Victoria BC - In Ground Meyer Lemon Update

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by leapfrog, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Well, the temperature dropped to 10f (briefly) at Vancouver (airport) a week ago and all my citrus appears to have pulled through this freeze with little ill effects. I covered a 10 degree tangerine with a old milk crate a burried it all in a snow bank. Well, I did a quick inspection today and its still green!!! My Meyers didnt even lose their buds! The fruit looks good too. It appears that with a little TLC hardy types of citrus can be grown here in Vancouver !!!

    LPN and leapfrog how did you fair?

    Greg
     
  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Gregn

    Not bad really. We bottomed out at -6.9 celcius (19.6 fahrenheit) on the coldest night, -6.2 c (20.7) on the second coldest night.
    The lemon tree didn't get any protection aside from the poly canopy I had in place from earlier in the season. Some minor damage on the extremeties but overall not to severe.

    Cheers, LPN (Lantzville, Vancouver Isl.)
     

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  3. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    I think a few of them might be ready to pick. I'm talking about the one in the back centre of the picture on the left and the one in the picture in the centre. Should I wait?
     

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  4. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Hey they are looking great! I would wait before harvesting them. My meyers have got as large as a 3 inches in diameter. Because they have sweet orange in their bloodlines, waiting will produce a very sweet tasting fruit (at least sweet for a lemon) They will also turn a orangy-yellow colour. I would try one as a special treat on Christmas! and see how they are.
    By the way, Home Depot will be stocking Meyers again for Chinese New Year at least in greater Vancouver strores. They should arrive in early January and sell for less than $20.00.
     
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Nice crop, leapfrog. The ones on my tree are just turning yellow. The shape is somewhat different than yours though; they're almost spherical (2.5" dia.) and without the pointy end seen on yours. What are yours like, Greg?
    My guess is we'll see [post=66583]these[/post] varieties.
     
  6. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    I havent attempted to insert a jpeg just yet. I will take a couple of pictures tomorrow.

    Greg
     
  7. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Junglekeeper and Greg:

    Mine are smaller, with an average diameter of about 1.75 inches. The diameter of largest one, still green, is about 2.5 inches. Laaz on the Citrus Growers Forum board says he likes to harvest them when they still have a slight green tinge to them, so I thought I'd try an experiment.

    I have 24 lemons at various stages of ripening, including about 6 that are almost completely yellow. I picked 3 of the ripest ones this morning and tried one. It was quite juicy and of the flavour I would have expected for a lemon. Very nice. I'll leave the others that are almost ripe on the tree till they start to go to orange and try them at that point.

    Here are the pictures of the three I picked today:
     

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  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Laaz may be right. I tasted one bought from the store that was completely yellow and the flavor, while not bad, was not to my liking. Perhaps it was overly ripe.

    It sure is nice to see bright, colorful citrus fruits during the dark days we have at this time of year. Right now I have limes, limequats, kumquats, calamondins, and various lemons ripening on the trees.
     
  9. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Leapfrog... I missed this thread
     
  10. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    So according to Laaz, these should be ready to pick then.
    Cheers, LPN.
     

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  11. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    They look nice. Why not try one now and a fully ripened one later for comparison? Please report back on your taste test!
     
  12. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Very Nice, Barrie. Are these lemons that appeared from flowers that formed in the early spring of this year?

    Your tree is taller than mine and the fruit appear to be bigger. How big are the lemons? My largest ones are a bit over 2 inches in diameter.
     
  13. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    "Are these lemons that appeared from flowers that formed in the early spring of this year?"
    No ... a leprechaun sprinkled fairy dust and ... poof !... hahaha, sorry I couldn't resist my sarcastic side.
    Seriously, about half or less of the original flowers have produced what is now fruit. It would seem that some blooms abort for reasons unknown to me. I'll be trying the taste test and fruit quailty assesment soon from this lemon. I think the fruit is roughly the same size maybe a bit larger as yours leapfrog. Probably too close in comparable size to concern.

    Cheers, Barrie.
     
  14. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Ha Ha!

    Yes, I guess it does look like a dumb question, but I was curious about the maturation period. As this is my first year I don't have any previous experience to go by, but some on this site have suggested that it's 12 to 18 months for citrus and for my tree it was more like 10 months as the fruit of the lemons now near full ripeness first formed in March of 2006.
     
  15. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Leapfrog, I think it was me who suggested a longer maturing time. Now, I dont exactly have excess lemons to sell to Sunkist (just yet) :) but the ones I have tasted seem to sweeten up quite a bit if left longer on the tree. The Meyer is a some sort of Lemon / sweet orange cross breed. My limited experience indicated that the longer the fruit was left on the tree the more "sweet orange" characteristics show up - including the rind colour. Once into its second summer, one of my meyers tasted more like a orange with a zip than a store bought lemon. I guess it all depends on tast preference and what you want to do with the fruit. (and how long you can wait!!!)
    Can any one tell us how long this variety of fruit can stay on the tree?

    Greg
     
  16. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    My best estimation is about 7 maybe 8 months from flower to fruit on this particular lemon. I would imagine fruit that's about a year old perhaps less, would be about maximum before harvesting.
    Initiallly I brought some into my place to sell thinking that they'd be quick to go. Of the 6 I brought in, only 4 sold so I kept 2 for myself. So much for thinking people want citrus. Many looked and said "wow, lemons!" but few wanted to spend the dough.

    As a side note, I have a seed grown Key lime that's budded out now and is ready to bloom! I had it inside for almost a week during bad weather at the end of Nov, start of Dec. That was enough I guess to start forming flowers but has been outside since.

    This pic was taken 2 weeks ago and more buds have formed since then dispite the cool December weather. I always thought this was more tropical in nature and such things would be unheard of.
    Cheers, Barrie.
     

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  17. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Greg: I plan on leaving one or two lemons on as long as possible as an experiment. I'll let you know how it turns out. So far I've picked three that were just about completely yellow (with a hint of green in spots), and there are another 2 or 3 in that condition now, still on the tree. The largest of the crop are still green, but beginning to go a paler shade of green as they do when they start to turn yellow.


    Barrie: I'm amazed by your flowering lime, particularly in this climate and at this time of year. My Meyer has 2 flower buds that appeared during the cold spell at the end of November, but I put that down to the fact that I had the tree under cover and lighted up for about 75 hours straight. During that time, the temperature under the plastic varied between 12C and 20C.
     
  18. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Again, I think it was triggered by that 5 or 6 day stay inside my house. Hardly seems enough time to get the ball rolling as it where. I'll leave it stay where it is on my front doorway so long as bad weather doesn't come again.
    leapfrog, are your buds opening on your lemon or not?

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  19. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Not yet, Barrie. I'm just hoping we don't get a cold spell that kills them. There are only two, and one is just starting. Once I turned the lights off after the cold weather in late November they seemed to have stopped developing.

    I'm assuming a proper flowering will start when we get into spring. The tree went into the ground last March. When I bought it from the nursery there were hundreds of well formed flower buds on it. I don't expect to see such a good showing this year. After all, the tree spent last winter in a nice warm commercial greenhouse.
     
  20. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    It reached 15C this afternoon, so I took off the lights and I've removed the mini-greenhouse. I'll replace it if frost is forecast again, but if we're lucky the temperature won't go below freezing again till next year.

    As you can see from the pictures below, the tree faired well over the winter. I had the lights on twice. Three days during the first cold spell in late November, and 4 days during the second one in January. The temperature in my garden bottomed out at -5C and -6C respectively. During the two cold spells, the lowest temperature with the lights on in the greenhouse was 12 C. Otherwise, under the greenhouse and without the heat from the lights, the temperature never went below 0C.

    There was an article on the effect of climate change on growing exotic plants in Victoria in the Times Colonist today (the local daily newspaper). It said that in a few years Victorians might be able to grow lemons in their gardens. With minimal fuss we're there already.
     

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  21. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Nice, leapfrog. Have you had a chance to taste the fruit? The darker yellow ones sure look like they're ready. The ripest one on my tree is similar in color to the ones near the corner in the second picture. The peel has thinned to the point where the fruit has a certain give when squeezed. Judging from its weight it must be full of juice. Didn't I read somewhere that the taste is best when there's still a hint of green in the peel?
     
  22. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Lookin' good leapfrog! ... The best we could muster today in Lantzville was 11c (52f) but yesterday we did hit 15c (59f).
    Climate change is a huge topic in every newspaper ever since the latest scientific findings where released last week. Now every politician has to get on the bandwagon and enact some form of legislation to be in-vouge with the constituants. Any mention of Victoria becoming a new major citrus producer?

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  23. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Global warming???? Not by man, that is for sure. In the Denver paper last week was an article stating that the last three world volcano eruptions put more CO2 and sulfur (the ingredients blamed on global warming) into the atmosphere than humans have in the entire history of mankind. Methane gas is far more efficient than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. It is a fact that the bulk of Methane gas release into the atmosphere is caused by Termite colonies world-wide. Grow more citrus trees, as citrus trees take in CO2 through their leaves and give off------?? - Millet
     
  24. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    I have had my the front of my mini greenhouse rolled up all week. I was contemplating removing the christmas lights too...I have some interesting new additions to my citrus family - just got them yesterday... including a cutting of a very rare "edible" Flying Dragon trifoliate.

    Greg
     
  25. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Junglekeeper:

    I've had 4 of them and given as many away to friends. I've tried them just as they are turning yellow, with a hint of green, and I tried one that I let ripen to a light orange colour. The ripest one was definitely sweeter than the others, as you'd expect. They've all been nice and juicy. I really am impressed with the taste.

    Barrie:

    Did your lemon tree survive? It was looking pretty bad after that cold spell in November.
     

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