thick skinned grapefruit

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by michelle F, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. michelle F

    michelle F Member

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    I am wondering why my grapefruit has thick skin. It has great falvor and is very juicy but has very thick skin. This is a mature, over abundantly producing 20 year old tree. could it be a fertilizing problem? I would appreciate any answers or help that you can give me.
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    I've not heard of this problem but this page offers an explanation and a remedy. Your hunch of it being a fertilization problem may be correct.

    A review of my notes on citrus nutrition confirms an excess of nitrogen will cause fruit to produce a thicker and rougher skin with reduced juice. It will also aggravate alternate bearing in trees.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2006
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Came upon this in another document:
    A thick rind does appear to be the result of some sort of fertilizer imbalance. One experienced grower suggests using a fertilizer that approximates a 5-1-3 NPK ratio while others report success with 3-1-1. (e.g. a 30-10-10 formulation) The general consensus is one with high nitrogen relative to phosphorus and potassium. The fertilizer should also contain micronutrients.
     
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Might be an Oroblanco which has a thicker
    rind than a traditional Grapefruit.

    Jim
     
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Well there's another possibility. Didn't occur to me that there may not be a problem at all. Michelle, what's your idea of thick?
     
  6. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    I did not mean to mess up your good research
    but she is in the right location to have one of
    the early Oroblanco. I believe it was released
    in 1980.

    Another thought is that the old semi-dwarf
    Marsh Grapefruit also had a much thicker
    rind than the standard Marsh Grapefruit had.
    One of my neighbors have one and the rind
    is over one inch thick, well over that in some
    years.

    Jim
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    No problem, Jim. Learned something in the process. I didn't follow Occam's Razor but instead assumed the rind had been thinner at one time.
     
  8. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Junglekeeper, let's see what Michelle comes back with
    but in cases like this we almost have to see what the
    fruit looks like before we can evaluate it. Yes, what
    you've written can affect the skin of the fruit when
    grown outdoors and if this thread dies out then start
    a new thread, as people will want to know what causes
    the skins to thicken as it can influence the quality
    and the sugar content of the fruit. Thick rinds is a
    whole other matter as some forms of Citrus can do
    this naturally and what may happen to my neighbor's
    Grapefruit tree may not be seen on others of the same
    type Grapefruit. It took a while for the dwarf forms
    to have fruit equal or close in quality to the standard
    form trees..

    Jim
     
  9. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Michelle states that this particular tree is a mature 20 year old grapefruit. She fruther contributes that this tree puts forth VERY JUICY fruit with GREAT FLAVOR, and I probably would suspect rather large fruit. More importantly she states that this tree is an OVERLY ABUNDENT growing tree. Grapefruit trees that are very vigorus, strong growers, often produce fruit that have thicker than usual peels. Also, I'm not all that surprised being that this tree is also located in Palm Springs, California. - Millet
     
  10. Gus Colgain

    Gus Colgain Member

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    Oh boy, just what I have been looking for. About 7 years ago I planted a grapefruit tree that had Ruby Red grafted to rootstock of what I believe may be Florida Yellow, or somesuch thing. The original rootstock just took over and the ruby red is basically one fork that is, I think, a dwarf. At any rate, the Yellow is 6" in diameter and the rind averages 1 and 1/4 inches thick. The Ruby Red is roughly 3.5 inches with a rind of 11/16ths. The Yellow puts a lemon to shame - but the Red is sweet, what there is of it. The tree is prolific year around. I have constantly had to cut the original rootstock back because it puts out hundreds upon hundreds of flowers and nearly all of them fruit, and as huge as they are, hang to the ground.

    I have used Job Spikes formulated for citrus trees. I don't have the same problems with the navel orange, tangerines (tho lately they have been growing to the size of small oranges) or the lemons.

    So, if anyone has the definitive answer - I'll immediately start following a regime that will reduce the size of the rinds.
     
  11. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Never heard of Florida Yellow. However, the rootstock of your red grapefruit tree is probably a pommelo. - Millet
     

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