The Gardening Thread

walkenvol

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I think there is confusion on the moth larvae that bores into the stem of squash plants and cut worms. In East TN it’s a moth which looks sort of like an orange yellow jacket and lays little black eggs on squash plants. The eggs hatch and then burrow into the stems and start eating. If you check the plants daily and manually remove the eggs you can sometimes win this battle but my victories are few
 
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norrislakevol

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I think there is confusion on the moth larvae that bores into the stem of squash plants and cut worms. In East TN it’s a moth which looks sort of like an orange yellow jacket and lays little black eggs on squash plants. The eggs hatch and then burrow into the stems and start eating. If you check the plants daily and manually remove the eggs you can sometimes win this battle but my victories are few
I think those are called squash bugs? If I ever have an infestation I spray using Bonide 8.
 
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norrislakevol

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Believe it or not you can grow citrus here in East Tennessee. I have a Meyer lemon tree and a Washington naval orange tree. I have them in 16 inch pots with plain ole dirt from the garden (never use bagged soil, just use real dirt). At only 2.5 years old the lemon set fruit and I had a great harvest of Meyer lemons that made some kick azz mixed drinks. I got 7 oranges off the orange tree this year. It was about 4 years old when it set fruit. If you have never had a Washington naval then you are missing out. They are the most delicious orange you can get and are seedless. You can see I had to support the limbs with chairs when I brought the trees in. I have these little beauties outside from April till the threat of cold weather comes in late fall.
 

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walkenvol

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I think those are called squash bugs? If I ever have an infestation I spray using Bonide 8.
To each their own and I’m more the redneck type than the hippie tree hugger, but I’m just not overly interested in spraying any poisons to kill insects on my vegetable plants that I plan to eat. Not trying to be a smart arse or judgemental as everyone has their own views of the safety of using pesticides.
 

walkenvol

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1641926802305.jpeg these grow wild close to the river on our place outside of Townsend. The bush / tree is extremely thorny. Not sweet enough to eat but some folks make a marmalade with them. Believe it’s called a trifoliate orange. Wondered if the root stock would support a graft from other citrus.
 
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VolNExile

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Believe it or not you can grow citrus here in East Tennessee. I have a Meyer lemon tree and a Washington naval orange tree. I have them in 16 inch pots with plain ole dirt from the garden (never use bagged soil, just use real dirt). At only 2.5 years old the lemon set fruit and I had a great harvest of Meyer lemons that made some kick azz mixed drinks. I got 7 oranges off the orange tree this year. It was about 4 years old when it set fruit. If you have never had a Washington naval then you are missing out. They are the most delicious orange you can get and are seedless. You can see I had to support the limbs with chairs when I brought the trees in. I have these little beauties outside from April till the threat of cold weather comes in late fall.
When you bring them in, where do you keep them?

I’ve got tender potted plants in a room with windows facing northeast and southeast, and although there’s a heat vent, it stays in the low 60’s. Even so the plants are trying to grow, when I’d like them to be dormant.

Do you try to fool your plants (citrus especially) into believing it’s growing season, or do you just focus on keeping them alive?
 
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norrislakevol

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View attachment 427605 these grow wild close to the river on our place outside of Townsend. The bush / tree is extremely thorny. Not sweet enough to eat but some folks make a marmalade with them. Believe it’s called a trifoliate orange. Wondered if the root stock would support a graft from other citrus.
Yeah we have always called them wild oranges.

I am not sure about the graft quality, but I do know that if they want to keep citrus trees dwarf size then the do use some sort of wild orange root stock since it will limit the growth of the graft.
 

norrislakevol

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When you bring them in, where do you keep them?

I’ve got tender potted plants in a room with windows facing northeast and southeast, and although there’s a heat vent, it stays in the low 60’s. Even so the plants are trying to grow, when I’d like them to be dormant.

Do you try to fool your plants (citrus especially) into believing it’s growing season, or do you just focus on keeping them alive?
I keep them by a window with a grow light on them in winter. Citrus trees (especially the Meyer Lemons) thrive in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees. The love to bloom then and add new growth. It is very important to get your trees outside in spring after the last freeze. The earlier the better so long as they won't catch freeze or frost. Be sure to harden them off when you put them outside after being indoors all winter. Don't just stick them directly out in the sun at first. It is also important that you leave them out as long as possible in the fall. I think I have had to bring them in on Halloween the last two years. This year though, I put them back out for a week between Christmas and new years so they could enjoy the warm rain.
If you are interested in getting a citrus tree you can get them from either Starks Brothers or citrus.com. They start shipping in April. Just do your research on their care, and watch for citrus rust mites! Those little devils can do some damage. I recommend a Meyer lemon or a Washington naval orange based on my experience, but will be getting a tangerine this year as well as a grape fruit. Grapefruits take a long time to produce fruit....up to 8 plus years. Meyer lemons on the other hand give you fruit the quickest.
 
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norrislakevol

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It's al
To each their own and I’m more the redneck type than the hippie tree hugger, but I’m just not overly interested in spraying any poisons to kill insects on my vegetable plants that I plan to eat. Not trying to be a smart arse or judgemental as everyone has their own views of the safety of using pesticides.
lt's all good. I try to avoid using them on about everything but my potatoes, and sometimes my cabbage and broccoli. If you don't keep the Colorado potato beetles away, you won't have any good taters!
 

VolNExile

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I keep them by a window with a grow light on them in winter. Citrus trees (especially the Meyer Lemons) thrive in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees. The love to bloom then and add new growth. It is very important to get your trees outside in spring after the last freeze. The earlier the better so long as they won't catch freeze or frost. Be sure to harden them off when you put them outside after being indoors all winter. Don't just stick them directly out in the sun at first. It is also important that you leave them out as long as possible in the fall. I think I have had to bring them in on Halloween the last two years. This year though, I put them back out for a week between Christmas and new years so they could enjoy the warm rain.
If you are interested in getting a citrus tree you can get them from either Starks Brothers or citrus.com. They start shipping in April. Just do your research on their care, and watch for citrus rust mites! Those little devils can do some damage. I recommend a Meyer lemon or a Washington naval orange based on my experience, but will be getting a tangerine this year as well as a grape fruit. Grapefruits take a long time to produce fruit....up to 8 plus years. Meyer lemons on the other hand give you fruit the quickest.
Thanks, this is great!

I’d love to have a pair of Meyer lemon trees! Once they get bearing, how many lemons does a tree produce through the year on average? kinda sorta
 
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norrislakevol

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Thanks, this is great!

I’d love to have a pair of Meyer lemon trees! Once they get bearing, how many lemons does a tree produce through the year on average? kinda sorta
My very first year of fruiting I had about 18 to 20 decent sized lemons. It will vary. I got 6 trees this year for family and friends last year. At only 1.5 years 2 of the 6 produced fruit. One had a single lemon on it, the other had 6. I expect all to have at least a dozen on all of them this year. If the tree is immature the small fruits will fall off, don't be alarmed this is normal. Once it really sets fruit to bear some will stick, but others will fall off. It will thin itself naturally some. However, if too many stay on the tree they will be smaller. you may need to thin them some. A lemon about every 8 inches or so on the branches will give you a solid crop. If one branch has only two at the end of it, then leave both of them. If they are clustered up in one spot on the tree and small in number then you can leave them all. Just use your best judgement. They are no different than any other plant. The fewer the fruits, the bigger the fruits, so you have to strike a balance. Your tree will grow to the size relative to the container you put it in. the bigger the tree, the more fruit obviously. If your tree is big enough you could get several dozen perhaps on each tree.

Another benefit to citrus trees is their blooms. They smell sweet as candy. Outdoors when the wind is right you can easily smell them 20 feet away. When they are blooming indoors they will scent the room you are in easily. The bigger the tree the more the blooms. The Meyer Lemons will bloom and set fruit in spring and early summer. They will need at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun outdoors in the warmer weather. The lemons will begin to ripen fully from late November through early February.

They will bloom again in fall and early winter, but they don't seem to set fruit then.
 

VolNExile

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My very first year of fruiting I had about 18 to 20 decent sized lemons. It will vary. I got 6 trees this year for family and friends last year. At only 1.5 years 2 of the 6 produced fruit. One had a single lemon on it, the other had 6. I expect all to have at least a dozen on all of them this year. If the tree is immature the small fruits will fall off, don't be alarmed this is normal. Once it really sets fruit to bear some will stick, but others will fall off. It will thin itself naturally some. However, if too many stay on the tree they will be smaller. you may need to thin them some. A lemon about every 8 inches or so on the branches will give you a solid crop. If one branch has only two at the end of it, then leave both of them. If they are clustered up in one spot on the tree and small in number then you can leave them all. Just use your best judgement. They are no different than any other plant. The fewer the fruits, the bigger the fruits, so you have to strike a balance. Your tree will grow to the size relative to the container you put it in. the bigger the tree, the more fruit obviously. If your tree is big enough you could get several dozen perhaps on each tree.

Another benefit to citrus trees is their blooms. They smell sweet as candy. Outdoors when the wind is right you can easily smell them 20 feet away. When they are blooming indoors they will scent the room you are in easily. The bigger the tree the more the blooms. The Meyer Lemons will bloom and set fruit in spring and early summer. They will need at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun outdoors in the warmer weather. The lemons will begin to ripen fully from late November through early February.

They will bloom again in fall and early winter, but they don't seem to set fruit then.
When you’re referring to 1.5 years, 2.5 years etc., how old and what size (either height or trunk diameter) are they? So do you buy one in spring, don’t expect fruit for the first year (and for the second?), and then they bear? I’m sort of familiar with the issues involved with apple trees that stay in the ground.
 

norrislakevol

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When you’re referring to 1.5 years, 2.5 years etc., how old and what size (either height or trunk diameter) are they? So do you buy one in spring, don’t expect fruit for the first year (and for the second?), and then they bear? I’m sort of familiar with the issues involved with apple trees that stay in the ground.
The will be about the size of a pencil when you first get them, and they will be 1 year old, unless you want to pay more for a 3 or a 5 year old tree...they sell those sometimes. 1.5 years old refers to the first summer you have them....2.5. the second. With fruiting and continued foliage growth the trunk will grow to support it. My orange tree is about 4 years old and has about a 3/4 inch trunk now. It set fruit for the first time at 3.5 years old.

The highlighted part of your post: Yes, generally Meyer lemons won't bear fruit the first two years of their lives. After that you should get something....at latest you should get something in years 3 to 4 unless something happens to them and they have to recover.

Also, If you get a tree that has been grafted DO NOT let anything grow on the trunk (suckers) below your graft. This will be the root stock growth and it will take over as the main tree if you let it. flick off any sprouts that form immediately. In general you want no new growth below you main limbs anyways.
 

VolNExile

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The will be about the size of a pencil when you first get them, and they will be 1 year old, unless you want to pay more for a 3 or a 5 year old tree...they sell those sometimes. 1.5 years old refers to the first summer you have them....2.5. the second. With fruiting and continued foliage growth the trunk will grow to support it. My orange tree is about 4 years old and has about a 3/4 inch trunk now. It set fruit for the first time at 3.5 years old.

The highlighted part of your post: Yes, generally Meyer lemons won't bear fruit the first two years of their lives. After that you should get something....at latest you should get something in years 3 to 4 unless something happens to them and they have to recover.

Also, If you get a tree that has been grafted DO NOT let anything grow on the trunk (suckers) below your graft. This will be the root stock growth and it will take over as the main tree if you let it. flick off any sprouts that form immediately. In general you want no new growth below you main limbs anyways.
Thanks, all this is wonderful. I’ll check the Stark catalog for 3 year old trees. I’m 67 - I don’t take anything for granted! 🍋
 

norrislakevol

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Thanks, all this is wonderful. I’ll check the Stark catalog for 3 year old trees. I’m 67 - I don’t take anything for granted! 🍋
Gotcha. For the older trees you may want to go with citrus.com. If they haven't sold them all that is. If none are available then just go with starks bros. Cheaper, and and quality for sure. I even bought my zoysia grass plugs from them.
 
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norrislakevol

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Thanks, all this is wonderful. I’ll check the Stark catalog for 3 year old trees. I’m 67 - I don’t take anything for granted! 🍋
One more important thing: Since they are a tree and in a pot you will need to feed them. Just a hand full of fruit tree fertilizer (I use the Hi-Yield Pecan and Fruit Tree Fertilizer) dumped along the edge of the pot when you set them out in spring, in mid June, and in mid to late September. Research the rest. They are a lot of fun and watch out for those rust mites! Research those too! They almost killed my lemon tree.
 

VolNExile

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One more important thing: Since they are a tree and in a pot you will need to feed them. Just a hand full of fruit tree fertilizer (I use the Hi-Yield Pecan and Fruit Tree Fertilizer) dumped along the edge of the pot when you set them out in spring, in mid June, and in mid to late September. Research the rest. They are a lot of fun and watch out for those rust mites! Research those too! They almost killed my lemon tree.
Absolutely will do. Thanks again!
 
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zhangliao04

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My very first year of fruiting I had about 18 to 20 decent sized lemons. It will vary. I got 6 trees this year for family and friends last year. At only 1.5 years 2 of the 6 produced fruit. One had a single lemon on it, the other had 6. I expect all to have at least a dozen on all of them this year. If the tree is immature the small fruits will fall off, don't be alarmed this is normal. Once it really sets fruit to bear some will stick, but others will fall off. It will thin itself naturally some. However, if too many stay on the tree they will be smaller. you may need to thin them some. A lemon about every 8 inches or so on the branches will give you a solid crop. If one branch has only two at the end of it, then leave both of them. If they are clustered up in one spot on the tree and small in number then you can leave them all. Just use your best judgement. They are no different than any other plant. The fewer the fruits, the bigger the fruits, so you have to strike a balance. Your tree will grow to the size relative to the container you put it in. the bigger the tree, the more fruit obviously. If your tree is big enough you could get several dozen perhaps on each tree.

Another benefit to citrus trees is their blooms. They smell sweet as candy. Outdoors when the wind is right you can easily smell them 20 feet away. When they are blooming indoors they will scent the room you are in easily. The bigger the tree the more the blooms. The Meyer Lemons will bloom and set fruit in spring and early summer. They will need at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun outdoors in the warmer weather. The lemons will begin to ripen fully from late November through early February.

They will bloom again in fall and early winter, but they don't seem to set fruit then.
A lot of what you said here is what I went through. I bought 2 Meter Lemon trees (although they actually look more like bushes right now) from a local nursery in south Knoxville. They have grown with 1 blooming about 4 months ago and just now both shot out a TON of buds/blooms starting about a month ago. However, all of the blooms are dying (even before opening) and one of the bushes a chunk of the leaves fell off. All the others are nice and green, though. I’ve been keeping them watered (on a very consistent cycle) and they each have their own window where they get ~6 hours of sun on a sunny day. Sadly, I don’t know what type of lamp to get so I kinda skipped that so far (unless you have any suggestions).

I really hope these Meyer lemon trees make it as I love lemonade and lemon bars lol.

Also, Stark Bros is legit. I have 6 rabbit eye blueberry bushes. 2 Premier and 2 Brightwell that I got last year and are doing very well in pots. I finally got my order of 2 Pink Lemonades. They are quite small, but I look forward to watching them shoot up this coming growing season!
 

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Gotcha. For the older trees you may want to go with citrus.com. If they haven't sold them all that is. If none are available then just go with starks bros. Cheaper, and and quality for sure. I even bought my zoysia grass plugs from them.
Best grass for a front yard. My dad brought home a dozen plugs from work one year. By end of summer that patch was filled in. every spring he would re-plug from what he started. within 5 years the entire front yard was plush. That grass is barefoot city, and was great for chipping golf balls. Only issue was he did not have the thatch free variety. El Toro is more maintenance free. If we didn't de-thatch before it turned green, you could barely get mower thru it by end of summer.
 
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norrislakevol

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A lot of what you said here is what I went through. I bought 2 Meter Lemon trees (although they actually look more like bushes right now) from a local nursery in south Knoxville. They have grown with 1 blooming about 4 months ago and just now both shot out a TON of buds/blooms starting about a month ago. However, all of the blooms are dying (even before opening) and one of the bushes a chunk of the leaves fell off. All the others are nice and green, though. I’ve been keeping them watered (on a very consistent cycle) and they each have their own window where they get ~6 hours of sun on a sunny day. Sadly, I don’t know what type of lamp to get so I kinda skipped that so far (unless you have any suggestions).

I really hope these Meyer lemon trees make it as I love lemonade and lemon bars lol.

Also, Stark Bros is legit. I have 6 rabbit eye blueberry bushes. 2 Premier and 2 Brightwell that I got last year and are doing very well in pots. I finally got my order of 2 Pink Lemonades. They are quite small, but I look forward to watching them shoot up this coming growing season!
Generally speaking, 6 hours of sunlight a day should be enough. Any geow light will do if you want to add one. Be sure to turn the trees 180 degrees every two week so that your growth will stay even. Keep an eye out for these little webs on your trees. These are the webs of the citrus rust mite. If you see these, spray immediately and everyday with neem oil or insecticidal soap. These are natural and safe to use indoors. When you see this many webs you are infested. This is my lemon tree. They did damage to my orange tree before I could wipe them out. The bad thing about the natural sprays is that you have to actually soak the mites to kill them. The dried residue, unlike a commercial pesticide, won't kill them. Another good way to check you tree even in the absence of webs is to gently smear random leaves gently between your thumb and index and middle finger. If you small see Rusty colored smears then you need to spray.

It's normal for blooms and even a few leaves to fall off. If you are losing too many then you may need to make an adjustment.
 

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zhangliao04

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Here are pics of my two lemon trees. As you can see the one had quite a few leaves fall from it after all of the buds starting coming in. However, I’m starting to see new leaf buds form where the previous ones were. I’ve only had these guys since July of last year, so maybe they are too immature to really set/produce fruit?

And thank you for letting me know about the rust mites. I will keep a look out for them. So far I have had any issues with these guys (other than the leaves falling off on the one). They grew quite a bit (both at least 2-3x their size when I bought them) last year and I look forward to seeing what they do this year.

As for feeding I usually do a scoop of acidifier and Miracle Gro plant food every 3-4 weeks since they are in pots. Is that too much? Only reason I am doing Miracle Gro is because by the time I bought these guys last year I could find any citrus tree food. Oddly enough I have found that the blueberry bush food that I use (10-10-10) works just fine with the lemon trees.

0306C175-CA31-4275-B1EC-1A13ADD96F28.jpeg

6EBD03F4-1451-4FB4-ADF2-5E732D9CBD62.jpeg
 

norrislakevol

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Here are pics of my two lemon trees. As you can see the one had quite a few leaves fall from it after all of the buds starting coming in. However, I’m starting to see new leaf buds form where the previous ones were. I’ve only had these guys since July of last year, so maybe they are too immature to really set/produce fruit?

And thank you for letting me know about the rust mites. I will keep a look out for them. So far I have had any issues with these guys (other than the leaves falling off on the one). They grew quite a bit (both at least 2-3x their size when I bought them) last year and I look forward to seeing what they do this year.

As for feeding I usually do a scoop of acidifier and Miracle Gro plant food every 3-4 weeks since they are in pots. Is that too much? Only reason I am doing Miracle Gro is because by the time I bought these guys last year I could find any citrus tree food. Oddly enough I have found that the blueberry bush food that I use (10-10-10) works just fine with the lemon trees.

View attachment 427770

View attachment 427771
Looks like your top tree will lose that one limb. If does die and turn brown just clip it off when you set them outside in the spring. I didn't see any small webs which would indicate mite damage on that one, which would definitely cause it to lose leaves. Smear around on your leaves just to make sure you don't see any rust colored smears. Have you given them any fertilizer since you have had them? The blossom die off is normal. I'm not crazy about bagged soil for fruit trees. Sometimes they just don't do well with it, and that guy isn't happy about something right now. Your second one looks fantastic. You should have several lemons on that one for sure this upcoming year.
 
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zhangliao04

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Looks like your top tree will lose that one limb. If does die and turn brown just clip it off when you set them outside in the spring. I didn't see any small webs which would indicate mite damage on that one, which would definitely cause it to lose leaves. Smear around on your leaves just to make sure you don't see any rust colored smears. Have you given them any fertilizer since you have had them? The blossom die off is normal. I'm not crazy about bagged soil for fruit trees. Sometimes they just don't do well with it, and that guy isn't happy about something right now. Your second one looks fantastic. You should have several lemons on that one for sure this upcoming year.

I did the leaf rub earlier and didn’t see any red dust which was good. And that one branch that has lost all or most of its leaves now has very small new buds forming. So it might still be alive. Going back to what you said earlier about turning them every couple of weeks or so I believe that may be the reason. It has been on that side since I brought them in doors. I will have to make sure to turn them. And yes, I’ve fertilized them multiple of times. Right now I fertilize with a soil acidifier and Miracle-Gro plant food every 3-4 weeks. I did a big portion before bringing them in and will do so when I move them back outside after I harden them off.

Would love to see some lemons this year come off the tree. From what you have posted they may still be too young to fruit all of the way. Would you suggest re-potting them with new soil in the spring?
 

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