Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fruit Trees – Love in Bloom in the Garden

DSC_2353_5779Checking on the fruit trees on this sunny afternoon.  The espalier were pruned some time ago.  They had the 1st application of dormant spray on January 16th.  The next application is scheduled for Super Bowl Sunday, February 6th.  The buds are fattening up just a little bit.  Once the buds break, dormant spray can no longer be applied.

DSC_2352_5778My garden assistant for the afternoon was checking out the other end of the line where the plum, peach, and apple grow while I inspected the apricot, nectarine, and pear on my end.  Each tree will be getting fertilized and additional compost prior to Valentine’s Day.  We moved on to the only citrus tree currently producing.

The Rio Red Grapefruit tree.

DSC_2338_5764The dwarf tree, planted on Valentine’s Day 2009, has produced 7 fruits this season.  Farmer MacGregor and I enjoyed the 1st pick several weeks ago; but old MacGregor declared that the fruit was a wee bit too tart yet.  I thought it was just right.  That could be due to the fact that I’m so sweet and counteract any tartness. We’ll wait just a bit longer until more is harvested.  I prefer to eat grapefruit with a spoon and never like I would eat an orange.  It must be some kind of reaction with the metal of the spoon or something that makes the grapefruit more appealing to me to eat that way.

DSC_2354_5780The stakes surrounding the tree will remain in place until all danger of frost has passed.  Plastic sheeting is draped over the stakes to form a small greenhouse and help ward off any damage from cold weather.  Other than frost dangers, citrus are fairly maintenance free here in zone 8-9.

Perhaps the next time the farmer and I enjoy a grapefruit, we can use something like this to celebrate Valentine’s Day after the trees are fed and composted.  Ain’t it romantic?



Sue said...

Your grapefruit look fantastic! I so wish I could grow those here, but no amount of plastic would save them this far north!

Maureen said...

May I ask what kind of dormant spray you use? We've never sprayed our trees before but several years ago we lost 2 peach trees to twig borer. This time around we are trying to be more vigilant so we won't lose the replacements.



*Sue - I encourage you to purchase California grown grapefruits. Struggling farmers appreciate your support.
*Maureen - Farmer MacGregor uses a combination of Monterey's Take Down Garden Spray (pyrethrin oil insecticide) and Lilly Miller's Kop-R-Spray (copper spray fugicide). Everything is mixed in a hand held sprayer and applied together at least 2 or 3 times during the winter. So far, this method has been very helpful along with keeping the area around the trees cleared so no critters can hibernate.

And Sow My Garden Grows said...

Those are some large grapefruits! Looks yummy - I really want citrus trees. You have a great set up in your yard :)

Melissa Price said...

Nice grapefruit! I tried some meyer lemons (in pots) but they didn't do so well here. I forgot to bring them in when cold weather struck... uh-oh. I'm planning to give them another try this spring because I really do enjoy lemons. Grapefruits, not so much.