The topic was citrus, with Aaron from Four Winds Citrus Growers. How great it was that he was willing to take time to share his knowledge with us! We had a fair amount of discussion on how the nursery business is changing in regard to developing, bringing to market, and growing citrus due to the HLB (citrus greening) disease. The disease will have considerable impact on the availability of new and unusual citrus varieties for home gardens. How lucky for us that we can continue to have a citrus scion exchange with healthy, protected wood from the California Citrus Clonal program.
There were however, a few new varieties to watch for… A lime called “New Zealand Lemonade” which is sweet, a red pummelo called “Valentine”, and and orange called “Vaniglia Sanguini”. Four Winds should have these in the next year or two, in addition to their existing broad selection of trees!
Regarding cultivation of trees we discussed the following… Planting: The roots do not like to be too wet. If soil is heavy, citrus often respond well to growing on mounded soil. Yellowing leaves are often a sign of the roots being too wet! Feeding: Citrus are heavy feeders and in our area would like fertilizer in small amounts every 6 weeks from February through August. They also like micronutrients (trace minerals). Pruning: May be pruned to keep them the size desired, but be careful to avoid pruning later than early spring. Pruning stimulates growth, and new leaves are much more susceptible to insect damage and later to frost damage.
Much more information is available on their website: http://www.fourwindsgrowers.com