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WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 42 OCTOBER 19, 2012
Free Republic | October 19, 2012 | greeneyes

Posted on 10/19/2012 10:42:12 AM PDT by greeneyes

The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.

This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you won’t be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isn’t asked.

It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!

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TOPICS: Gardening
KEYWORDS: agriculture; food; gardening; hobbies
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Greeting from Missouri. We have had several really nice days and some rain this week. Temps today took a dip down to the 50's.

Tomatoes are still hanging in there with lots of green tomatoes. About every other day, I get one or two with a blush that I pick and wrap in newspaper to ripen.

Hope all your gardens are doing well for the current season. Have a great weekend. God Bless.

1 posted on 10/19/2012 10:42:19 AM PDT by greeneyes
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the list.


2 posted on 10/19/2012 10:45:57 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
Well, our SW Pa garden was good this year.
Not the best, but good.

We've decided to leave the sunflower stalks in place and use them next year for her Philippine long beans.

The tomatoes did well (again) on my invented "bed"


And I just came in from moving our chicken tractor in place so the biddies can come and go into the 6ft high, fenced, 50 X 50 garden.

I top dressed with cow manure yesterday and didn't till anything under ... I'll let the chickens have at it for the winter.


We'll see ... never did this before.

3 posted on 10/19/2012 10:52:34 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: knarf

Should be nitrogen rich by spring. LOL.


4 posted on 10/19/2012 10:55:22 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

North Idaho - garden all prepped and ready for winter with manure and organic clippings.

No snow yet....should be some in the higher mountains this weekend. Mountain pass traveling in the Cascades and Idaho/Montana line could be dicey. Possible rain/snow mix in vallys. Highs in 40’s next week.

Cocoa and seed catalogs by the fireplace....


5 posted on 10/19/2012 11:27:37 AM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: greeneyes

Peppers are just about done changing colors...orange, purple, red, and chocolate bells looking good in Red Hampshire...mustard habaneros ready to be processed for hot sauce.


6 posted on 10/19/2012 11:32:51 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: illiac

2013 seed offerings are starting to pop up on line...a sure sign of spring. :-)


7 posted on 10/19/2012 11:34:37 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: illiac

Cocoa, seed catalogs, and a fireplace. Sounds devine. Cooler temps are arriving here as well.


8 posted on 10/19/2012 11:42:50 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

I find it difficult to grow much of anything in S FL.

You said cocoa? mmmmmm


9 posted on 10/19/2012 11:45:33 AM PDT by bicyclerepair ( REPLACE D-W-S ! http://www.karenforcongress.com)
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To: who knows what evil?

Sounds great. I have one sweet pepper finishing up indoors(I rescued it from the garden and put into a pot in the afternoon shade)as only yield from a dozen plants. Also 2 fooled you jalepeno peppers from 2 plants indoors as well.

Next year I am going to plant several pots in addition to the garden plot.


10 posted on 10/19/2012 11:48:47 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: bicyclerepair

If I can grow lemons in Missouri, surely you can grow some in Florida? LOL.


11 posted on 10/19/2012 11:51:48 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

I plant all my peppers in 3-gallon pots...mobility is essential this time of year, and I get a better yield in pots.


12 posted on 10/19/2012 11:53:07 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: who knows what evil?

Yeh, I am definitely going to do that next year. Also going back to having at least 4- 5-gallon pots for Tomatoes too.


13 posted on 10/19/2012 12:09:45 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: bicyclerepair

My sister in Ft. Myers area grows lemons, limes, and grapefruit in her yard. She is thinking of trying a few earthboxes by the swimming pool for a fall/winter crop of veggies.


14 posted on 10/19/2012 12:09:50 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: greeneyes

Thank you for taking over the gardening thread, Greeneyes! Things have been busy with trying to start a new business. Half the time I don’t even know what day it is.

I did manage to get the potatoes harvested this week. It’s been interesting to compare the two varieties. I had ordered a fingerling potato after carefully comparing descriptions, but for some reason no matter how many times I said I’d ordered them, my dad had it in his head that I expected him to buy me seed potatoes. He does that sometimes, he gets so convinced he knows what you mean, that he doesn’t actually hear what you say.

Anyway, he brought a nameless variety of red potato, so I planted both. The fingerlings had long vines that I couldn’t seem to keep hilled. The reds had kind of short, stubby vines. The reds died down at the first hint of cold weather, but the fingerlings took several freezes before the vines died down. The reds produced about enough to replace their own seed potatoes. The fingerlings produced about 4X what was planted, although some of them are kind of funky-looking, with multiple arms and legs.

Both survived the drought, but I think I’ll only plant the fingerlings next year.

My tomatoes didn’t make it through the drought, but the farmers markets are full of them, so I’ve been canning up spaghetti sauce.


15 posted on 10/19/2012 1:06:30 PM PDT by Ellendra (http://www.ustrendy.com/ellendra-nauriel/portfolio/18423/concealed-couture/)
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To: greeneyes

Picked a bucket of fresh limes today. That was about twice the amount we got all last year. Garden veggies are doing OK, but still waiting for some to come up.


16 posted on 10/19/2012 2:33:10 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 ("It's better to vote for a Republican you don't know than wind up with a dim you don't like".)
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To: greeneyes

Hi from SE PA! My first gardening post. I grew tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and cukes, red onions, garlic and a 2nd year fig tree.

Tomato leaves got black spot and leaves all fell off. The early fruit was fine, but short season and not as many tomatoes as I would have expected (not enough to make much sauce).
Peppers grew well, but didn’t get very large.
Zucchini, squash and cuke leaves got a white mildew and some veges had, I think, blossom end rot.
Red onions and garlic bulbs didn’t get very big, so I left them in the ground.

I had my soil tested and amended; good watering and plenty of sun in raised beds; the only think I can think of is that they were planted too close together.

Now on to the fig tree. It’s a brown turkey fig and I’ve protected it from our one night of frost. It has quite a few figs, they are all very green and hard, and I think they are supposed to be picked when soft.

Anybody have any fig ripening suggestions? Should I pick them before it gets frosty?


17 posted on 10/19/2012 3:17:30 PM PDT by Katydidnt ("...the greatest of these is love.")
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To: greeneyes
Thank you for the ping... Like you said it turned chilly and very windy here the past couple of days. Rain on Wednesday, before the chill down. Not that I am complaining, anything below 90 degrees is acceptable right now.

I was asked to make a carrot cake and so my first tour of Cosco I bought a 10 lb sack of carrots. Peeled them all, shredded enough to make two carrot cakes, and chopped the rest and canned 8 pints. They sure look pretty.

I still have not gotten my sweet potatoes dug as the ground now is soaked from last weekend's monsoon, but tomorrow is reported to be a warm up and so that is what I will do tomorrow.

My strawberry beds are also on my to get done list before the ground freezes. I will make some paths and add some black mulch. I have found that black mulch works best for weed control and retains the heat come spring when the plants begin to blossom. Strawberry beds always require lots of labor every couple of years.

18 posted on 10/19/2012 3:36:41 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Please help Todd Akin defeat Claire and the GOP-e send money!!!!!)
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To: greeneyes

Thanks for the ping GE. As I reported in the last thread I got my Garlic planted, mulched and covered to keep the skunks from digging up the sets. Picked the last of the salad cukes today and all of the pumpkins. We are in full time cleanup mode here on the shores of Humboldt Bay. I’ll post some photos later...


19 posted on 10/19/2012 3:56:02 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: greeneyes
Latest Photos of the fall Bender Garden…


20 posted on 10/19/2012 7:22:48 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: MtnClimber; happydogx2

No frost here yet...


21 posted on 10/19/2012 7:27:56 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: tubebender

A few nights ago it got down to 19F. Have had several inches of snow so far. Frost? I would have to dig under the snow to see if there is frost.


22 posted on 10/19/2012 7:42:40 PM PDT by MtnClimber (I did not vote for Zero. Someone else did that.)
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To: MtnClimber
It's so cold in Golden that my SiL is coming for a visit to thaw out. I'm the last of the line of Big Game Hunters in the Bender family…


23 posted on 10/19/2012 7:54:53 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: tubebender

For dangerous game like that I would recommend at least a 30-06, but I would probably go to my dangerous game rifle, a CZ 550 American Magnum in 375 H&H!


24 posted on 10/19/2012 8:06:03 PM PDT by MtnClimber (I did not vote for Zero. Someone else did that.)
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To: greeneyes
If I can grow lemons in Missouri, surely you can grow some in Florida?

Tell us more...
25 posted on 10/19/2012 8:14:04 PM PDT by Nepeta
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To: MtnClimber

My varmint gun is my 76 year year old Remington single shot using 22 short hollow points


26 posted on 10/19/2012 8:39:17 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: Ellendra

You are welcome. Happy to post it. Problem is I am not techno savy, so I can’t do all that fancy stuff like JDAB. But I guess something is better than nothing? LOL


27 posted on 10/19/2012 8:39:36 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

I had to give up on limes. They kept reverting to the wild.


28 posted on 10/19/2012 8:40:46 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Katydidnt; Red_Devil 232

Welcome to the garden thread. It was a tough year for many of our gardens. Too hot and lots of drought.

I don’t really know much about figs, and Red Devil is the only one I can remember that has figs.

Red, do you remember who else raises figs? Would you be willing to give some advice? Thanks.


29 posted on 10/19/2012 8:47:24 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Just mythoughts

Yeh. This was our 3rd harvest for the strawberries, so we ripped them out, and burned everything on top of the bed. We will probably plant some winter wheat after first frost.

Sprinkle a little clover in February. Turn it under at the end of March. Plant some Buckwheat in May. Followed by bush beans later in the summer to pick in the fall.

Alternative is to let the wheat mature, and harvest in June.

We have one of those round pyramid gardens set up as a replacedment bed. Filled it with topsoil and compost that we had hauled in earlier to amend some of our other plots.


30 posted on 10/19/2012 8:55:16 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: tubebender

Great photos TB. Thanks so much for sharing. I always feel guilty for being such a lazy gardener. Your pictures always give me energy and inspiration to get going.LOL.


31 posted on 10/19/2012 8:58:00 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Don’t feel bad about your garden as I am retired and all I do is play in the garden. We are getting up in the years and we let more and more slide. We decided to give up making compost on a large scale and gave our big shredder to a friend last week. I really like your cover crop rotation as I only do one annually.


32 posted on 10/19/2012 9:14:09 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: greeneyes
Fall colors are rare in Benderville unless they are landscape trees. That is my neighbor's barn and those are young Redwood trees in the background…

Late blooming Delphiniums


33 posted on 10/19/2012 9:23:48 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: tubebender

Love your pictures TB.


34 posted on 10/19/2012 10:10:27 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

I spot-checked the apricot seeds I put in the fridge back on August 1st. The seeds came from the fruit we picked from a “city tree” in the greenway along the river.

They’re starting to sprout; some have about 1/2” of root. I’ll need to pot them soon, then figure out where I’ll keep them until they can be planted next spring.

(Clean; dry a few days; soak overnight; put in damp potting soil & seal into a Ziplock; put in a veggie drawer of the fridge for 2-3 months.)

Apricots are supposed to be the least variable of major fruits to grow from seed. The tree they came from is about 20-25’ high, and is never pruned, sprayed or fertilized, so the fruit isn’t the best I’ve ever picked, but it is a lot better than the greenish golf balls that show up in our markets for $3/pound. They also made very good jam and syrup.

We’ve gotten some snow flurries, and rain showers this month...so far a total of 0.03” of moisture! Yep; three hundredths of an inch.


35 posted on 10/20/2012 1:17:42 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: tubebender

Nice one! Truly trophy quality! Mounting it, or going to use it for a rug?


36 posted on 10/20/2012 1:26:41 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: ApplegateRanch

It will be interesting to see how your Apricot sprout works out.


37 posted on 10/20/2012 1:32:25 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Always the pessimist, I have 21 of them. Pessimistically, I’ll end up having to dig 21 holes. ;-’)


38 posted on 10/20/2012 1:39:19 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: Nepeta

I grow mine in a big container sitting on a dolly so that I can roll it in and out of the house. In the house in front of a patio door that faces south west.

I put it out in the spring and leave it till fall. Then bring it in and out as needed. I have picked 2 ripe lemons so far, and have about five left that are still kinda green.

The plant is only about 2 feet tall. I just put slow realease fertilizer on the soil and work it in. Every so often I water with some liquid fertilizer.


39 posted on 10/20/2012 1:57:12 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

LOL. You sound kinda like me. I tell jokes like this, but lots of people fail to see the humor and just think I am complaining.


40 posted on 10/20/2012 2:01:12 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: tubebender

Well I don’t have much space for my little raised beds. I keep them close to the house cause of that little lazy streak. LOL.

Now that means getting more than 1 crop out of each space. So I have been working on it and tweaking it a little each year as I learn more.

My goal is to learn enough to be able to grow enough food and learn various ways of preserving it so that we could be self sustaining if food gets too expensive for our budget.

So far, many of the things we purchase have increased by about 25% per year since 2008, but we have not had to increase our budget, partly because of our gardens, and finding bargains on cheaper cuts of meat etc.


41 posted on 10/20/2012 2:09:17 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Mine are Mexican limes and the tree is in a used cattle molasses tub. I’ve had it several years, but it’s never had this many limes before.


42 posted on 10/20/2012 5:55:45 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 ("It's better to vote for a Republican you don't know than wind up with a dim you don't like".)
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To: bicyclerepair

I’m new, but have had pretty good luck growing things in Tampa. FL is an interesting place to garden.

Our soil kind of sucks for most things. So far, I’ve found that peaches, bananas, oranges, lemons, figs, tomatoes, pole beans, eggplant, and cowpeas do well. I’ve also read that sweet potatoes do well. Other stuff does better in a raised bed with nice potting soil. Make sure to pick up one of those cheap soil test kits (NOT the electronic ones). Hydroponic is another option, which just totally kicks Biden.

Our growing season is different down here. These last couple of months are the best time of the year for planting, IMO, as we can grow lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and celery only during the winter. Your county extension should have a web page detailing what to plant and what to do by month.

We need to be careful about varieties. Some things either won’t grow/produce in FL, or you need to get special varieties bred for your area. I’ve been experimenting with varieties, but if you don’t want to put much effort into it, I’ve found that the Bonnie plants at HD/Lowes are almost always the right varieties and put out at pretty much the right time (but then left out too long in many cases, IMO).


43 posted on 10/20/2012 6:39:59 AM PDT by Darth Reardon
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To: greeneyes
I have figs too. 1 tree is a "dwarf" variety that is over 10ft tall, the other two are Brown Turkey Figs.
I planted them and let them do their thing. The dwarf fig took a hit from a virus or something last year and is recovering. The other two were unaffected. The fruit are generally few and they are small, but we do manage to save a a handful from marauding birds every now and then. Mulching, fertilizer, and watering wold probably help production a lot. I'm going to have to schedule that between other chores.

Now, tell me how you grow lemons. I am in Texas, and my citrus trees have frozen back every year.

44 posted on 10/20/2012 7:28:28 AM PDT by Sarajevo (Don't think for a minute that this excuse for a President has America's best interest in mind.)
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To: Sarajevo

You didn’t get a rust by chance? Every year I forget to treat my fig in the spring, and every year around June/July the leaves rust up and fall off. I still get one crop around July 4, but the second one is pretty much useless. Maybe next year I’ll remember.


45 posted on 10/20/2012 7:42:17 AM PDT by Darth Reardon
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To: Darth Reardon
Truthfully, I don't know what hit the plants. It started with a wisteria, then two Rose of Sharon, a loquat, and the fig. Its all in the same general area of my property. The fig is the only one that survived.

I just googled "rust on fig", and that strongly resembles what we have. Do you treat this with cuprous sulfate?

46 posted on 10/20/2012 8:08:27 AM PDT by Sarajevo (Don't think for a minute that this excuse for a President has America's best interest in mind.)
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To: Katydidnt
From what I've read, figs only ripen on the tree. You'll know they are ready to pick when the birds have eaten most of them. Don't know about the frost question, as that's basically not allowed around here.

Try neem oil on your mildew. My zukes look like they die of blossom end rot, but it's actually that they didn't get pollinated. I've taken to going out in the am when the blossoms are open, picking male blossoms and shaking the pollen into the female blossoms.

This is a female that did not get pollinated. It is turning yellow and rotting.

This one got pollinated. The icky looking remains of the blossom can be gently scraped off or simply ignored. The fruit is solid, growing, and green.

47 posted on 10/20/2012 8:18:10 AM PDT by Darth Reardon
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To: Sarajevo

I’m going to try to stick with the neem oil, assuming I can remember to apply it. Usually, by the time I notice it it is too late.


48 posted on 10/20/2012 11:24:03 AM PDT by Darth Reardon
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To: Arrowhead1952

I had more blooms and fruit this year on my little tree too.
I have been thinking it should be re-potted this year, but it just hasn’t ever slowed down.

Even now, as the fruit is maturing, I am starting to get a bunch of flower buds.


49 posted on 10/20/2012 11:48:17 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Sarajevo
See my post 39. I put my dwarf lemon tree in a container which I move indoors during freezing weather. We have too many periods of prolonged freezing temps to do other wise.

But in Texas, I would think your temps are more moderate in the winter, so I might try a few other things. For example:

If you planted your tree outside, where it received a southern exposure and had a retaining wall on the north, east, and west, the sun would heat up the rocks or concrete and that heat would disapate during the night.

If your tree was a dwarf tree, you could do even more to protect it. I have read that some people put trees in a protected location and wrap the base during cold weather.

Then there's the old 100 watt bulb heatilator. My patio has outdoor electrical outlets. I have been thinking about rigging up some sort of box with a glass window to absorb sun and warmth during the day and using the light for heat at night.

Trouble is, plants need a certain amount of dark to grow, and I haven't brainstormed through that as yet.LOL

50 posted on 10/20/2012 12:03:23 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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