Oranges, lemons and freezing temps

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by KrisW, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    Well, here in sunny California it’s been clear as a bell, the lows at night have been in the low 30’s.
    This has been going on for weeks now, usually we get less than 5 days with temps like these.
    This is very strange for us here at 300 ft above sea level.

    My question is about my citrus trees, they are about 4 feet tall, in pots.
    I have them under the clothes line with Xmas lights on them and plastic over the lines.
    A make shift green house if you will. They are looking really beat up.

    My question is, should I give them a bit of fertilizer?
    Or should I just let them be and hope for the best.

    Thanks,

    Kris
     
  2. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kris,
    I don't think that you want to feed them now, (I'm not positive tho) It seems that you might get new growth and it's tooooo cold now. I'm not feeding mine until closer to spring. We've been getting freezes most nights too. All my citrus are lookin' pretty shabby too. It sure has been cold lately in CA.
    I saw a taranchulia in early october, and that's the earliest, I've ever seen one. It's supose to mean a cold hard winter, and it's showing true.
    lacyj

    edited:
    Found this on:
    gardenweb.com
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/citrus/
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg101444026427.html
    Quoted, below
    if you are in an area which gets cold you should wait till after Feb. to fertilize to prevent a flush of tender new growth which can get burned. if not you can fertilize anytime. uptake on org. fert. is slower and lasts much longer so you can get by with a couple of apps. per year especialy if put down and mixed in with mulch.pauma
     

  3. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    California, just short of indecision
    Thanks Lacyj,
    I just feel so sorry for them right now.
    I can put on a coat and drink hot coffee, poor little tree's can't. :waa:

    Kris
     
  4. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    As best I recall it takes temps of about 28 degrees for several hours to kill citrus. Above 32 they may look bad but suffer no real damage.

    I would not fertilize anything that was not in its growing season and actively growing. I don't even fertilize late in the season for fear of having tender new growth when it turns cold.

    Why are your trees in pots? Were I in California I would put my trees in the ground. I had citrus in Corpus Christi, Tx and there when it turned cold (for the few times a year that it did) I would put the old kerosene highway flares under the trees and light them. Remember the old round, smoky black balls that had a fat wick that stuck out the top? Highway crews used them once as they use the yellow flashing lights now. Concrete contractors also used them by the dozens in cold weather--a slab might have a hundred of them sitting on it keeping the slab from freezing overnight. Those flares, three under each tree, are what I used to protect my trees.
    Ox
     
  5. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Here in Mariposa [bootjack] we have heavy frost every night just about. Sure looks pretty in the morning but cold.
     
  6. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Hi Oxankle,

    My tree’s are small and the place where I want to plant them the goats can get em (not good).
    The other place they could go is next to a group of tree’s that have a tendency to fall down in the winter (also not good). Another location is close to the septic field (Hummm?) So it’s basically indecision on my part. Trying to find a southern exposure with protection from the frost.

    But time will make the decision for me, eventually.

    Kris
     
  7. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Kris can you plant them near your house by a wall so they get the heat from it? We had a large orange right out side our back door and on frosty nights I would shine the back lights on it and leave the lights on all night.
     
  8. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    California, just short of indecision
    Hi Kathy,

    That's a great idea about the light.
    East side of the house.
    Only 5 hours of direct sunlight in the winter, would that work?

    Kris
     
  9. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    I don't know for sure, but the west side seems like a better idea, That way the afternoon sun would heat up the wall and hold the heat longer.
    Good to see you both, California girls...
    lacyj
     
  10. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    That would probably be ok if it gets more in summer. Morning sun is nice because it melts the frost off right away. Hi lacy hows the house coming?
     
  11. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    The house is goin' slooow, we're about 3/4 done on the sheetrock. Have the hardest rooms done. Then another inspection, before tapeing. Hope to be in, by summer...

    lacyj