Growing Citrus Trees from Seeds

Meyer LemonsMy mother-in-law sent some Kumquats (C. japonica) and Meyer Lemons (C. × meyeri) fresh from her garden.  They were beyond delicious!

You are probable familiar with Meyer lemons, their sweeter, less acidic flavor is a favorite for lemon cakes and fresh squeezed lemonade. Kumquats, on the other hand, may be a type of fruit that you have passed up.  Bitter centers and huge seeds!  Yuck! NOT!

Kumquat fruit may look like a mini orange but unlike oranges, when eaten raw, one eats the peel and outer flesh only.  The whole fruit can be eaten cooked and is mainly used to make marmalades and jellies.lemon2

Best of all, both of these delicious fruits can be grown from their seeds.  It’s easy peasy as one of my friends likes to say. The most important (and tedious) part is removing the fibrous coat from the seeds. I use a sharp knife to peel away the white coat and end up with the naked seeds (top).

All that’s Citrus Seeds in Potleft to do is pucitrus seeds in pot covered with plastic bagt them in a pot and cover with a plastic bag.  The bag holds in moisture and has to be removed once the seeds start to sprout.

It will take about 6 weeks in 65+ degree temperatures until sprouts appear.  Once there are a couple of leaves, I transplant my future citrus trees into small pots (3-4 inch size, front) after about 6 months, the seedlings are ready to move along into a quart size pot (back) and, hopefully, in about 3-4 years time, fresh Kumquats and Meyer lemons will be ready for harvest.

Citrus Trees

Citrus Trees from Seeds

A Day in the Life of a Backyard Nursery Owner

One of my friends asked “What do you do in your business when it’s not planting time?”

mhmhmhmzzz.  The list is long.
Today, I started by watering the plants and misting the cuttings in the greenhouse.  Then I swept the greenhouse floor and turned into plant detective.  I looked for critters such as aphids and spider mites and any signs of diseases that love infesting greenhouse plants.

Next, I finished printing shipping labels and getting packages mailed out. While doing so, I noticed that I was out of the Tennessee Shipping Notification certificates that are required for plant shipments.  So the remainder of the morning was spent on printing and filling out a, hopefully sufficient,supply of the certificates for the spring 2014 shipping season.

After all that tedious work, first a lunch break and then a little fun activity:  Looking through one of the suppliers catalogs and the availability list.  Next, checking the business budget to see how much money is available for purchasing. Happy Dance, followed by a call to the broker to order some more new products, followed by another happy dance when the desired items are still available.
Then checking and answering emails, printing out paperwork for orders that will be shipped tomorrow.  Pulling and packing products.
In between: Looking at Facebook. Answering the phone. Making coffee.  Making Tea. Running a load of laundry. Knitting a few rows.

Finally, just enough time left in the day to write this blog post and then I am off to an evening yoga class.

OH, you’re wondering what I may have selected?

Honestly, it wasn’t easy.  the catalogs are always so beautiful and the selection is difficult. Maybe you know exactly what that feels like?  My focus today was a few more edibles, particularly interesting edibles that won’t be on the shelves at the local box store.

Look for these new plants in our online store Edibles section later this month.
Hardy Kiwi, Goji Berry, Haskap Berry, Seedless Red Grapes, and Seed Potatoes.

I am planning to do a potato tower this year. The last time I tried with store bought potatoes and it was not a success (despite how well the planting looked when I started out).  I have learned why and will share my experiences when the time comes to start the tower for the 2014 season.

Potato Growing Tower