Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Now I have several flowers on my Meyer Lemon Tree.

As I posted this morning I found that now I have several flowers on my Meyer Lemon Tree.
I'm not sure how they're doing or if I should be pollinating them or not, but I'm gonna let the tree grow some more. Also, I have at least three more clusters of buds on there that could develop at a later date.

I know that the Improved Meyer Lemon Tree is self pollinating, but it being indoors the likelihood of it having fruit is pretty low. There isn't much of a breeze in my sunroom.

But, its ok. These are my first flowers and the room smells amazing.

Meyer Lemon Flowers

More flowers on my Meyer Lemon Tree.

More flowers on my Meyer Lemon Tree.

I woke up this mornin and found four more flowers opened up on my Meyer Lemon Tree. Last night I knew there were a couple getting ready to open, but I wasn't expecting them to open so soon. As the tree is still quite small I'm not going to hand pollinate these flowers and just let them grow on their own.

There are two more clusters forming as well which should turn into flowers in probably two weeks. I will allow those to grow as well.

In addition to that there are two tiny clusters on the tree as well, so I guess that I will have plenty of flowers on my tree for the next couple months at least.

When I get home later today I will update this post with a few pictures.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another update of my sunroom garden.

Yesterday I had a chance to go Logees again and I picked up another plant.
This one is a Australian Beach Cherry plant. They are supposed to grow easily. They produce a nice red shiny, miniature pear looking fruit.

It does well in colder climates and according to what I've read after it grows to 12 inches high it is strong enough to start producing fruit.

Here is a picture.
Australian Beach Cherry plant
Something else exciting is that my Cantaloupe seeds actually started sprouting. I'm pumped and will try to continue to nurture it so it will continue to grow.  Here are a couple pictures.
Cantaloupe Sprout

Cantaloupe Sprout
The other thing I noticed was the Tree Tomato Plant. This one prefers more water than my other plants, but seems to be doing really well.  I noticed that when it was thirsty the leafs would droop. But, at closer inspection it is quickly growing out a new leaf near the top. And at an even closer inspection there is a new leaf sprouting there as well. I am so shocked at how fast this plant is growing. Here are a few pictures.  I do see some small buds growing as well, but i'm not sure if those are new leafs, (flowers?) or actual fruit getting ready to develop. 

I'm also thinking that if it keeps growing at this pace I'm going to have to up pot it by next weekend.

Here are a couple pics.
Tree Tomato Plant

Tree Tomato Plant

Tree Tomato Plant.
On this last picture if you look at the V area in the middle of the pic, there are about four tiny buds growing there. I'll make sure to update in a couple days to see what they develop into.

How to care for your Meyer Lemon Tree.

I wanted to do an update on my Meyer Lemon Tree today. Its so nice out and the sun is really brightening up my sunroom.

This is just a start, but I wanted to continue making videos on specific plants/trees.

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Growing Cantaloupes in a Sunroom - experiment

Growing Cantaloupes in my sunroom.


Last weekend I was surprised to find seeds at my local Home Depot. Its still pretty cold outside and we are getting small snow flurries here and there. But, I was interested in seeing what they had for sale.

I picked up some Cantaloupe seeds are seeing a lot of videos online about growing them and also because I really like their taste. I was going to wait until the spring, but I thought, the seeds only cost me a $1.25. Why don't I try it out now and see if I can grow them in my sunroom. If it fails I can buy more seeds in March and start growing them then.

From what I hear they grow very fast and need at least 5 months to fully mature. So if I am successful I will get a longer season out of them.

So, as I mentioned before it was last Sunday when I bought them and put a bunch in a 4 inch pot and the other half in a 10 inch wide pot. I figured if any would grow I'd pick off the ones around them.

Now, I didn't see anything going on all week as I figured it would take about 10 days to germinate. The bag said 7, but I knew my conditions weren't ideal.

This morning I went out to do the daily watering and peeked under the plastic covers. And this is what I found!

The pictures are of the 4 inch pot.  The 10 inch pot had some growth as well, but much smaller. I will share some updates in the following days as well.

I'm very surprised to see some growth! Got to take care of these guys and see if I will eventually get Cantaloupe from them.

Cantaloup see sprouts

Cantaloupe seed sprouts
Please note that this is day 6.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

All about growing Eversweet Strawberries

All about growing Eversweet Strawberries

When you think of red fruit I'm sure you think of cherries, strawberries, apples and a few other fruits as well. But strawberries are unique in that they have their seeds on the outside and we enjoy them! Ok, so strawberries are more than just little red fruits with seeds on the outside. These are some people's favorite fruit for their size, taste and for their overall appeal. It is actually rare to find someone who doesn't like strawberries. These can be good or can be amazing.

After much research on this topic I've found that there are tons of different varieties, sizes, flavors and even colors. Did you know there are white strawberries? And some that are the size of a penny, but have tons of flavor?

Well today we are going to talk about growing Eversweet Strawberries. These are very tasty and are large, although a little smaller than your supermarket variety. But, many would say these are tastier. Also, if you are lucky enough to be growing, wanting to grow or tried some off the vine there is almost no comparison with store bought.

STRAWBERRY TYPES


There are three main categories for strawberries.

June bearing - These are the most common varieties to be found in super markets and by farmers around the nation. These are planted in the spring and develop their fruit in June. They have an abundance of fruit and some varieties are rather large. Although it only has one season of fruit it is very abundant so it works well for farmers and others who make some of their income from their strawberry harvest.

Everbearing - This is another category where strawberries grow and fruit once in June and continue for another month or so. The first crop is the largest and then it tapers off to smaller yields. The great thing about the everbearing strawberries is that you will have fresh strawberries for a long period of time. A lot of gardeners like to grow some June bearing and some everbearing so they have strawberries for consecutive months. The yield is smaller on the everbearing kind, but it doesn't end your strawberry season short. This is a great idea for your backyard and your kids will enjoy picking strawberries for months.

Day-neutral - This category can sometimes be confused with the everbearing as they do share some traits. But, the day-neutral variety bears fruit in early summer and early fall. But, depending on the variety you can have these bearing fruit year round if you can keep ideal conditions for them. The yield is usually the same or smaller than everbearing, but much smaller than the June bearing.

So, if you want fruit year round with maximum yield its a good idea to grow some of each variety and enjoy all kinds of strawberries year round.

The Eversweet Strawberry falls under the everbearing category, but is sometimes considered Day-neutral depending on where you look.

CLIMATE


The Eversweet Strawberry does well in Zone 6 to Zone 9.
It can handle very warm weather (up to 98 degrees) without losing flavor.
And it can handle colder weather (as low as 40 degrees) without dying as long as it get adequate sun.
This is a pretty hardy variety and it can be easily be found growing in the Northeast.

SOIL


Like most fruit the Eversweet Strawberry enjoys well draining soil. I does like slightly acidic soil and will do very well with PH levels of 4.5-8.

When you plant these in the ground they do like to be elevated a little or on a hill. The roots do not run deep, but will grow wide.

If you plant them in a bed make sure to place them at least 12 inches apart so when they are fully grown they don't cross root each other.

RUNNERS


Strawberry plants act a lot like a vine in the fact that once they start to grow they will start to reach out to grow further. These extensions are called runners. The plant uses these runners to eventually form another plant. Off of these long stems develop roots and a whole new plant. This is great as you won't have to go and buy more plants every year if you don't want to as the plants themselves will multiply.

But, one thing to consider is that these runners drain a lot of the energy from the mother plant. So if you are looking for a good harvest you are going to want to cut these off the first year. This way the mother plant can develop its roots, develop its leafs and also grow some flowers.

FLOWERS


Strawberry plants produce a variety of flowers. (The Eversweet produces a nice white flower.) Some can be white, or yellow, or even pink. Also, the leaf pattern can be different. The flower is essentially the fruit of the strawberry. As the fruit starts to develop the flower's petals will fall off and the center part will start to grow. The center part is usually yellow. This is the part that grows and eventually turns into the strawberry. The strawberry may start out looking yellow/green, but eventually grows lighter and then to its final color. This color is usually a bright red.

The first year you have your plant you want to make sure to cut off all runners and all flowers. This might sound strange, but this will help the plant develop and grow stronger. This means that in your second fruiting season the plant will be much stronger and will develop a large amount of fruit.

In your second season you can trim them as you like and even take some of the runners and repot them to start new plants. But, by that point you would have already enjoyed some great tasting strawberries.

MORE INFORMATION (EVERSWEET STRAWBERRY)


height - 10-14 inches

sun -  6-8 hrs a day

watering - once a week, careful with overwatering

fertilizing - feed only a couple times a month, but more often when fruit is growing

pot size - these can be grown very well in containers, a 10 or 12 inch container is perfect

leafs - very green, some clusters like to grow in threes

flower - white

seeds - seeds will germinate within 10-16 days


These are fairly common strawberries to be found in the northeast so if you see one at your local nursery pick one up and give it a try. They grow well indoors in the right conditions. So just imagine enjoying fresh picked strawberries in the middle of the winter.

All about growing a Hardy Chicago Fig Tree

All about growing a Hardy Chicago Fig Tree

Growing a Hardy Chicago Fig tree can be quite rewarding as they are a very attractive plant and produce very sweet edible figs.  There are many kinds of figs grown all over the world. Some are tiny, large, green, brown, purple, and even the inside of the fig can be a variety of colors. So, you must do your research to see what kind of fig tree will do well in your zone.  I have chosen to grow a Hardy Chicago Fig tree as I live in the Northeast.

Fig Types

There are several other Fig varieties that will also do well in colder climates. Some are the Hardy Chicago Fig, The Celeste Fig, The Brown Turkey Fig and some Black Mission figs. These can do well in zones 6-9. If you plan on growing them outdoors year round make sure they have a pretty developed root system and are over 2 feet tall. Most of these will require some overwintering to survive properly in the snowing season as well. Each of these figs look different, but the Hardy Chicago fig is a dark color with a reddish interior.

Pinching

Pinching is a technique that is required in colder climates. In the northeast and further north the growing season is much shorter than in say Florida. This means that many figs will not have enough time to fully develop before the first frost hits. A way to avoid that happening is by pinching. This is the act of pinching off new leaf growth as its budding. Of course you don't want to do that to all new leafs, but only after the fourth leaf on a given branch.  This will cause the plant to double its energy and produce a fruit there. If you do this properly the figs will develop earlier and make it through the ripening stage. It takes a fig about two months to fully ripen.

Fruit

The interesting fact about the Fig is that it has to be left on the tree to fully ripen. If you take it off the tree early it will stay under-ripe and if you leave it to long it could get too mushy and most likely fall off. Now, the trouble with this if grown outside you will attract a lot of insects and birds. So you must learn to fend them off and to wait until the fruit is fully mature. You will know when the fruit is ready to pick when it is fairly soft and can be squished easily. This is a fairly delicate fruit and can bruise or tear easily when ripe. Also, check the eye on the bottom of the fruit. Once it is fully open you will know that it is ready to harvest. When removing make sure to cut or break off from the stem. If you try to remove too close to the fruit it will tear or leak some white liquid. This liquid is irritating so make sure to wear gloves if you are not used to harvesting figs. Once these are removed from the tree you will see that they spoil rather quickly. This is one reason they are so expensive and hard to find when you go to the supermarket. Their shelf life (for most varieties) is only about 7 days. For cooking purposes you can remove them a little earlier when they are more firm and those will last almost 10 days, but will never be as sweet as if left to fully mature.

Growing in pots

Growing the Hardy Chicago Fig Tree in a pot is a great idea. Although they are hardy trees if they are very small it is not a good idea to have them growing outdoors quite yet. Place them in a 10 inch pot to start and you can later up pot them to a 5 gallon container. These like to feel secure in their containers and will grow well in a tight container. The container itself will also help to shrink the overall size of the tree. A 10 to 15 gallon container could be this plant's final home. They will continue to grow year after year and respond to trimming. These can easily grow to about 12 ft tall and about 10 ft wide. Depending on how you trim them you can shape them to grow as a bush or as a tree. Make sure to feed them at least once a month and more when they are fruiting and to keep their soil moist, but not wet.  If later you decide to grow them outdoors they grow very well near a south or southeast facing wall.

More Information

Height  - 12 ft

Width - 9 ft

pot size - 10 inch to start, 10-15 gallon at full maturity

Leafs - Very green with three fingers

Fig - dark purple, reddish interior, small

Sun - 6-8 hours

cuttings - you can take a clipping from the mother plant and regrow it to form a new tree

All about growing an Improved Meyer Lemon Tree

All about growing an Improved Meyer Lemon tree.

Info:
The Meyer lemon is originally from Asia and is a cross between a lemon and a tangerine. Initially this variety of Lemon was brought to California and did very well there.  Later on it proved to adapt to the American climate better as it is quite hardier than a traditional lemon tree. You can now find it a favorite for citrus lovers.

Color:
Flowers - White with yellow and are very fragrant
Fruit - Very round yellow with a hint of orange
Leafs - Wide oval, mid to dark green

Flavor:
Very much like a traditional lemon, but sweeter
This is a great variety for lemonade and to use in mixed drinks
The rind can also be used in cooking

Size:
These are about the same size as the traditional lemon, but are a rounder shape
They tend to be around 6 inches long
Sizes may vary with variety of tree (whether dwarf, or semi-dwarf)

Interesting facts:
The Meyer Lemon tree is very special as it not fixed to any particular season. This means that it will bloom and bear fruit year round! The most abundant harvest will be during early winter, but it will bloom in the spring fall and summer. To keep this tree bearing fruit on a year long period it is best to bring it indoors in the colder months as it will continue to develop fruit if grown indoors. Also, these trees are happy to live their whole lives in pots so if you don't have a lot of room you do have that option. Also, although these do require pollinating to grow fruit they can bear fruit indoors on their own. So they are semi-self pollinating.

Preferred pot size:
This tree likes to be a little snug in its pot so don't be in a rush to up-pot it.

Up to a year old - 10 inch pot
1 - 3 years old - 3 gallon container
3 years plus - 10 gallon container

Size:
The Dwarf variety will grow to about 5 feet tall. Has very nice green leafs and white flowers.
You can trim these down in the fall if they get too big.

This is a fantastic tree to grow in your house or sunroom  as it will provide a great aroma, attractive foliage, plenty of fruit and will never get too large for you to manage (with pruning).

Review - www.bananas.org

Review of www.bananas.org

If and when you decide to grow fruits or other edibles in your home you will probably be doing a lot of research online on different varieties, best practices, other's results and even some good forums for some Q/A.

It is true that ordering catalogues and reading some online reviews is a great start, but you probably want to dig deeper and get more infomation from real people.

So, nearly five months ago, I set out to gather as much information as I could on growing bananas. I live in the northeast and knew this would not be easy. I found tons of information on growing bananas, descriptions and even how to take their suckers to grow new ones. But, I still had the dilemma of figuring out which I would actually have a chance of growing in my climate.

It was then that I found bananas.org

With a very small contribution I had a year's membership and all the information I wanted a couple of clicks away.

The website is setup as a Forum with different topics, threads, image galleries and some how to sections. I was immediately recommended to do a introctory post and to fill out some of  my profile. If any of you have been on other Forums this is usually the first step.

But, after I had introduced myself I was bombarded with hello's and welcome's from members all over the world! I also found a "thanks" icon on every post very handy. So if someone liked your post they could select thanks. You could set it up so all thanks and post notifications were sent to your e-mail. In my first week I had found others who were growing bananas, some in new england, some in Europe, and others like me looking to get growing, but had some questions.

I then started searching other threads to see if there were other newbies like me. I found several and followed them from the beginning of their thread. I made sure to comment and ask questions and everyone was very nice providing feedback and follow up.

I found tons of galleries of all kinds of bananas, flowers, descriptive images, and other plants categorized for everyone to see.

One of the best things about this forum is that the more you use it the more you can learn from it. The system learns which threads you have followed or commented on in the past and keeps them in your control panel. Any time someone comments on those posts you get a notification of it so you can make sure to follow it as well.  This is a great way of being able to go back to a post you had been interested in at one point and continue to follow it.

I started my own threads later on and had some followers give me input on an almost daily basis and I ventured out to other topics as well.

Now if you are thinking that this whole site is about just bananas then you are mistaken. It encompasses any fruit, vegetable or gardening topic you can think of. When I got my strawberry plant and my fig plant I immediately went to bananas.org and found the forums associated with them.

I even started my own bell pepper thread!

I still go on this site almost daily to catch up with people, check people's gardens and to get some of my questions answered. It is truly a great resource and community. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to grow and is growing something in their home.

And if you do join you can look me up under the name: tommyg

Thanks!

Tip of the week - Citrus

Tip of the week - Citrus

While doing some research on different websites I was able to find this great tip when growing your Citrus gaden.

When feeding your citrus use a water-soluble fertilizer when possible. Citrus plant leafs hold most of the plants nutriets and therefore need to be maintained well. Generally speaking, the more leafs it has the more nutrients it has to feed itslef with.

Now when you use a water soluble fertilizer you want to make sure to mix it in water (according to fertilizer specifications) and spray the leafs. Especially if you are seeing your leafs turning yellow near the middle you know that it is not getting the proper balance of nutrients. 

So the quick tip of the day is: spray your tree's leafs with the fertilizer blend. your tree will thank you for it.

Review - Logee's Plants for Home and Garden, Danielson, CT




Courtesy of www.logees.com

www.logees.com

Logee's Plants for Home and Garden
141 North St.
Danielson, CT 06239







After some searching and asking around for a great place to find tropical plants I was directed towards www.logees.com. I had previously ordered from a couple online catalogues and even from Amazon. I found a couple places that sold good product, shipped it well and which arrived in a timely fashion. But, I was always looking online to see what a healthy plant was supposed to look like, how long it took to bear fruit and for advanced growing instructions.

Logee's was the answer. I made the journey from my house in Massachusetts to Danielson CT with my father to see all the great products we had seen online. Some other locations near me had already stopped ordering these kinds of plants as they weren't "in season" anymore. Although, I am looking to grow a garden in the middle of winter, I probably could of picked a better time to do so. In any case I found a great selection of plants, trees and tropicals on the Logee's website. I also found out from the website that they were open 7 days a week year round excluding holidays. I just couldn't believe it.

Ok, so back to me heading to visit them. I found them very easy to find off of rt 395. After a couple turns I saw their green sign and building.

When I arrived I entered into a medium sized room with a large counter on the right side and some gardening accessories and plants on the left. I was greeted at the door as I looked around.

Straight ahead were some steps going down towards a fairly large greenhouse. Once inside I found that it was easily 500 ft long and fully stocked with all kinds of plants, flowers, vines etc.  The walking space was pretty narrow, but there was so much to see. Everything was well categorized, labeled and laid it in appropriately sized containers. I knew that that finding what I was looking for would take some wandering.

I found lots of fruiting plants as I walked up and down the aisles and found a couple smaller greenhouse areas near the end. We then kept wandering around and found that there was a door leading to another area. And guess what, it was another huge greenhouse filled with plants and trees. This one seemed to house the larger plants including some full grown orange, grapefruit, banana, tree tomato, kumquat and lemon trees. They had avocado plants, different banana species, lemons and more.

I did have to go back out from to find the smaller scale kumquat plants. I had actually missed them in the smaller greenhouse in the back of the first greenhouse. There had been some people back there on my first journey so I had skipped that area.

There was a long row of limes, lemons, oranges, grape fruits, calamondins and every variety in between there. They had various sizes of each of them and some even had fruit on them already.

These were all labeled very well with a picture of a mature plant, a description of the plants growing and fruiting habits, light requirements, temperature requirements and projected sizes as well.

I had finally found what I was looking for. A place near to home, lots of "live" inventory to see, a great selection and very reasonable pricing.

Needless to say that I have gone back again to pickup a couple new plants. As my dad says my sunroom is become greener every day.

The staff has been very helpful on both visits offering suggestions, telling me about the different flavors of fruits, which may do better in colder climates and when I should expect to see fruit growth.

So I don't currently have a rating system, but I'll say this location gets an A+.

A+  quality of product
A+  product selection
A+  helpful staff
A+  knowledgable staff
A+  easy to find
A+  quality information found on site and on website

Although I am a fruit fanatic this is also a great plant and flower go-to destination. They have a vast array of cacti, vines, plants and flowers for every climate and gardening skill level.

And if you are looking for a small road trip this is a great place to go. If you plan to walk around all the greenhouses make sure you put aside a few hours of your day as you will be overwhelmed by everything Logee's has to offer.

Logee's is open 7 days a week except on holidays.

Visit their website here and you'll never buy from anyone else. They ship nationwide so you can place an order anytime. 

But, to get the full experience, visit them in Danielson, CT!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First Meyer Lemon Tree Flower!

First Meyer Lemon Tree Flower!!

Ok, so as I suspected this morning, my first flower has developed and opened up on my Meyer Lemon Tree!  When I got home I was busy misting all my plants that I didn't even notice. Then I went over to the Meyer Lemon Tree and saw there was a little more white there than usual and bam, I saw the flower.  I then went for my camera to take a few pictures. The flower smells really nice and now all I need is some more of the buds to open up so I can start doing some pollinating.

Here are some pics of my very first Meyer Lemon Flower!

Meyer Lemon Tree Flower

Meyer Lemon Tree Flower

Meyer Lemon Tree Flower

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Temple Orange Flower

My Temple Orange Flower

Temple Orange flower
This is a follow up to my other post of my Temple Orange Tree. Today the flower is fully open and you can start seeing it much better. There are other buds forming around it which may soon open as well.

Take a look! These flowers are clearly smaller than the Meyer Lemon buds so it might be safe to say that the Temple orange might be a smaller fruit that the Meyer Lemon. I believe it resembles the calamondin in size, but I could be wrong.


Temple Orange flower

Saturday, January 21, 2012

1,000 page views!

Thanks everyone for checking out my site. I'm pleased to say that since I started this blog to about twenty minutes ago I have crossed the 1,000 page view threshold. Thanks for showing interest in my blog and I will make sure to continue to give you updates on what I'm growing and how its doing.

I also have a second blog which is more information driven, but I'm still working on adding more content there. It is http://growingyourfruits.blogspot.com

If you live in the Northeast please be safe today while driving around as it is still snowing.

For the rest of you I'll be sure to post again tomorrow.

Thanks again,

- Sunroom Tom

Quick update of my sunroom garden on a snowy day.

This is a quick update of my sunroom garden on a snowy day.

Ok so we have about three inches of snow on the ground now. No biggie my plants are in my sunroom protected from most of the elements. So I was heading out to Logees, but I think they might be closed today so instead I went to Home Depot. I picked up another spray bottle for my liquid fertilizer, (fish fertilizer), some Cantaloupe seeds, and a water meter.

So I headed home and gave my citrus ONLY some of the fish fertilizer. Tiny amounts, but found that that stuff smells awful. Oh well, the citrus will like it as it is high in nitrogen.

I also noticed that my temple orange plant has just bloomed a flower. I was pumped! Here is a pic.

Temple Orange Flower
I apologize for calling this a small navel orange in the past, but it is a Temple Orange. These flowers are much smaller than the flowers developing on the Meyer Lemon Tree. These oranges are about the size of a mandarin and I can't wait for more flowers to open up soon. More pics to come!

I also saw that my Meyer Lemon tree continued to grow its buds and some new leafs as well.

Meyer Lemon Leafs

Meyer Lemon Buds
These buds are starting to grow very well. You can see some hints of purple on some of these. Also if you look there are several smaller ones behind these as well. There are more buds on the other side of the tree as well. As this plant is quite hardy I'm sure it will continue to grow very well.

Meyer Lemon Leafs
As you can see these new leafs are looking very healthy. Last night they were all scrunched up, but now they are spreading out and you can see a couple smaller leafs in the middle looking to grow as well. I hope the fish fertilizer will help them to grow some more. To think when I first got this tree there was no growth on that branch.

A couple additions to my garden are my little experiments.

I have some Alpine strawberry seeds in a small container and some Cantaloupe as well. Below is a picture of the two containers with the Cantaloupe seeds in them. They say 7-10 days to germinate so we'll see how that works out.

The Alpine strawberry should germinate in about 5 days as I put it in soil about three days ago.

More to follow....

Cantaloupe seeds in dirt.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quick update of my Meyer Lemon Tree buds

I just wanted to post a quick update of my Meyer Lemon Tree buds.


I happened to have a couple skeptical people on a forum that thought that perhaps I didn't have a Meyer Lemon Tree as their buds/blooms are usually purple.

So, I decided to post a more recent picture and if you look closely the largest bud on the left and the one slightly out of focus in the middle both are starting to get some purple in them.

I know these are closeups, but I'm pretty sure that the largest bud is getting very close to opening up.

I  can't wait to smell the flowers as I hear they are very refreshing.

Here's the picture I took about twenty minutes ago.

Meyer Lemon Tree buds

I really hope that by next weekend this bud decides to open up.  And soon after that I will attempt to help pollinate the flowers. On the other side of the plant I have two other clusters of buds, but they are smaller at this time.

I'll post again in a few days.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why I pruned my Meyer Lemon Tree.

Why I pruned my Meyer Lemon Tree.


I have been doing a lot of research on youtube and other places about pruning and shaping your trees. It looks like you can train your tree to form in a bush shape or a tree shape. Of course there are other ways of training it, but these are the two most common.

When I got my Meyer Lemon Tree it was very healthy with leafs and they were growing all over the place. After some inspection I found that some of the major branches were growing towards each other and many of the leafs were getting caught up with one another. At the time I didn't mind so much as long as the plant continued to grow, and it did. Soon I started seeing tiny buds growing and some new leafs developing.

Now, almost two months after I got my plant I am really starting to get concerned about the shape of my tree. I had two large branches coming out of the same spot and running parallel with each other. This meant that their little branches and leafs were also getting really congested. I know that these wouldn't grow much more as they were intertwined.

I did some research on Youtube and on other blogs and found that training them or pruning back unwanted branches would help the tree develop better and in an upward manner.

So this morning I took a closer look at my Meyer Lemon Tree and started cutting off a few tiny branches.

I feel like the plant now breathes better, has room to grow and will be able to focus its energy on the large buds that have developed.

Here are a few images.

My Meyer Lemon Tree after pruning.

My Meyer Lemon Tree after pruning
Its interesting, but now that I look at it from this angle that lower branch is too low to the ground. I am hoping to encourage this plant to grow upwards if possible. I will have to look at it again and see if the tree will do better without that very low hanging branch.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I went to Logee's and picked up a Tree Tomato plant.

I went to Logee's today and decided on a Tree Tomato plant. I hear that they grow quickly and are rather resilient. They have a large 4 1/2 ft Tree Tomato plant in their greenhouse and the fruit and leaves look amazing. I'm hoping that it settles into its new pot and climate soon and starts to grow.

Here are a couple pictures. I will make sure to post some more next weekend.

Tree Tomato Plant

Tree Tomato Plant Leaves

Citrus Update 1/14/2012

With the new year I have grown my citrus garden a little bit. On my last post I showed you a video update of most of my plants, but I wanted to follow up on how my citrus plants are doing.

I have also decided to move them around to a sunnier place of my sunroom.

So lets take a look at some picture highlights of my citrus.

Meyer Lemon Tree Buds
 The first few pictures here are of my Meyer Lemon Tree. The buds are continuing to grow and I keep finding tiny ones all over the place. As you can see in this picture there is one large one and a few others following right behind.  I hope that these open up in the next week or so.  As I mentioned earlier in the post I have moved them to a slightly better spot where they should get more sun.

I still have something chewing on the leaves but I'm determined to catch it tonight and get rid of it.
Meyer Lemon Tree Buds

Meyer Lemon Tree Bud
If you look at this picture above you'll see that there are actually three buds there. The big one, a tiny one and another larger one above hiding behind a leaf. This is not the same cluster of buds as the picture below.
Meyer Lemon Buds

Meyer Lemon Leaf Sprouts
 These two pictures here are great as you can see the tree is trying to grow some new leafs and another cluster of buds as well.  I am very happy with the Meyer Lemon Tree. It has grown well, (took about 4 days to settle into new soil and climate), but now is doing rather well. I honestly wish it was in more of a tree form as apposed to a bush form as the leafs get tangled a bit, but its ok.  I'm sure the new growth will start to grow the plant upwards a bit.

Meyer Lemon Tree bud and leaf
Look at this tiny bud. I found it yesterday. I know you can't tell in the picture but this is about an inch off the ground. I'll keep an eye on it and see how it does.
Small Meyer Lemon Bud
 Now we're moving on to my Navel Orange plant. I forget which variety, but this is a smaller Navel than the orange you see at the supermarket. Also, this variety tends to fruit at a much younger age than the traditional Navel. This plant is currently about 12 inches tall and as you can see there are some nice buds forming. Personally I don't think the plant is large or old enough to support a fruit, but it will be nice to see the flowers bloom.
Navel Orange Buds

Navel Orange Buds
Ok, so I snuck in the LEMON guava plant in this update. I know it's not a citrus, but it's close enough.
This plant is almost 19 inches tall and is growing well. I will make sure to put a stick in there to keep it upright as it is starting to get top heavy. There are signs of buds near the top, which I forgot to take pictures of, but I think those are just new leafs. I could be wrong. So for now you can enjoy some leaf shots and mid section shot as well. The plant is very healthy and will support colder weather than the citrus plants. Its fruit is the size of a large grape and they are supposed to taste like lemon/guava but a tad sweeter. The lady at Logee's highly recommended it. So I can't wait to see it grow further.
Lemon Guava Leaf
These are the two buds on the Lemon Guava plant. I'm going to have to keep en eye on them. I'm not sure if these are going to be fruit or new leaves. I'm sure that in a week I'll be able to see some more growth.
Lemon Guava bud

Lemon Guava bud


Lemon Guava Leaf

Lemon Guava plant.
 One shot from above of the navel orange plant. The plant is just starting to show signs of adapting to the new soil and climate.
Navel Orange Buds.
My Nagami Kumquat plant is doing well although I haven't seen much change in it. This one is almost 24 inches tall and has 4 fruit on it. You can see each of them in the following pics. Two have a lot of yellow and the other two still have a lot of green. I have moved this plant to a sunnier spot hoping the sun will help it ripen. I've been told that at this stage they won't fully ripen until early February. That's ok, I can wait. Also this is meant to be eaten whole, skin and all. The skin/rind is supposed to be sweet and the flesh/fruit inside is tart which makes for an interesting flavor. Depending on what stage of ripeness you get it the better it tastes. So it might take some trial and error to know exactly when to pluck it for best flavor. The Kumquat does not ripen once its off the plant so you must pick it when its fully ripe or when it tastes how you want it to.
Nagami Kumquat Fruit

Nagami Kumquat fruit

Nagami Kumquat fruit

Nagami Kumquat fruit
I am really enjoying growing my citrus and plan on maybe getting another plant at Logees today. I have my eye on the Miracle berry as supposedly it makes all things sour taste sweet! But, if I do go I'll be sure to update you guys on what I get or don't get.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

my sunroom garden update 1/7/2012

Hi everyone.
Sorry I haven't updated you with my sunroom garden lately.
I've made a couple additions and wanted to show you.

Enjoy!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Treating my banana plants from spider mites

Treating my banana plants from spider mites (on-going)

Its been a few days and my banana plants are doing much better. I am still seeing some small mites underneath, but I'm trying to be good about spraying in the morning and afternoon. I am making sure to spray underneath and on top of the leafs. I did have to cut off a couple leafs the other day as they were badly damaged.

The first day I made a small hand soap/water solution mixture abot 1 to 6 and sprayed it all over the leafs. I then took some paper towels and combed the leafs one at a time to make sure I got as much off the leafs as I could.

I then took the plants outside and sprayed them down with water for a good five minutes each. I have four plants and wanted to make sure each was washed down well. If one gets infested again most likely they all will.

The plant is reacting well to this and I will continue to spray it on a daily basis.

I made sure to throw away the papertowels I had used into a trashbag and placed that outside. Although these spiders are tiny they can find their way out and wander around so make sure to throw these out as soon as possible.

The cause for these spiders was primarily the low level of humidity and lots of direct sunlight. I am now making sure to mist my plants everyday.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Meyer Lemon tree is getting flowers!

I've had my eye on my Meyer Lemon Tree and what was once a tiny little stem looking thing is turning into a flower sprout.  A couple weeks ago there were a few tiny things developing. I think I took a couple pictures and posted them here, but they were tiny with only one of them showing a white tip.

Now, you can see that there are several and some of them are showing a flower petal formation on them.

I believe this flower grows outwards to about 3/4 of an inch and then the petals open up.  It will be interesting to watch as these will be my first Citrus flowers ever!

They shouldn't be too big, but they are supposed to be very fragrant. It is from these flowers that the Meyer Lemon will develop.

Here are a couple pictures I took today. I'm hoping that within a week or so I will start getting a couple fully grown flowers.

Meyer Lemon Tree Flower Buds

Meyer Lemon Tree Flower Buds

I will post a couple pictures over the weekend to update. Also, look at the smaller bud on the right you can see the lines of several petals on it. How neat is that?!