Clausen once but they seemed very anti-Dwarf trees. Patty, does that seem right? Almost everything I saw seemed to be Standards except for a Dwarf Tango I tried to buy but was tagged for another buyer.

Mountain-Man's Cocktail is a Standard grown by La Verne Nursery. My understanding is a pot will limit the growth if you are concerned about it getting too big. I bought a stressed looking Cocktail Standard for $8 and put it in a pot until I can decide if I like the fruit.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Hey Ben are your top leaves on the cocktail starting to do the cowboy hat curl by any chance? I've been watering mine every day (in the black pot still) and that's what mine's doing. Don't know if its in shock from moving it from the store to my backyard or ??? I've started giving it Folage Pro nutrients in the soil and on the leaves in hopes to make it stronger and start uptaking like it should.

Thoughts?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

No, sorry MM. A week later, and mine looks pretty much the same as when I brought it home.

Hopefully someone here can provide some insight on what could be happening.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

MM It would probably be a real good idea to get your tree out of that black pot into something white. Even my white pots way up north in Cincinnasti, OH get too hot and I have had to shade them in garden clippings to protect the the roots from over heating.

Remember, city slicker citrus looks better than cowboy citrus

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

You're probably right Steve. Good advice! I'll go buy some white pots!

Thank you!


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Hey MeyerMike, how did I miss your kind words? Very busy here right now. And, I would say the same for you, but you're the undisputed KING Of indoor citrus! I can't wait to see how your citrus in your greenhouse grown in the ground fare. Very cool stuff! That is very sweet of you, and tell your mom hi for me!

Ben, Tom is great with stone fruit. But, the formulation he's quoted is for stone fruit, NOT for citrus. Citrus, like avocados, are heavy Nitrogen feeders. You'll want a fertilizer with as close to a 5-1-3 ratio for citrus (and avos) as possible. Now, that being said, most commercial growers use a 15-15-15 product, lol! There are several good choices out there for us, and I think one of the better fertilizers for in-ground citrus is by Gro-More - their Citrus & Avocado Food. It has quite a bit of humus and humic acid included, which really helps to support the biodiversity in our rather thin S. California soils. It's more expensive than, say, a Lily Miller 15-15-15 fertilizer, but I think it's a good way to get your soils in better shape. That, and lots of mulch (keeping it away from the trunk, just around the well at the drip line). Ben, give your trees a good year to get adjusted. They'll do just fine, we're in "citrus country". Just watch your water - not too much. Water deeply to 18" to 24" every week or twice a week if the weather turns hot. Yes, a 15 gal tree may garner you fruit a year sooner (not due to the size of the pot, but due to the age of the tree). And, I will say, Clausen's is very good about not letting their trees get root-bound, so I will make an exception for Clausen's trees. They pot up quickly if they think their trees need it.

As far as putting stuff on semi-dwarfing rootstock, Greg, Clausen's has plenty of stuff on Carrizo/Troyer or C35, even. But, they bud certain things on standard rootstocks if they feel it will give the cultivar a better chance. The bud their Cocktails on Macrophylla (that will make John happy, all his Meyer's are on Macrophylla in his orchards), but opt for other standard rootstocks for other cultivars, as well as using semi-dwarf as well. Almost all my trees from Clausen's are on either Carrizo or on C35 with few exceptions. Now, all that being said - Clausen's cannot bud their own trees any longer, as they do not have a screenhouse. All citrus propagation must now be conducted under screen since the beginning of the year. That does not bode well for Clausen's, sadly. I anticipate they may slowly reduce their citrus business, since you just cannot compete these days in California without having a screenhouse.

Jeepers, Ben, I missed answering your question. I use mostly Gro-Power's Citrus & Avocado Food because of all the humus and humic acid it contains (really good for my thin DG soils), but if I'm having a good growth spurt and heat, I will alternate with 15-15-15. I can boost growth (just want to make sure you don't overdo the N, or you'll have a gorgeous green tree, with mediocre fruit). I will also drop a time release fertilizer in October on my trees that I know have issues with our thin soils and cold temps (get chlorotic over the winter). Not so sure it helps, but it makes me feel better, lol! Really, it's an issue of certain micros getting locked out due to slightly higher soil pH (7.2-7.4), same with our municipal water, and colder temps. This will cause a locking out of Manganese, and then behind it, Iron. Cheleated micros in January also help (Ironite). So, that's my routine. Do I always get 4 fertilizer applications a year in? No, not always :-) I have a full-time + job and over 150 fruit trees on my property, so, some of them just have to survive on a little neglect on occasion, lol!!

Mike, can't wait for the greenhouse thread!!

Patty S.

This post was edited by hoosierquilt on Mon, Aug 12, 13 at 23:23


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Patty!!

;-)))) By the way..I owe you a letter and Mom says right back at you.....It's doing great. I will start another thread soon...

Mike


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Oh my, chock-full-of practical, So-Cal-specific (and not just limited to that of course) recommendations… LOVE your guidance Patty.

I clarified with Tom last week about the formulation and he suggested that if I did want to use the Citrus and Avocado blend for a year, go ahead, but maintained, “I still do not recommend anything but the flower and bloom. The final decision is yours.”

I’m planning to try out the Gro-Power Premium Citrus & Avocado Food 8-6-8 (http://www.gropower.com/home_garden/consumer_products.htm). Is that the one to which you’re referring? Not Gro-More, but rather, Gro-Power? (Doing internet searches generates two different fertilizers depending on the name. I’m thinking it’s the Gro-Power, same manufacturer of the Flower N Bloom, but just wanted to clarify, as I’m ready to order some from Hydro-scape Products; $37.95 for a 40 lb bag.)

It's recommended to fertilize at the time of planting?

So, if I’ve understood your regimen correctly (here and in your previous posts addressing this topic), for in-ground citrus Patty, is this what you’re saying?

Gro Power Citrus & Avocado Food, 4x/yr
- February
- April
- June
- September

Grow More Citrus Grower’s Blend
- February?
- June?

Osmocote Plus (as needed)
- October?

And how would your recommendations differ for container citrus?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

I love Tom, but he would not be in the mainline of thinking with citrus. You can always check with the folks at UC Riverside for the best fertilizer formulation. In fact, if you look up fertilizer recommendations for citrus on UC Davis' Home Orchard site, all they talk about is nitrogen. Period. Tom is a great salesman. But Dave Wilson Nursery grows and sells stone fruit. Not citrus :-)

I use Gro Power Citrus & Avocado Food. It is a granular fertilizer and I apply as you have listed in your message. If you need to apply micronutrients (you'll know - your trees will start to look chlorotic if they are having issues with micronutrient uptake in late winter/early spring), you can use a foliar application of Grow More Citrus Grower's Blend, or you can apply Ironite (or both if you like - you're going to still have some lockout with a soil application while it's still a bit chilly here.) And yes, I drop Osmocote Plus in October just as an option to slowly release nutrients over the winter. Not enough to cause a flush, but hopefully enough to help stave off any chlorosis.

Container citrus that lives outside: I will apply onr or twice a month with full strength Dyna Gro Foliage Pro, and I also use Osmocote Plus every 4 to 6 months. During winter (October through about January/February), I will cut back the Foliage Pro to 1/2 strength, or stop the Foliage Pro all together if I start seeing flush. I don't want it to get nipped if we have a cold dip. But I continue with Osmocote Plus. MeyerMike was the one who suggested both of these fertilizers for his container citrus, so I just modified the application to better suit our container citrus that has the luxury of staying outside all year 'round. My container citrus trees are in great shape, btw. Thanks to Mike, I will say. I also use a modified version of the 511 mix. I use more fines, as I need to keep more water retention with my trees, as we get zero rain during our summer. So, that helps my trees from drying out. I just need to watch the soil as it may fail a little sooner than something like 511 mix. In fact, I've rescued a few in-ground citrus very successfully this way. Putting them into containers to revive them.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Thanks for your authoritative information Patty! (Sorry for the delayed appreciation; this is the first chance I get.) I'm now gathering all these suggested fertilizers I'll need to help ensure the success of my trees.

I can’t believe all the information I’ve gotten, from this forum, and this thread… all for free. Well, I guess it hasn’t been free as it has cost time for individuals to post their guidance (ESPECIALLY your time Patty); thank you so much. :) You’ve all helped increase my confidence in how I approach my trees. For this I’m so grateful.

Ben


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

My soil is really dense and poorly drains. Tom had said that I could use this same soil for these citrus, just make sure it was raised up off the ground level. So I was planning to do so with a raised bed made of 4x4s, 5 high (approx 17-18" off the ground.)

Now you have me rethinking this Patty. Before I followed this and did any planting, wanted to get your thoughts about the soil I've been planning to use. Would this be ok for citrus?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Even though CCA is no longer used and pressure treated wood is supposed to be safer than before, it seems it is not safe enough to be used where water runoff can get into any plant that you eat.

If you surround a vegetable garden with pressure treated wood, the runoff goes mostly down and away from the plants. Since the vegetables are annuals, the roots stay mostly in the raised beds. I would still not eat any food raised in such an environment but many people consider it safe enough. The citrus trees are going to be growing continuously and will have roots that continue below and past any raised area.

It is up to you to decide what is safe enough, but I wouldn't use wood.

How bad is the soil? How long does it take for a water filled hole to drain?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Thanks Greg. Should've clarified. The posts I was planning on using are redwood and I was assuming redwood is untreated? Is that true?

The soil takes longer that 4 hours to drain. And even longer than that when I fill it a second time!


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Use your native soil, Ben. You can always just plant on mounds. If you choose to use a mound planting technique, then you can mix 1/2 native soil and then 1/2 bagged soil (like Kellogg's GroMulch). Then, plant the tree at the top of the mound, creating a well at the very bottom of the mound. If you want to go to the time and expense of creating boxed raised beds, yes, redwood would be the way to go, but golly it's expensive. I agree with Greg, I would be hesitant to use pressure treated wood as well. There are non-wood options you can consider as well, like blocks (there are some really lovely blocks out there these days, doesn't have to be ugly cinder blocks, check our KRC).

There was an article a year or two ago in 'Sunset' magazine about a couple who live in Orange County, and are on clay, who did all their citrus in raised beds. Great article. They are having really tremendous success with their raised beds approach.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunset Magazine: 7 Best Citrus to Grow


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

I use angle iron from used bed frames. I pound them in the ground 2 or 3 feet deep and about 2'8" apart for the perimeter of the raised bed.I then use untreated 2 by 4 cut to fit inside the angle iron ledge. you will need two angle iron supports at each position, each one holes the board to the, left and right. In cincinnati they last about 5 years then I slide them out and slide new ones in

my camera is on loan and I get pictures of my wall when I get it back sunday night

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Creative concept Steve! Would love to see pictures when you're able.

Thanks for those references Patty. KRC? Is this to what you're referring? http://www.krcrock.com/ecom/index.php.

I already have the redwood (and yes, pricey it was), but am now catching a little "citrus fever" and am looking to add citrus and avocados along a 50' wall, so will need to come up with an affordable, yet attractive raised bed.

OK, so native soil is good then. In the Sunset link, it says their "garden soil is a compost mix from Larry’s Building Materials in Costa Mesa. To improve drainage, we add cactus mix." Will I need to amend what I have, or is it good to go as is?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Is there a upper temperature limit for planting citrus? While cooler than normal, we're averaging low 90s (and anticipating topping off there for next 10 days).

Also, I'm still not sure if raised bed planting with native, clayish soil would be ok without amendments since draining will be improved since it'll be raised? In the Sunset article Patty, it says their soil was amended. Can I assume I should do something similar? If so, what would be suggested? Or will "as is" suffice?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Moving / Planting this time of the year is not optimal, but having them sit in containers in the hot sun could be risky if you don't get them enough water! Be sure to hydrate them plenty in the hot weather.

We are in the low-mid 90's here in norCal. I planted in hot weather last year and just moved a Clemenules last week. I will will be planting / moving several others over the next couple of weeks. No ill effects from the heat that i can see.

BTW: I am in heavy clay here in Danville and if you have the time and resources to amend the soil, do so! My plantings in clay are doing fine, but the ones in an amended soil mix seem to be doing better.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Thanks for your input BIC; that's helpful. I think my Wekiwa suffered in its 5 gal pot in the heat; leaves look stressed and falling out. Sheltering it a bit and giving it water every 2 days and hoping that helps. Should I wait to plant it until its greener/healthier looking?

If amending, what's suggested to be most favorable? And at what %ages?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

I have my to-be-planted pots in less than full day sun. i.e. no afternoon sun for the Satsumas and they seem to like that.

I cannot think of a reason to wait other than a plant being in intensive care!. Mine are not planted due to time, location decision, and (lack of) irrigation set up.

If you can't move the pots right now, i'd loosely shield the black pot with white (non-light transmissive) bubble wrap (do not wrap, you do not want to make a heat chamber!) leaving the shaded side open to vent.

Oh, and for amending, i have used a few cups / 5 gal bucket of gypsum powder, turface, 1/4" crushed granite, and a bit of potting soil that i had around. When i was mixing, the native soil ranged from 35 to 70%. What Patty suggested in an earlier post would be terrific. I do not recommend you mix in sand with the clay. Sand will compact.

good luck - George K


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Picture of landscaping with scrap wood, bed rails,and channel iron. All these material were pulled out of trash. you can see how easily they conform to existing structure.

 photo IMG_4538_zpsfc516b7f.jpg
Angle iron and 2 by conform readily to changing slope of driveway.

 photo IMG_4539_zpsdade1dc6.jpg
Same side upper half of driveway.

 photo IMG_4540_zpsc25a6ec4.jpg
angle iron meshes very well with existing rock wall.

 photo IMG_4541_zps7a367722.jpg
This is probably scale size to what you are doing.

 photo IMG_4542_zps0b87039e.jpg
Blends nicely to the existing steps and rock wall.

 photo IMG_4543_zpsd3a06815.jpgtimbers keep dirt of front walk. back grown 3 X 5 landscaping timbers form wall for citrus greenhouse.

 photo IMG_4544_zpsbeec2837.jpg
4 by 4's stacked lincoln log style held together with 1/2 inch steel conduit. Use an 11/16 inch spade bit to drill holes to slid conduit through and pound 2 feet in the ground. Nails will often split the wood.

You will want to use the much nicer redwood you purchased than the scrape out of garbage that I used.

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Becauseican, Ben is in a much different climate than you are. He can get 105-110 temps very quickly if we get a heat wave. We've been very, very fortunate this summer here in S. California, and we've not had any crazy hot Santa Ana conditions, but, we're heading into the height of our season for that. HIs little Wekiwa is already a little compromised. Dropping it in the ground now, then suffering a heat wave, especially if it is accompanied by Santa Ana winds would spell that tree's imminent demise. Ben, I would up-pot your Wekiwa right now, if you can find a light colored pot, pot it up in either EB Stone's Cactus Mix, or, if it's going to be temporary (which it should be), use MiracleGro Garden Soil for Vegetables. Just make sure not to overdo the water. Put it in an area that receives afternoon shade, or shade at least during the most intense sun hours for you. Top with some Osmocote Plus and water in well. You should see a nice recovery in the next 3 to 5 weeks. Then, consider dropping into the ground maybe towards the end of October, beginning of November, after you think the threat of the really hot weather for you has passed (I used to live in Moreno Valley, so I know how hot it can get in the IE). Yes, amend your soil, that's the whole idea. The couple in the article used rich compost and top soil, and of course, their trees are doing exceptionally well. Just make sure you've got drainage at the bottom of your raised beds, or the clay at the bottom is going to act like a bathtub, and simply trap the water. So, I would set up some sort of drainage at the bottom of your beds, like a french drain system. You might want to contact your local community college and see if they have a landscape design program, and if students were looking for a challenging landscaping project, as you might like some help. Often colleges will let their students come up with a plan, and of course, it has to be reviewed by their professors, so you might get yourself a pretty cool raised bed system :-) You went to a lot of effort to get your Wekiwa, let's give it the best opportunity to survive. If you take good care of it now, and plat it right, it will be a lovely tree for you, with very delicious fruit!

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Steve,
Thanks for sharing! I really admire your resourcefulness and the industrial look it gives as well. I see the pride and personality exuding from your garden. Did you have to cut those bed frames? And the ½” conduit was hollow, correct? Did you cap it off in any way?

Patty,
Thanks for all your ideas. I have some Gardner & Bloome Citrus/Palm/Cactus Mix with which I can fill up an upgraded pot. If I can find the Osmocote Plus (site says it’s available at Home Depot?), I’ll supplement with it, but I’m now learning from this site and the Scotts site that it’s being discontinued. What will you be using then? Or maybe people are stocking up?

Again, great idea with checking at local colleges for landscape project-seekers. Does anyone have experience with French drains? If I decided to tackle a French drain by myself, would just put the top of the drain at the base of the 18” tall raised bed? Saw this DIY and it seemed doable: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM-DxY57XBU

To amend large areas of raised beds, It’ll be more cost-effective to buy in bulk. There’s a local place (Wolfinbarger) that has something called a “Special Mix” which is 50% topsoil (sandy loam) and 50% horse fertilizer/wood shavings/chix manure. Perhaps something like this blended with my native soil? And should I also amend with compost too? I guess I’m just not sure about what % of each of the potential ingredients to make a final product in-ground/bed. How much native soil? How much of this “Special Mix”? How much compost?


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Ben

I did have to do all my cutting. I used a hand held hacksaw equipped with their more expensive bi metal blade. It went slow but not agonizing slow. The steel conduit is thin wall and is normally used to run electrical wire through in commercial building and churches. I did not cap it off and I should have. filling the pipe with concrete sand mix would work well. The concrete would hold water out to limit rust.

The 4 by 4's I purchased new. They do look much better than the scraps I used to do the other walls.

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

French drains should be at the bottom of your beds. There should be some grade or slope to the drain, sloping to the outside of the bed so the water will be directed out of the bottom of the bed. Most folks will use a large corrugated pipe with holes (there are pipes especially made for french drains, your local feed or garden supply store may carry it, or Lowe's/Home Depot should). The special mix sounds just fine. You can mix 1/2 native soil into that, then top with compost if you want (3-6"). That should give your trees some optimal medium to grow in. If you can't find Osmocote Plus, Dynamite makes a similar slow release fertilizer product. Yes, I did stock up, I contacted the company and have begged them to bring their product back. Their MiracleGro option is not an option.

Here are links to how to construct a french drain:

http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/how-to-build-a-french-drain/index.html

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-build-a-french-drain/index.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6r4ZSbTQ8U

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

benbratcher

Can you post pictures of this area that you are working with. I am very curious of what your up against. I am the main trouble shooter for an organic farmer. I specializing on the mechanical side of growing. and what you have sounds similar to a project I am currently on. I know little about citrus specifics and can not help you on the best variety.

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Steve,
Thank you, the first time I'll get a chance will likely be a couple days from now, but I'll happily post them then!

Patty,
You're unreal. Don't know what more to say. Well, that and thank you. :)

Just when I think I'm ready to plant, I feel like I'm singing the old folk song again, "There's a hole in the bucket," (dear Liza, dear Liza...)

Home Depot didn't have the Osmocote Plus as Scott's advertised; did have the Miracle Gro Shake 'n Feed® Continuous Release Citrus, Avocado, & Mango Plant Food, but thankfully you had forewarned me! I found it at another local place though. Woo-hoo!!! Grabbed a couple. Does this have a shelf life? Wondering if I should invest in more.

Also, for anyone interested in bulk, saw this after I bought the smaller 4.5 lb jugs of Osmocote Plus: www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/osmocote-plus-15-9-12-fertilizer


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

benbratcher

Hi. did you make any final plans. I havent heard anything for a while. I love pics. Sorry no new pics of my own

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

A year later, just wanted to follow up with an update and a big thank you for all your input.

I decided to use 4x4 redwood posts for the bed against the south-facing wall - now home to the Cocktail grapefruit and the Wekiwa - that will be formed into traditional horizontal T espaliers.

Citrus-fever caught hold of me and we decided to move the 4 veggie beds that had been there (at right of Cocktail/Wekiwa beds) and replaced them with 4 Corten steel beds; two pairs connected symmetrically with cattle fencing arches to act as an arbor/trellis. These 4 beds will house 3 citrus trees each (for a total of 12).

Thanks again to you all for your care and guidance! :)


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Very nice. I am glad thing worked well for you.

Steve


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Beautiful, Ben. Very nice to see your update! So, what citrus cultivars do you have planted in your two steel beds (those are SOME raised beds, btw.)

Patty S.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Wow Ben, that is fantastic! thank you for updating everyone.


 o
RE: Citrus varieties for espalier on South-facing, hot wall?

Thanks everyone!

Patty, the names will all be quite familiar to you :) (they are actually in 4 steel beds; 2 to the right aren't visible in the photo)
- Page Mandarin
- Kishu Mandarin
- Tango Mandarin
- Gold Nugget Mandarin
- Smith Red Valencia
- Valentine Pummelo
- Lane Late Navel (had trouble tracking down Powell, Autumn Gold and Australian Late navels; and when Durling used to sell to the public last fall - they stopped Jan 2014 - it was only $14.75 for 5g - a steal!)
- Cara Cara Navel
- and now, Lee x Nova that I picked up recently; to be planted once temperatures simmer down

That will leave me with 3 more spots. Hmmmmmm....
- Clemenules?
- Pixie?
- Red Nules?
- one of the "Golds" mandarins?
- another late Navel?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Citrus Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here