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barbpj

Is this a good area to plant Citrus trees?

I have way too many citrus in containers, and I need to get them in the ground. I didn't mean to end up this way but I just got really into citrus in the last couple years and with a nasty gopher problem I figured I'd just keep them in pots.

Problem is there are now too many and I'm not reliable enough with container care to keep them really healthy long term. You folks who keep them potted always have my admiration. It is much more work, even if in a good citrus climate. And those in colder climates, I really give kudos to, it must be tough dragging them in and out every year.

So since I can, I'm going to try to put them all in the ground. I have a few questions for those who grow in Ca.
I have an area of the yard I think will work but I'd like a second or third opinion. It's a slight slope so it should drain well. We have clay mixed with rock/gravel and silt. This area used to be a creek bed so there is tons of very big, big, medium, small, tiny rocks, mixed with clay. Drainage, even with a base of clay is pretty good, 100 years ago this area was planted in wine grapes commercially.

I'll have to use gopher cages for all of them, (about 20ish). Gopher wire cages around the roots do eventually rust away, but it protects for at least the first 1-2 years, and usually by then the tree is old enough and the roots tougher so they are not as much of a treat for the dang varmints. I realize though I will probably lose a tree or so once in a while. (If anyone has a foolproof gopher plan, let me know. I would be very interested)

OK, it runs north-south long ways, so it gets east to west sun. But there is a tall hedge of Italian cypress on the east side from the neighbor's yard, and a pretty tall oleander hedge up hill on the west side. So morning shade until about 9:00 am and afternoon shade from about 4:30 on, mostly on the west side closest to the oleander hedge. Mid-summer that's about 7 to 61/2 hours of full sun a day. In the winter it will get pretty much full sun as the sun's path heads down towards the southern sky.

Does this look like a good spot for a citrus grove? Or is it not enough sun?
I'm near San Jose, Ca. so it gets hot in the summer, but we still get some ocean influence, (and I'm up against the east side of the coast mountains.) so the nights are often cooler.

There is a spot out front that's flat with full all day sun, but it would have to be fenced against deer. ($$$) So I hope this will be good, as it's already fenced. What do you think?

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