Return to the Citrus Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Posted by hoosierquilt z10a/23 Vista Calif (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 23, 12 at 20:15

Thought I'd share some photos of my Finger Limes I have potted up on my patio. I thought they were such interesting trees, and decided to put them in pots and not in the ground, so friends could see them close up. It's hard to see the one on the left due to the Bougainvillea:

Photobucket

Photobucket

This one is currently getting swallowed up by a Bougainvillea branch:

Photobucket

Both are starting to bloom the teeniest, tiniest blooms:

Photobucket

And, here is a beginning fruit:

Photobucket

Photobucket

And, of course, one of the many zillions of lizards I have, who are always sunning themselves around my yard:

Photobucket

They seem to really love this particular area. They get a fair amount of full sun, but some nice dappled sun in the afternoon. I have them planted in EB Stone's Cactus mix, topped with about a 1/2 inch of chicken manure and then pine bark to help keep . I've been fertilizing with both Osmocote Plus, which has a pretty good NPK ratio (15-9-12) plus micros. Plus, I occasionally fertilize with Foliage Pro as well. They're doing quite well here, and I'm enjoying watching the tiny flowers pop up. Hoping for some fun fruits this next season.

Patty S.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Patty,
Nice photos. I have a house in Antigua, Guatemala and my walls are solid bouganvilla; Feel free to prune the bougans as hard as you want; they prosper with it. Be sure not to give them Phosphorus, if you want flowers; and not too much N, unless you want them to become invasive.

re: Aust. finger limes, I am a big fan of things Australian; I have learned soooo much more from OZ citrus research than I ever will from my home state of CA.

I don't know so much about it; but I am led to believe that OZ finger limes are akin to kumquats; i.e., you have to beat them daily just to keep them under control. I don't have a finger lime; but I have a kumquat and a calamondin that "suffer" the same almost invasive qualities I never fertilize them and they always have fruit.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Thanks, John. I never fertilize any of my Bougainvilleas. They grow like gangbusters here in coastal S. California. Here is a photo of one of my other Bougainvillea vines (I have about 10 of them on my property):

Photobucket

Photobucket

And, another one that is more visible from the lower part of our yard, than our top patio:

Photobucket

Photobucket

And good to know about the Fingerlimes. I have them as a novelty, but maybe I can find some culinary use for the fruits. I know they're sort of the rage in high-end restaurants, but not sure exactly how to include them in a dish. I'll have to do some searching on the Internet for a few good recipes. I know they can be used somewhat like limes, but their vesicles are a little different, so I will have to do some figuring out as to exactly how to prepare them.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Patty,

Wow!

So do you eat fingerlimes like kumquats, peel em, juice em or gut em?


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Well, you are supposed to kind of peel them back, and scoop out all the vesicles, and sprinkle them on food, kind of like squeezing a lime. At least, that's how I've seen them used. Kind of like in this photo.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

everything is always so pretty in warm climates! Your plants are beautiful.

I have a tiny fingerling lime tree that will probably take 10 years to get to your size! LOL! Really, mines looks like a bonsai compared to yours.

Have you ever seen finger limes that have the red/pink inside? I have seen pics from outside the USA, but never saw anyone with one here. All look so pretty though.
Christy


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

I have see photos of those, and would love to have one in my collection, but alas, I think they're pretty much over in Australia right now, and no real hopes of getting them here, unless UC Riverside's CCPP can get budwood. Never know, though, always hoping!

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Hi Patti. I have a planting of 100 trees in Fallbrook, CA. Also I recently grafted bud wood to grapefruit trees. We are looking to expand our product line here at Cielo Farm Speciality. What time of the year do yours blossom? I planted in May 2012 no blossom yet with the exception of a renegade on a couple of trees. Vista/Fallbrook is a perfect climate for them.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Hi bergiegirl! What a fabulous idea for your farm. These ciitrus are becoming so very popular in high end restaurants. Great niche crop for you. My one Australian Finger Lime set blossoms on just one branch about a month ago. My other AFL has not blossomed at all. I have had them less than a year, though, so still very new to me. Plus, they're in containers, and may mature a bit more slowly than yours in the ground. Normally, main blossom time for the AFL would be most likely early/mid spring here, with peak production in Nov/Dec. This is what UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection has reported. Mine are still fairly new, so I'm experiencing some off-time blossoms as well, but then, like other limes/lemons, it tends to blossom almost year 'round, and produce fruit year 'round, which is great for you, as you can have a main crop, and then smaller crop times. They are naturally an understory tree in Australia, so I would be interested to see how yours do in complete full sun. Are you a member of the N. San Diego county CRFG? If not, you should consider joining. We have several commercial growers who are members, we'd love to have you. Great group, lots of great information and support, especially for smaller growers.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: North San Diego County Chapter CRFG


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Patty:

Thank you for the link. My grove is all about exotics that are fairly new or unknown to the general population but a niche market. We got our bud wood from a grower that has about 8 trees, he in turn got his from UC Riverside several years ago. I also planted a couple of Hand Of Buddha along with Reed Avocados. We shall see how it all turns out.

The limes are doing really well. I am actually amazed. We are closer to the Bonsall micro climate therefore they seem to like it. I am in the process of painted the trunks to protect from snails. We still have about 30 Oro Blanca Grapefruit that I would love to graft with other limited species.

The project has turned out to be more labor intensive that I thought it would. Mainly it is a constant struggle to repair drip irrigation from the coyotes chewing on the tubing. Then I noticed that I have a fair amount of squirrel munching on the new trunks. But the beat goes on.

My real passion is my garden. I have included a picture for you. Just a super growing area.

Bergiegirl


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

So beautiful. You and I are probably right in the same weather microclimate belt. I am in the hills of Vista, almost due south of Bonsall. I'm at about 1,000 ft. of elevation, and our lot slopes downward in a south direction, so all my citrus and avos face south. They're all very, very happy in their location. Your garden is very lovely, and I hope you think about joining us at the CRFG meetings. We have several members like yourself, that have niche ag businesses, and we'd really love to have you! We often take tours of various orchards and gardens of both members as well as going to UC Irvine, UC Riverside, etc. Lots to learn, and we support each other.

I have the same issue with chewed drip lines - we all struggle with it, especially in the late summer. Not much you can do but try to put mulch down over your drip lines. That does help at least keep the rats, bunnies and squirrels from the lines. The coyotes are smarter, and will dig them up.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Patty:

I did register for the Rare Fruit Growers Chapter. Thank You!!!! Very exciting. Our elevation is similar to yours right about 1000 ft. Our soil is Fallbrook Loamy
Just excellent for citrus. We have a southern exposure , gentle slope with that temperate Bonsall breeze. Actually we are more Bonsall than Fallbrook.

Gardening this past summer was delightful. We had an incredible crop of heirlooms and our Santa Fe #64 chili. We get seeds from the AG Dept at the university of New Mexico. We still have blossom and it nearly December. I do a fair amount of canning and preserving our produce.

When I got my cuttings for grafting in late August in Hemet his trees were full of finger limes due for harvest in November. His trees came from UC Riverside as a test 6 years ago as 2 ft grafts. They are now 15 ft tall. And Hemet is smokin HOT. So I suspect that the blossom would have been early spring.

Brigitte


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Fabulous! I'll look for you at the next meeting, then. We introduce new CRFG members, so let me know what your first name is, so I know who you are, and I'll be sure to introduce myself. They are just the most lovely group of folks, you'll really enjoy yourself. Do you plan on selling your produce at any of the Farmer's Markets in our area? The Vista Farmer's Market which is held on Saturday mornings, from 8:00 am the 12:00 pm in the N. San Diego County courthouse parking lot is one of San Diego County's very best farmer's markets. I think you'd do very well there. And, Vista is organizing a second Farmer's Market in the old downtown area on Wednesday evenings, too. Vista is known for their farmer's market, we have the oldest one still in existence in San Diego county, so it's kind of famous. A big "slow food" philosophy here - you should also have good success selling your produce to local restaurants anywhere in San Diego county as well.

Lovely produce, and good luck with your Finger Limes, I will be interested to know how they do, and when you have your first commercial crop!

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 16:07

Just wanted to pass along a write-up in the LA Times from David Karp: Market Watch: Australian finger limes make a splash in Santa Monica

Like him or not, David Karp usually adds a certain "flair" to his reporting.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

MrClint. I've attached a picture of one of my successful grafts that has actually begun to grow. I Tgrafted 130 AFL buds to 30 Oro Blanco Grapefruit. Of those 46 were successful. Not a stellar performance however being my first attempt I was pleased at the outcome. I grafted over a period of a week in September then our area experienced extreme temperatures of several 100+ days. I will next graft in May/June. During the elevated temperatures my 2 year grafts grew at least 6-8 inches. I will use my own bud wood at my next attempt.

Do you have a planting?

Bergiegirl


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 2, 12 at 13:35

Yes, I have a BYOC planting in my standard suburban lot, but I do not view citrus as an isolated part of it. My goal is to walk out my door and pick fresh fruits and veggies every day of the year. So far so good. With regard to citrus, Washington Navel and Meyer Lemons are the anchors. Most every thing else had to be a proven performer with an earlier or later harvest window. That was a bit of a challenge as WN has a massive window, and some overlap was to be expected. Apples, citrus and strawberries have to get me through Winter and into May until the early peaches start to kick in. Which is not a bad way to go through Winter at all! :)

I have one non-proven performer citrus, Pink Lemonade, that has turned out to be a bit of a dud. Sadly, this tree lacks the vigor and productivity to be anything more than an ornamental.

Veering ever so slightly back on topic, the AFL looks to be a thorny son of a gun. If my gourmet cook of a daughter catches wind of this fruit, I may be planting one in the front yard in a side planter. Thankfully right now she is in a winter squash mode and I have been able to supply some Burgess Buttercup for her.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Art of Successive Ripening


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Yes, VERY thorny, mrclint, but they're also very pretty, with tiny leaves and tiny fruit. Bergiegirl, I forgot to ask you if your AFL's are red or green? I don't know what color mine will be, I suspect they'll turn out to be reddish bronze when ripe, as they're from Monterey Bay Nursery.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Yes MrClint and Patty. They are VERY thorny. My plants came from Modesto at Duarte growers near Sacramento. The plants are probably going to be green however the grafts should have a variety of red and green. The budwood came from mature trees from UC Riverside and grown in Hemet. Apparently he has a variety of red and green. I would love having a variety for our commercial business.

I have been trimming all low branches that are leggy to promote strength to the upper branches. I have a bloom on tree #50. I will take a picture of it tomorrow. All my trees are numbered so that I can keep accurate irrigation and fertilization schedules. My goal is to monitor their growing pattern and trouble shoot as issues come up. My husband is a large citrus and avocado grower however this is something totally different and I might add very exciting.

My goal is to sell direct to restaurants rather than the farmers market circuit. I am also in the early stages of developing a website market through the web. I have been a regular at the Vista Farmers Market. Many years ago I owned a home on Apollo Drive, Vista.

Brigitte.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Hi Patty

Gorgeous sunrise this morning from our deck.

Yours must be the same:-)

How do you attach multiple pictures to replies?

Brigitte


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Patty and MrClint:

I have attached a picture of AFL blossom. The bloom is beautiful!!!!
Of the 100 trees this is our first bloom. I numbered all our trees so I can record progress. This tree has marginal growth and follage. Leaves are not the healthiest specimens. Tree number is 50. We are hoping spring brings many blooms.

Brigitte


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Yup, saw that sunrise! I use photobucket.com to upload my photos. Then, I simply copy and paste the HTML code into the body of my message. GW has added this option to add ONE photo, but that's all you can add, unfortunately. So, I stick to using Photobucket.com. You can use just about any photo sharing site, as long as it provides the HTML code for the photo.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Did you order or buy your AFL locally?

Thinking I need one for my "collection"

(up the coast in Santa Barbara from you all)


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

I did, Kippy, but the grower is Monterey Bay Nursery, so check you local nursery and see if they buy from Luen at MBN. They grow them, and mine were in really good shape. Bought mine at Walter Andersen Nursery in Poway, but I think Armstrong will also carry them, and can special order from MBN as well. Just don't think you have an Armstrong Nursery up your way, though. If you can't find one at one of your local nurseries or garden centers, or at a citrus grower, Four Winds does carry them, too.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Thanks, I will have to ask around and see if any of the locals buy from them. Wish they sold directly, because I am itching for a road trip to their area.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Kippy, they do sell directly, you just have to go to them to pick up, they don't ship, except in wholesale quantities to retailers.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

I picked up a really nice looking 5 gallon AFL at the local Tucson Costco back in October. Here in Tucson, the local Costco's stock some very nice Citrus for very good prices, but only in the early spring and a smaller shipment in the early fall. Maybe Costco does the same in SoCal?


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Ah, those trees are from Willits & Newcomb, and they are an excellent nursery, love the quality of their trees. And yes, they have a particular stocking order for their Costco account, I think they talk about when they ship on their Facebook page. For us in S. California, they ship to S. Calif Costco stores during the months of February through March, N. California, March through May, and Arizona in January. And of course, you can always pick up a tree directly from Willits & Newcomb, if you're up in the Bakersfield area. You're lucky there was citrus in your Costco so late in the year, I wonder if they have some special order time in addition to the regular ship time, or maybe get their orders actually earlier than January?

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Oh Wow!

Had no idea that Willits & Newcomb had the afl's. I bought a bunch of their trees from Costco's this spring and all are doing wonderful.

2 Meyers & Variegated Pink Lemons , Key & Bearss Lime, Tarocco and Morro Blood oranges, Clementine, Gold Nugget and Kishu mandarines.

I hope they have a cara cara, kumquat and now..finger lime this year.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Kippy, you can always contact them to see, then speak with your local Costco store manager who is responsible for ordering, and see if he can make sure to get what you want on his order for this next season. They grow all, so you should be able to get them, as long as your Costco manager is willing to order them for you! Here is Willit & Newcomb's web site, I cannot speak highly enough of this local, family-run business.

Have to tell you a little story about this company: I was trying to find a couple of hard to get trees, a St. Teresa Feminello lemon (that's the lemon most frequently used to make limoncello in Italy - one of the family of lemons that are very high in lemon oil in the peel, and perfect for limoncello), as well as a Tahitian pummelo. They happen to be up in Bakersfield, where my sister & brother-in-law live. I called them up to ask if I could buy directly from them, pay over the phone, then send my niece by to pick up the trees. My niece lives down by me in San Diego county, but was going up to visit her parents, and kindly volunteered to pick up the citrus and drop them back off on her way home, bless her heart. I was speaking to the most lovely lady, Jackie. She was so helpful, and after chatting with her, I ended up taking home a St. Teresa lemon, a Tahitian pummelo, a Miho Wase and Okitsu Wase mandarin, and a Fukumoto Navel orange (delicious navel that tends to sport variegated branches). And, I needed them all (except the lemon of course) on C35 rootstock, as I have an issue with Phytophthora in my soil here. Jackie said, "No problem, let me check our stock". They had everything I needed, and they were just so gracious and made this so easy. Plus, they gave me a CRFG discount to boot. I was just so amazed at their customer service. When I went back and looked at their web site a little closer, I figured out who Jackie was. Jackie Maxwell, the company president! I was so shocked! She was incredible, no wonder that company does so well, they have a fantastic top-down customer service philosophy. I had no idea I had been speaking to the president of the company all this time. She was so gracious and unassuming, and really bent over backwards for me, just a little old hobby grower, and not one of large commercial customers! I'm still just amazed at their graciousness. Another company in that same category is Citrus Tree Source here in California. Another incredible company.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Willits & Newcomb Citrus


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Thanks Patty

I think she was the one that helped me figure out what the tags said on my trees for root stacks. She was fast and very nice-figured I would never hear from the company when I emailed rather than right away)

Not sure I can request specific citrus from Costco, they all come in under the same item number and seem to arrive randomly. (guessing that is a costco distribution issuer)

Thanks for the info on picking them up, I have a client in Bako so that would be easy for a stop and pick up.

Hmm now to make a list of what else I "need"


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Most recent freeze. 26 degrees Gird Road, Fallbrook.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Finger Limes wrapped in burlap drapes during recent freeze. They appear to have weathered the freezing temps.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Grapefruit trees with icicles


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Oh my gosh, Brigitte! It was pretty bloody cold last week. I lost my lovely Papaya that first nigh, was caught off guard, and didn't cover it, but not sure it would have survived 5 nights in a row under 32. Sure glad that's over. Hope everything fared well at your place. So far, all my citrus seemed to have come through okay.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Patty:

Yes it was really cold. Actually coldest night for us was last Monday. We had our finger limes covered a week before to acclimate the trees/bushes to filtered air and light. I will uncover later this afternoon. You really have to be tough to be a farmer:-)

We did have a great deal of damage to vegetation around the house. Bougainvillea took a hit as well as a few tropical plants. Fallbrook had some of the lowest temperatures in the county with the exception of Pauma Valley and Valley Center. Our elevation is 900/1000 ft however some of our grove is in the lower part of the canyon. Perhaps this will be last freeze for another 5-6 years.

Meyer Lemon has a tiny bit of frost damage however citrus is able to withstand low temperatures. Our avocado trees are beginning to show burn in many areas and a fair amount of fruit drop.

So great to hear from you. We are going to be in Hawaii for the Exotic Fruit Growers gathering in October and look forward to the grafting demo on the island of Kauai.

Brigitte


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Well, in re-surveying my poor Nimlioh avocado is badly damaged, but hopeful it will come back. No surprise, as it is 100% Guatamalan. All my other avos did well. I'm going to do a very close up inspection of all my citrus. My white and pink guavas also got damaged, but they'll come back. My Bougainvilleas seem to have come through surprisingly with little damage, same with the Lantana, both of which normally get nipped badly with this kind of weather. We are at nearly 1,000 ft. ourselves (985), and our lows were 27-29 for 5 nights straight. I cannot remember having that kind of prolonged cold ever. Saturday morning early, I had to drive up Twin Oaks Valley Rd. to Deer Springs Rd. to meet someone at the Arco station at Deer Springs and the 15, and it was 26 degrees at about 6:30 am! My gosh. Hopefully we've seen the end of these ridiculously cold temps for this season.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

So far so good at our place, although the banana trees are crispy and the green beans are gone.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

  • Posted by be21 none (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 14:21

Hi Patty-
Any tricks you used to repot your AFL without puncturing yourself?


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Well, I wore rose gloves, which go up to my elbows, which did help a lot :-) Just have to be smart about what you hold onto!

Patty s.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

  • Posted by be21 none (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 20:58

Thanks, my AFL is kind of bushy and gangly so I've been dreading repotting it. Everytime I go near it I get poked. But the little flowers and the fruit are WAY worth it. It took over 2 years to finally fruit. I have no idea how it gets pollinated though with all those thorns!


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Hi Friends. I uncovered our AFL and found hundreds of blossoms on many of our plants. We are so excited. It appears the prolonged freezing temperatures in Jan/Feb had minimal negative impact. Nearly all trees have bloom. Daily I find new bloom. One tree actually has fruit.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Very exciting bergiegirl! My two potted AFL's fared very well with that horrid week long freeze. Almost no damage, and I did not cover them. I cannot say that about some of my other citrus. What really got a few of them was this freeze, following by a short heat wave with some hot, dry winds. That sealed the fate of about 3 or 4 of my younger trees, including a Satsuma, shockingly. Very disappointing, and I will be covering my citrus next winter, especially my younger, more exposed trees. Heartsick to lose any citrus tree, especially rarer varieties.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

AFL is alive and thriving. I T grafted these last fall. We are so excited!


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Very good, Bergie! My two AFL's are full of little finger limes right now. They are so pretty. I'm not sure when they'll be ready to pick, but looking for cool recipes to include them in. They seem to be very happy in my pots on my pool deck. Glad to hear your update, please post up more photos of your grove, we'd love to see them!

Patty S.


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

Patty, I am so SORRY i missed this thread! Now, where the heck was I?

You are amazing living at an amazing place! Oh, you have just the place that would keep me outside all day!
You must spend more time outside than outside all year!
I love it!

Thank you for sharing your lovely yard and flowers!
I hope you are doing ok too, you and your family!
I hope the jade is good too, hint...:-)

Many hellos to you and wishing you well.

Mike:-)))


 o
RE: Australian Finger Limes in San Diego County

It is very lovely where we are, we are surrounded by commercial nurseries because we have such great growing conditions right where we are. We feel very, very blessed We do spend huge amounts of time outside, here. I have an entire outdoor kitchen, in fact (both of us being of Italian extraction, we must have an awesome kitchen, lol!)

We are all doing well, I am recovering from a shingles outbreak, which I'm kind of young for and had not gotten the vaccine, yet. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. So, I would admonish anyone who had chicken pox as a kid, to talk to your doctor about the wisdom of getting a shingles vaccination. I'm hoping I don't end up with permanent nerve damage from that outbreak, ugh. All the family is well, and we're gearing up for our annual July 4th shindig!

Jades are doing great! One is big, one is still small, and I might have a little something for you, hint, hint :-)

Patty S.


 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