Our crop off our dwarf citrus trees has been incredible! The Kinnow mandarin, Morro blood orange and Lane Late orange have all been little champions. Each of the diminutive trees has performed in a stellar way and given us the juiciest and sweetest bounty. The Lane Late gave me it's first proper fruit with an orange the size of a softball. Hubby and I shared it with each of us eating a juicy and scrumptious half.
There is something about those beautiful orange colored rinds in the depths of winter's chill that is heartwarming and worthy of being photographed... again and again and again. It's like the sun got placed right in my garden when I need it most to counter my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). So far my SAD has been very low-key this year. Maybe I have the citrus to thank in part for that.
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A couple of days ago on my daily garden stroll, I was pleased to find that the Washington navel orange tree we put in a couple of years ago is covered with pure white buds ready to burst open into sweet and heady-fragranced blossoms. I'm on "orange blossom watch" every day as I anticipate them opening. I think I will try my hand at doing some manual pollination with a Q-tip this year to try and ensure that I get at least 1 or 2 oranges off the tree. It has yet to produce its first fruit as it's been trying to get settled. The weather is rather chilly for most pollinators to be out and about much so I think I'll need to help it along.
The navel orange tree isn't a dwarf and I hope that it will eventually reach it's expected height of 20-30 feet tall. For now it's only a little bigger than the dwarf trees at about 4 feet tall. I think at this height it may have a hard time supporting more than just a few fruits. We'll see.
For now, we still have some mandarins left on the tree--late ripeners that I'll pick and enjoy as soon as they feel just right when I give them a gentle squeeze. And we also have a load of Eureka lemons on the semi-dwarf tree in the center of the garden. Those can stay on the branch and be picked as needed (which Hubby does often for cooking).
Now I'm craving some lemon chicken. "Oh Hubby..."