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Posts tagged “tropical minnesotan attic jungle

New Additions

I have expanded the ‘tropical Minnesotan attic jungle’ again. I bought six new dwarf citrus trees from Four Winds Growers out in California.  I probably shouldn’t have ordered them during the hottest time of the year thus far. The two younger trees arrived looking good. Some of the others seem to have suffered from the heat of being trapped in an unventilated box, inside a baking semi trailer for two and a half days. The little ones are a Valencia orange and a new Kieffer lime to replace My old one that had an unbeatable scale infestation. I aquired a second Improved Meyer lemon tree as well.

Due to many favorable reviews around the web, I also opted to get an Oroblanco grapefruit tree. They don’t get pink/red, but are said to be very pot friendly and unlike most citrus, doesn’t need a lot of summer heat to sweeten the fruit. Sounds like a no brianer to Me.3 Oroblanco Grapefruit Tree © Andor

Then there is the Gold Nugget mandarin orange tree. Which is very bushy and compact, but has been in a state of perpetual drooping since it got here. It doesn’t appear to be dying, but has yet to show Me any signs of changing it’s current mood.

Rounding out the order is a Mexican Sweet lime tree, which does not look the greatest either. All of the most recently grown leaves are curled up really tightly. I am assuming for now that it was heat during shipping that caused these little trees to look so glum. They have been here for 10 days now and none of them look like they are going to die. Maybe they will bounce back after this 90+ degree weather passes. Hopefully I can take better care of these trees than I have with some of My older ones. Having ordered trees from the same grower a couple of years ago and gaining My own growing experience over the last few years, I believe that things should be ok. So long as I can keep the scale away from them.


Admitting Failure

Dying Kaffir Lime Tree © Andor

This poor little Keiffer Lime tree has been ravaged by a scale infestation. I’ve been trying My best to fight it back, but to no avail. I am giving up on this one and My 5 year old Blood Orange tree, which has the same blight. Having no where to put them that they won’t continue to spread this deadly parasite to the rest of My trees and plants, I’ve tossed them out into the harsh Minnesota winter to die. This has been My favorite of the citrus trees I have. It bounced back wonderfully from frost bite last year, but even with all the hand scrubbing and spraying of chemicals, I’m losing the battle. Having all these trees in the attic, without actual sunlight for 5 months of the year makes pest control EXTREMELY hard. I don’t like to spray chemicals, since most commercial pesticides rely on one of the two active ingredients for Agent Orange. Yet, claim to be food safe! I’m hesitant to use them in My living space since I don’t want to aquire some crazy mutation of leukemia like many of our soldiers did from exposure to the afore stated chemical in the Vietnam war.

Instead, I admit failure in caring for this tree. I’ll have to aquire another one in the spring. The leaves make for such delicious food, it’s just a wonderful variety of plant. I doubt that very many citrus trees have been introduced to snow and such cold temperatures, but it’s best for the rest of My trees this way. :(


Winter Harvest

Winter Harvest © Andor (3)

This Year was My second mandarin orange harvest. Eleven times more fruit than last year’s haul, which was one orange.  The tree that gave Me that orange, gave three this year, in an escalating size range of two, to nearly four inches in diameter. They were VERY sweet and not particularly acidic. The largest one however was quite bland in flavor, I think I picked it too late? My other satsuma tree gave Me eight little oranges. I picked them in varying lengths of time after turning bright orange. Today, I picked the last five, about a month later than I think I should have. Quite a day, plucking fresh oranges from a tree when it is 7 degrees(F) outside..

Owari Satsuma Mandarins © Andor

The fruits from this tree were far more acidic and powerful in flavor, but not as sweet as the ones from it’s sister. They are the same age and from the same source, but I planted them in very different soil mixtures, to see what would work better. I can only assume that this, is what caused such dramatic variation in the experience delivered to My taste buds.

Having also plucked the last meyer lemon, there is just one fruit left growing in My tropical Minnesotan attic jungle. It is the first grapefruit from My nearly six year old ruby red tree.

Ruby Red Grapefruit © Andor

There is nothing like freshly harvested food. It has been great to experience the cycle of these trees and of course, reap the rewards! I can’t wait to see what I get next year.


I Picked My First Lemon!

I know that having such fruit trees around is normal for many people, but this is Minnesota! One must grow citrus in pots and haul them indoors for the winter. Thus, I am that odd guy who has ‘the glow’ of an artificial sun beaming out of My attic windows for a large part of the year.

Three years in and I am still learning how to keep all these little trees happy, with mixed success. My ‘Improved Meyer Lemon’ tree is not looking the greatest, yet it has 5 little lemons that are ripening, in this, it’s first year of fruiting. Well, there are only 4 now…