Hardy Citrus for British Columbia

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by mr.shep, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pensacola, USA
    I just bought some tomatoes from Canada--I'm sure they were greenhouse grown, but they taste pretty good. It has been so hot down here that I never got a single tomato to set this fall. Only recently are we getting lows below the maximum temp for tomatoes to set fruit.

    Many of my citrus seedling are still flushing even though they are outdoors-- I will probably have to bring them in this weekend.
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    8,799
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Were these BC Hot House Tomatoes? Yeah, they are mostly BC-grown, but there was a bit of kerfuffle earlier this year when it was revealed that BC Hot House Tomatoes is a trade name, not a description of the origin - and so they were marketing tomatoes grown in Mexico(?) during hmm... the early spring? under the BC Hot House mark.

    See: Mexican tomatoes annoy consumers (that link might also have an annoying popup)
     
  3. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pensacola, USA
    Marketers will try to get away with anything won't they! You can't believe anything you read on the front of a container nowdays--you have to read the fine print.

    No, the ones I bought were Tomato Lovers (nice marketing name) and the sign beside them said "Grown in Canada". They were small, but not mealy like most greenhouse tomatoes.
     
  4. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Skeet, last month I was in Miami and stopped into a grocery store...I did notice the hothouse tomatoes were labeled "product of Canada" .( I did find that a bit funny) They were not displaying the BC label. :)

    Greg
     
  5. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pensacola, USA
    The heat is now a big problem here for growing tomatoes. You can't get fruit set when night time lows do not drop below 70 or so. I remember when I was growing up that getting a vine ripe tomato by the 4th of July was a typical challange for local gardeners--now getting one after the 4th of July is a challange. I also used to be able to get a fall crop, but the window was short and I often ended up picking a bunch of green tomatoes in late Nov or early Dec to beat the frost-- this year I never got one to set before I gave up and started my fall garden in Oct.

    We have not yet had a frost and although we have had a couple cool spells in the upper 30s, the last week has been near 80 most days and many of my citrus trees are starting to put on new growth. They will need to be covered when we do get a frost snice I'm sure they are not cold hardened.

    Skeet
     
  6. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Skeet, we have had significant frost events but nothing serious. maybe -3c (27f or so) . No damage to my citrus with the exception of a bit of new leaf damage on a 10 degree tangerine which is left totally unprotected. The cold hasn't fazed my Croxton grapefruit.
    That is something we don't have to worry about here - citrus breaking dormancy in the winter as we do not get the warm spells (and growth flushes) that you guys in the SE can get. I have to protect my lemons so the fruit doesn't freeze.
    Greg
     
  7. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    The failure of tomatoes blossoms to set is almost always explained in terms of the wrong temperature, or other growing conditions and many tomato growers dismiss any possibility of bee involvement out of hand. Tomatoes produce the largest yields of highest quality fruits when day temperatures are in the range of 80 to 85F and when night temperatures remain above 62F, below 72F. Only high temperatures, above 90F, result in poor pollination and reduced fruit set. The best possible motion to release tomato pollen is from a bee's sonication which is the vibration of the wing without flight, causing the whole flower to vibrate, and a cloud of pollen to be released onto the bee's body and at the same time, onto the stigma. Tomatoes certainly have no problem setting fruit with temperatures in the 70's and even in the 80s. If your night temperatures, and especially your morning temperatures are below 90F, I seriously doubt that your tomatoe's pollination problem was caused by excessive heat. How many bees do you have in your area? Skeet, you should go out to your vines in the early morning and shake the blossoms, do this several morning in a row. The size of the fruit is dependent on the number of ovules fertilized, up to the 100% mark. In other words, the more seeds, the meatier the tomato, so you want to get pollination as full as possible. This is the reason the bee is best, it delivers the most grains of pollen, exactly where it is needed, on the sticky surface of the stigma. - Millet
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  8. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pensacola, USA
    You are right Millet-- I forgot about the lack of bees that has surely added to the demise of tomato crops in this area. Even yellow jackets are gone for the most parts. I will try some shaking next year.

    Skeet
     
  9. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Last weekend I planted a Morton Citrange in a raised bed beside my driveway. I also am preparing a spot for a Dunstan Citrumelo as well as a Trifoliate X Pomello these should be fine - unprotected after a couple of winters. All are considered edible, juicing, cooking & aid - type drinks. These Hybrids are generally hardy to about -15C. Unfortunatly I have not seen any of these for sale locally - except a fellow in Victoria who has some Dunstans for sale.
    Greg
     
  10. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    Greg, are your new trees from Stan? - Millet
     
  11. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Millet, most trees are from Stan, and a few are from Ned. By this time next week I should have some Sudachi, and Ichang lemons too. Only a few varieties are available locally - mostly tender ones from Monrovia in California and they aren't on the best rootstock (for here) either. I was at a local Japanese market recently where Yuzu sell for $2.50 - 3.00 ea. I would like to hear of others growing Citrus outside in and around Vancouver.

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  12. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Spring 2008 update. The Croxton grapefruit is starting to show signs of a flush. The only protection it had all winter was a old school bus window placed in front of it. Thats it. I have also added a CiClem 33 hybrid - it has trifoliate leaves that range from petite to quite large. I am not sure how hardy it is... . Also, the Sudachi and Yuzu I hope will work out they are apparently very cold hardy - like to -15c or so! They are true citrus cross breeds - some have suggested they may have been around for 900 years (longer than Millet!!!). These are both used in traditional Japanese cooking. I have also added a Ichang lemon - a Chinese cross breed between a Ichang papeda and a pomello it is reportably hardy to around -13c. None of these are available locally - that I am aware of. More updates to come...

    Greg
     
  13. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Lantzville, Vancouver Island
    Awesome news Greg! All the stuff I got from you last year is in great shape, still sitting down in my cold frame in the same pots. This spring I'll be arranging a location for them to be planted there.

    Cheers, Barrie (LPN).
     
  14. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Barrie, did the late fuitlets hang on your trees through the winter. Most of mine have shriveled and been removed. The Meyer lemon has maybe 30 or so little ones that seem to have pulled through the winter just fine. Now, IF spring will ever arrive - hopefully they will continue their development...

    G.
     
  15. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Lantzville, Vancouver Island
    Greg,
    Changsha had rather small but edible fruit. Owari Satsuma never developed fruit beyond the size of a pea, eventually turned orange and I discarded them. Ten degree tangerine did not flower or set fruit. Improved Meyer was full size and harvested in December.

    Cheers, LPN (Barrie)
     
  16. Laaz

    Laaz Active Member

    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charleston z9a SC
    Greg if you got the Sudachi from Ned or Stan, they got the budwood from my tree. Excellent hardy variety. They are harvested in late Aug or early Sept. while still green. You will really enjoy them. My tree is loaded with blooms right now.
     
  17. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Laaz, Thanks! I did get a few Sudachi plants from Stan this go around. How would you describe taste / flavour & juice content? They certainly are early. That would be great if they are harvestable by the end of September here in the Vancouver area. How cold hardy would you say the Sudachi is? Same or similar to Yuzu?
    Thanks for the info, Greg
     
  18. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
  19. Laaz

    Laaz Active Member

    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charleston z9a SC
    Greg yes they are about the same hardiness as Yuzu. They have a very unique taste, very juicy and excellent in mixed drinks.
     
  20. frankmass

    frankmass Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    massachusetts
    great thread,

    Gregn and others, why dont your inground citrus experience winter leaf drop. Surely your soil temps must drop well below 60 in the winter and spring...

    thanks Frank
     
  21. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    Frank, that is easy, because so does every thing else in the environment drop in relation to the soil temperature. - Millet
     
  22. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Frank, millet is correct (as usual :) everything cools off air soil and the plants go dormant even the fruit and fruitlets holds on fine - providing they don't freeze. Meyer lemons seem to work the best here. My Meyers I bought from Home Depot a couple of years ago are probably grafted on sour orange or rough lemon rootstock . What doesn't seem to be working is some of the "quat" crosses - they appear to need more heat to induce growth flushes. we will see.
    Greg
     
  23. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    Greg, Kumquats require a lot of heat units to flush/flower and fruit. Kumquats are very cold hardy, and even more cold hardy when grafted onto Trifoliate stock (which almost all kumquats are). Just as cold hardy varieties resist cold, they also resist heat. Tha is that they do not respond to short periods of warm weather. They also do not respond to the lower but slightly warmer temperatures of spring. A long period of warm/hot weather is needed to break their dormancy. Kumquats do not commence growth and flower in spring, along with the other citrus varieties. Kumquats normally begin to flush in summer, after a long period of heat. Therefore, they do not do well in cool areas. Perhaps you can mini-greenhouse them early in the spring,or use some other artificial source to supply the uninterrupted higher heat period to increase the heat units required to break a Kumquats dormancy. - Millet
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  24. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Thanks millet. Orangequat, yuzuquat and a Citrangequat are experiencing lack of growth.
    A grapefruit I planted last May is doing really well - the afternoon sun it receives and the heat reflecting off my house and warmth absorbed by the fireplace brick is working well.
    The Dunstan Citrumelo on their own roots is also performing well. I do have a portable greenhouse - I will stick a number of quat crosses in and lets see how they do.

    G.
     
  25. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Well the greenhouse idea worked. The plants in the greenhouse (in ground and in pots) all have experienced significant growth flushes 4 to 6". I had the zippered flap unzipped allowing some air circulation when temps were below 22c or so and the flap is pulled up with daytime temps higher than that.
    I Visited Bob Duncan on Vancouver Island (Sidney) last week and to my surprise he is growing Bearrs limes outside... alongside the meyer lemons.
    I would have thought that the Bearrs limes would be too tender, however with minimal protection they seem to do just fine. Bring on the Coronas!!!

    Greg
     

Share This Page