The Gardening Thread

norrislakevol

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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.
I honestly have no idea if I got the thatch free, and you are right....best bare foot grass ever! I was all through the yard at the farmhouse where I lived for 3 years. Where I live now on the opposite of the property has terrible, rocky soil, and it appears as if this is the only grass that will actually spread and thicken.
 

norrislakevol

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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?
The not turning may have definitely had an effect. If that bare branch doesn't turn brown and die then leave it, it should sucker out with new growth when you put it back outside here in 2 or 3 months.

Try to switch to a fruit tree fertilizer once you have moved them back out doors and they can get regular rain on them. Just a handful on the side of the pot when you first put them out, another handful in mid June, and another in mid to late September is all you need. Now, as the tree gets bigger you may have to increase the amounts.

Like I said, I like regular dirt for fruit trees, but that one looks very healthy so they may be happy in the long run. If you get no fruit this year then you may want to consider re-potting in the fall before you bring them in. I really think the healthiest one will give you some fruit though.
 
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Volunteer_Kirby

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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.
Yes, trifoliate is probably most common root stock in the citrus industry. Although I think a lot of CA and FL growers use different trifoliate hybrids as stock or use the old fashioned citron. It depends a lot on cultivars, location ie alkaline vs acidic soils and the citrus type.
 
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Volunteer_Kirby

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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.
I've seen young grapefruits produce. I think from seed it may be slow but certainly not 8 years slow. The trick is to buy grafted grapefruit, not seed grown.
 
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Volunteer_Kirby

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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
Follow instructions on fertilizer bottle. Each is different. I would personally never use that type of chemical fertilizer with a home grown citrus crop.

The branch looks fine. They will push out new growth in time. Probably dropped leaves from the shock of being moved indoors or so I'd guess. That is a typical response to low light.
 
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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!
Just make sure you water thoroughly when you do water. You want to soak the soil and flush salts out the bottom, esp since you are using chemical. Do not base your watering schedule on anything other than when the soil begins to dry. Also make sure no dry air is blowing on it. Good luck.

Edit: buds often abort if light is inadequate.
 

Volunteer_Kirby

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I never trust seed. I always go with grafted from a grower.
They more than other citrus grow true from seed, Rio Red and Ruby come to mind. The difference is generally its habit (canopy) and the amount of thorns. Most citrus growers use superior stock from a clone that was selected over many generations.
 
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norrislakevol

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They more than other citrus grow true from seed, Rio Red and Ruby come to mind. The difference is generally its habit (canopy) and the amount of thorns. Most citrus growers use superior stock from a clone that was selected over many generations.
Exactly. I have heard Meyer Lemons can be grown from seed, but I just got one from a grower and did the same for family and friends that wanted them too. I'll be getting a ruby red from a grower this year. I am glad to hear that it may not take as long as I though to get fruit from it.
 

zhangliao04

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Follow instructions on fertilizer bottle. Each is different. I would personally never use that type of chemical fertilizer with a home grown citrus crop.

The branch looks fine. They will push out new growth in time. Probably dropped leaves from the shock of being moved indoors or so I'd guess. That is a typical response to low light.
What fertilizer do you use for citrus trees in pots?
 

Volunteer_Kirby

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What fertilizer do you use for citrus trees in pots?
MicroLife for outdoor and Happy Frog for indoor. Those are the primo products. Liquid seaweed is a good compliment too. I generally use ML more than others but will still drop a special osmocote fert for flowering perennials as its more cost effective and is only needed 2x yr.
 

zhangliao04

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MicroLife for outdoor and Happy Frog for indoor. Those are the primo products. Liquid seaweed is a good compliment too. I generally use ML more than others but will still drop a special osmocote fert for flowering perennials as its more cost effective and is only needed 2x yr.
I have never heard of any of these products. I will have to look them up.
 

Go aeiou

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I have never heard of any of these products. I will have to look them up.
I use a tiny amount of HF Japanese Maple fertilizer on my JMs. I have 14 of them. I don't want rapid growth on a tree that naturally grows slowly. Any tree for that matter.
I use HF Tomato and Vegetable with lime and Epsom salt on tomatoes and peppers.
 
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GVF

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I use a tiny amount of HF Japanese Maple fertilizer on my JMs. I have 14 of them. I don't want rapid growth on a tree that naturally grows slowly. Any tree for that matter.
I use HF Tomato and Vegetable with lime and Epsom salt on tomatoes and peppers.
One dead fish in the bottom of your tomato hole when planting will be the only fertilizer you will need the entire season. Cover with an inch or two of soil, then finish planting tomato as usual. Or some of that epsom salt in the hole in lieu of a fish.
 

walkenvol

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One dead fish in the bottom of your tomato hole when planting will be the only fertilizer you will need the entire season. Cover with an inch or two of soil, then finish planting tomato as usual. Or some of that epsom salt in the hole in lieu of a fish.
Or create a healthy heavily organic enriched soil and you won’t need to add anything although the fish and epsom salt definitely help especially in poor soils
 

GVF

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Or create a healthy heavily organic enriched soil and you won’t need to add anything although the fish and epsom salt definitely help especially in poor soils
Working on that one, mostly in my tomato area. Got pretty darn good soil to begin with. But, it works great to build it up. At our former home in GA, where most of my soil was red clay, I tilled in mushroom compost in the flower beds around the house each spring for 3 years. Then never again for the other 6 we lived there. Beds were about 80% perennial plantings. Kept a good mulch cover on them too. Reduced weeds and they went totally crazy every year.

Personally, I think the fish works better. It will not decay too quickly and feeds the entire growing season.
 

walkenvol

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When I started my garden plot 30 years ago the dirt was a terrible clay chirt that was so hard I had to turn it with a backhoe before I could till it. Started adding leaves, mulch, grass clippings, and ashes every year. No production at first without fertilizer and very average with. Had to water often or plants would start showing stress 2-3 days after a rain. Also learned the value of mulching around the plants to avoid weeds which decays and also amends the soil. After 10 years or so the soil became richer / softer and exponentially more productive. I now only have to water in the hottest times when it goes over a week without rain. I advocate adding as much organic material as one can reasonably obtain. I’m sure there are other ways to successfully grow plants but that’s what works for me and made my gardening experience more productive with less work.
 

Go aeiou

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One dead fish in the bottom of your tomato hole when planting will be the only fertilizer you will need the entire season. Cover with an inch or two of soil, then finish planting tomato as usual. Or some of that epsom salt in the hole in lieu of a fish.
I double dig and have added a foot of leaves mixed with existing soil every fall for the last 11 years. When tomato/pepper planting time arrives 90+% of the leaves have broken down, and I always have excellent soil. But the leaves are acidic, and I need lime for that .
I gave up trout fishing at 67. I'm sure a fish works, and I did use one in the hole annually 40 years ago if I happened to go fishing. I'm too lazy to look for fish for the 6-8 tomato and 14-20 pepper plants that I grow now. A small amount of organic fertilizer works well. like most people at some age the older you get the smaller your garden gets.
But yes, fish are excellent fertilizer.
 
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GVF

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When I started my garden plot 30 years ago the dirt was a terrible clay chirt that was so hard I had to turn it with a backhoe before I could till it. Started adding leaves, mulch, grass clippings, and ashes every year. No production at first without fertilizer and very average with. Had to water often or plants would start showing stress 2-3 days after a rain. Also learned the value of mulching around the plants to avoid weeds which decays and also amends the soil. After 10 years or so the soil became richer / softer and exponentially more productive. I now only have to water in the hottest times when it goes over a week without rain. I advocate adding as much organic material as one can reasonably obtain. I’m sure there are other ways to successfully grow plants but that’s what works for me and made my gardening experience more productive with less work.
We mowed our 3/4 acre yard with a bagged push mower. End of mowing season we'd have a world record pile of clippings in the garden. Dad would mulch the walking rows with it after the previous year got tilled under and the new year planted. He was also a plant scientist, so we had the yard, the garden, the chores.
 

GVF

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I double dig and have added a foot of leaves mixed with existing soil every fall for the last 11 years. When tomato/pepper planting time arrives 90+% of the leaves have broken down, and I always have excellent soil. But the leaves are acidic, and I need lime for that .
I gave up trout fishing at 67. I'm sure a fish works, and I did use one in the hole annually 40 years ago if I happened to go fishing. I'm too lazy to look for fish for the 6-8 tomato and 14-20 pepper plants that I grow now. A small amount of organic fertilizer works well. like most people at some age the older you get the smaller your garden gets.
But yes, fish are excellent fertilizer.
I bet you don't have to fertilize much, if at all. I bet that is some nice looking dark soil.

Dad always said the soil on our particular Cumberland Plateau farm was some of the best around for tobacco outside of NC. I forget everything he explained, but we also have a bit more ash in our soil than the surrounding areas. But, it did have something to do with being up on the plateau and our specific location. It is strange though. Where my garden is a little ashy, but in a good way. 3/4 mile down the road garden to garden at the other house, about 100 foot elevation drop, and my brothers soil is a luscious brown.
 
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walkenvol

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I bet you don't have to fertilize much, if at all. I bet that is some nice looking dark soil.

Dad always said the soil on our particular Cumberland Plateau farm was some of the best around for tobacco outside of NC. I forget everything he explained, but we also have a bit more ash in our soil than the surrounding areas. But, it did have something to do with being up on the plateau and our specific location. It is strange though. Where my garden is a little ashy, but in a good way. 3/4 mile down the road garden to garden at the other house, about 100 foot elevation drop, and my brothers soil is a luscious brown.
Add enough organic matter over enough years and your soil will also become a “luscious brown”.
 
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Go aeiou

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Working on that one, mostly in my tomato area. Got pretty darn good soil to begin with. But, it works great to build it up. At our former home in GA, where most of my soil was red clay, I tilled in mushroom compost in the flower beds around the house each spring for 3 years. Then never again for the other 6 we lived there. Beds were about 80% perennial plantings. Kept a good mulch cover on them too. Reduced weeds and they went totally crazy every year.

Personally, I think the fish works better. It will not decay too quickly and feeds the entire growing season.
I started a new shade bed last spring. I tilled and added organic matter. I planted dwarf conifers, Azleas, hosta, huchera, ferns and epimedium. I added better soil as I planted, and put about 1.5" of mulch on top. I have high hopes for this spring, but know it will take a few years to fill in. Last year I used Coleus to fill in and they looked good.
I prefer bagged mulch. I used 70 bags in the yard last year, Ugh!
 
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walkenvol

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Any of you guys have any experience with worm towers in your garden? Thinking about trying a couple this year. Have always liked the idea of composting but I’ve never had a good spot as I sort of have 2 front yards without any place to hide something like a traditional compost pile.
 

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