Right before Christmas last year I went to the feed store to buy chicken feed and I saw a sign that said “all fruit trees half off” I really thought they would be half dead, but they were actually great trees, the store was just trying to reduce inventory before the end of the year. So, I bought a Meyer Lemon tree and a Satsuma orange tree. Then I went back and bought several more orange trees to give as gifts.
We planted ours in molasses tubs that we got at the feed store for $3 each so that we can bring them in if it gets too cold. We have them out by our blueberries. We call this area “the orchard” because it makes us (me) feel like a real homesteader.
- Citrus needs lots of sun and light
- However, they can also be grown indoors if put near a window to give lots of light, esp. during the summer
- Citrus are self-fertile – so you only need one tree
- Citrus like a slightly acidic soil – 6.0 – 7.0 on the ph scale
- If planting in pots use a soil esp. formulated for citrus
- If the plant freezes it will die, so make sure to protect it from frost
- Water frequently, esp. during summer. If in a pot, soak the soil and then let it dry out before watering again. We’ve struggled with this this summer and our Satsuma is drying out faster than the Meyer lemon even though they are planted the same.
- Fertilize with a citrus fertilizer a couple of times a year. Once in summer and once in winter – there are two different types of fertilizer.
- Thin fruit if tree becomes too heavy – this has not been a problem for us as we have 7 oranges and 6 lemons.
So far we’ve haven’t had any trouble with the citrus. Some of the orange leaves are turning brown, but I think it’s just from the heat and lack of water. I’ve been watering twice a week but I will now be watering every other day for a while. I think our fruit is on the small side but again I think its due to the drought issue.
One of my favorite books on growing citrus is Grow Fruit by Alan Buckingham
If you have any tips for growing citrus, please leave them in the comments.
You can find information about other fruits and veggies by searching clicking on the In The Garden tab up top or in The Gardening Notebook.