Citrus Growing at Different Rates

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Steve, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Whilst taking some photos in the garden today I thought it was pretty interesting how my citrus are growing at different rates so I took a photo of them too.

    So here we have from the left Tahitian Lime, Murcott Mandarin, Lemon (not sure on type).
    The lime and lemon were bought at the same time (probably about a year ago) and the mandarin a few months after. They all live in the same spot of my small yard so would roughly get the same amount of sun. I have fed them equally with citrus food and water regularly.
    The lime on the left has given me probably 4 or 5 limes already and have another 7 or so nearly ready to go. It struggles to hold the weight of the fruit so I had to put a stronger stake in recently. Its about up to my lower chest and is not much bigger than when I bought it.
    The mandarin has a dozen fruit and seems to be growing stronger as it didn't need its stake anymore. Its about neck height on me.
    The lemon is a beast. It is 2 feet over my head (I'm 5'10" or 176cm) and is growing each day. It has only 2 good sized lemons which are progressing well. Not sure whether I should trim it or let it go? Thoughts?

    So the tree with the most fruit is the smallest and the largest has the least but I'm not sure it's that simple. I don't get the feeling that if I removed the fruit from the smaller lime that it would have grown much more. Thats just my gut feel.
    On advice from this site I didn't remove any fruit at any time and I'm happy with that advice. I'm happy for nature to do what it needs to do. I'm still getting limes (most important for beers) and they are all fruiting on their first year.

    I can only imagine how these 3 friends of mine will grow in the years to come. Hopefully one day I can put them into the earth and let them reach their full potential. For now we see eye to eye and I take great pride in doing whatever I can to take care of them.

    Cheers,
    Steve


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  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    They look like they're doing well Steve.

    I would probably take the lowest limb off that lemon (the one going left as you look at the pic just above the graft) but that's about all the pruning I'd do.

    Citrus will grow at different rates for a variety of reasons but mainly different species and root stock. I'm surprised your Tahitian lime hasn't grown a little faster as they are usually fairly aggressive but sometimes it takes a season of two for a plant to find its way and then suddenly they just take off! Again, I wouldn't go removing the fruit just for the sake of it (yes, I know it goes against popular opinion) but I honestly don't think it will make a dramatic difference to growth rate if you kept de-fruiting the tree. Plus, it's a shame to waste a good lime when they do go so beautifully with beer :cheers:

    Just keep fertilising as you're doing, with the odd trace elements, and keep the water up and they'll do fine.

    The three most commonly sold lemon trees in Oz are the Lisbon, Eureka, or Meyer. The Meyer lemon is a pretty fast growing tree so I wonder if you may have this variety? You will certainly know by tasting the fruit as the Lisbon and Eureka will be sour like a traditional lemon whereas the Meyer is a little sweeter and the fruit can grow quite large - actually, the Meyer is a cross between a lemon and an orange (more lemon than orange).

    I'm going to be making Meyer lemon marmalade over the next few days so I'll post some pics and start a thread about it. Our fruit this season are smaller than in the past due to the dry summer - thank God for the good Autumn rainfall :yahoo:Still, Meyer lemon jam is fantastic (no matter the size of the fruit) and I make some every year as we can't possibly eat all our lemons.
     
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  3. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Good advice Mark, thanks.

    Looking forward to seeing your marmalade how-to.
    It would be nice to have that much of a crop to make something like marmalade with the excess. You are a rich man Mark.
     
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  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Here's that marmalade how-to :)
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Nice work Mark.

    I was worried at first but you came through.
    And even some humour at the end, funny stuff mate.

    I like the way you used the pectin from the seeds. I never knew you could do that. Interesting.

    I was thinking you were going to have to strain it somehow but then you just put the lot in the jars.
    I'm guessing the rind just goes to mush and blends in quite well in the end.

    Good one Mark, enjoyed that....:thumbsup:
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks mate - I wasn't too sure about my humour as I'm a little weird but you probably knew that already... :p

    Yeah pectin is easy and it can be made from most fruit seeds however lemons are about the best. Pectin is quite expensive to buy and therefore can make it pretty expensive to make jam at home but if you have a few lemons handy then they can be used for other jams also to help set and add a bit of tartness - I'm begining to sound like the ladies at the CWA ha ha...

    The rind absorbs the sugar nicely and adds to the overall taste and yes it does go mushy also the rind is good to eat healthwise. You can strain it for a "jelly like" jam if you wish and that works well (goes good with cheese platters).
     
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  7. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Humour's great to have in your videos as it's such a delightful topic to talk about, and the light heartedness adds to the appeal. :)
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    In all honesty Ash, I'm a pretty crap actor - let's face it, but I do try... LOL
     
  9. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Even so, your videos are quite the infotainment we need! :D
     
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  10. Joseph Isaac

    Joseph Isaac Active Member Premium Member

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    After reading this article, I got interested in planting citrus too. All I got is Pomelo :y don't look so good. I hope their condition improves in the next few weeks. 10404235_10153372164616462_6597567790847531869_n.jpg
     
  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I wouldn't mind growing a Pomelo - I'll have to look into it!

    Your tree in the image doesn't look too bad? Citrus can take a little while to establish but then they'll take off and grow strong. I wouldn't worry about it...
     
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  12. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    They look healthy. They now need some space to be planted and be allowed to grow more.
     
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