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New citrus grower-hello people

13 years ago

Hi everyone. In my internet serching for information on growing citrus I ran across this site. I thought I'd join and pick a few brains. Any advise would be appreciated.

I have been a small hobby grower/gardener for 30 years. I recently started a few springtime sales in my local area of vegetable plants and hardy fruit trees and berries. I am located in Western Washington.I have about an acre devoted to the garden and nursery items. Yes, it is often rainy, our season is fairly short, It got down to 7 degrees last night-so it ocassionally gets pretty cold.

I have two green houses. One that is very well insulated with radient heating is about 15'X30'. I also have a second greenhouse right next to it that is 30'x36'. This one is not as insulated and is more of a transitional house for hardy herbs, springtime plants and sumertime protected growing. Both houses are covered with twinwall polycarbonate.They are wood framed.

So... I have grown a few citrus trees and bushes in my greenhouse for years and am amazed at how healthy and productive they are. My customers are always after me to sell them trees-so I am going to get more into growing citrus. Some for my own use and some for potted sales.

I have come across

'Tree Source Nursery' who offers rootsock seedlings, rootstock seeds, and grafted plants at very reasonable prices. I've done some apple tree grafting before and with the internet to guide me, I'm pretty confident I'll have no trouble grafting my citrus stock. And with the large amount of bottom heat in my first greenhouse they should grow like crazy. I plan to grow them for a few years before selling so they have some size and age to them. I know I could buy larger plants ansd turn them over, but I enjoy the 'Growing' part and this will alow me to produce a large inventory and better variety of trees at a low initial cost. question to you all is:

What are you wholesale sources for citrus trees, large and small?

Which rootstock should I be using for standard and semi dwarf trees?

Which rootstock for dwarf bushes? I hear some about Flying Dragon rootstock, but do you know where I can get them wholesale?

What varieties are your favorites? Flavor is my #1 priority, but vigor of the plant is importaint too. ANd I have to admit, I like a pretty plant so great tasting and uniform beautiful citrus would also be on my list. Seedless is always good as long as they have superior flavor. These trees will all be grown outside in the summer, in greenhouses in the winter in the apropriate size pots. I am leaning towards growing standard trees and keeping them pruned as small as possible. I think the plant will produce more and be a better specimine with a bit of age than a smaller bush. I know my Meyer lemon is over ten years old and still only about 2'X3' ( Of course I have pruned it) But the main structure of the bush is too small for what I want.

I already have Meyer and Eureka variagated lemons, Mexican lime, Washington Orange. I would like to get for my use and bud stock, Nagami Kumquat, Moro Blood orange, Limequat, Rio red and Star ruby grapefruit, A few mandarines the have great flavor and are seedless (Or close to it) but there are so many varieties it is hard to choose. I have heard good things about Gold nugget and Yosemite gold, but also Dancy and Honey.

Thanks for reading this posting. I look forward to your replies.

You can see a bit of my farm at:

Click on 'Agriculture' to see a slideshow of my place.

I have been raising AQHA and Overo paint horses for years, and it ties into my nursery quite well..I use every bit of the manure for a great organic compost pile which I mix with various other ingredients like peat moss and sandy loam as my potting soil. But with this economy, horse sales are not as good as they use to be, and gardening and growing food seems to be a better bet for guaranteed sales. My customers bug me to grow flowers, but with this uncertain world, we all need to eat. That's a pretty safe bet I think. SO I am sticking to edibles. I'll write more at a later date. Don't want to go on too long on the first post. Thanks all-Lauri Miller

Here is a link that might be useful: Lauri Miller's Outdoor Products

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