Category Archives: Gardening

How Does My Orange Grow?

I am excited to report that my single orange is still thriving. The summer months have kept it happily growing along with a bi-weekly dose of Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer. You can order this directly from Neptune’s Harvest, but if you want it in a smaller size check out your local hardware store (mine came from Lowe’s).

Neptune's Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer

Back to my mighty orange, and it is certainly mighty.

The orange still on my tree.
Photo taken June 4, 2019
Photo taken July 17, 2019
Photo taken August 21, 2019

As you can see from the series of photos that it is growing like a champ! The fruits’s skin texture has gone from a very shiny, lime green to a rougher surface and a deeper shade of green. I am looking forward to seeing it start to change from green to orange.

The tree’s leafs are a bit odd. I’m not quite sure what to make of them. It is as if I have two different trees coming out of the same trunk rather than a hybrid.

The “old growth” (left) are leaves from when I originally bought it, and the “new growth” (right) is what came in since it has been home.

The old growth image on the left shows the leaves are wide and somewhat flat, whereas the image on the right shows the leaves as much more narrow with a bit of curl. In addition the old growth leaves are pointed at the tip and the new growth have rounder tips.

I have seen apple trees that were grafted to have multiple types of apples on a single tree and I am wondering if this is the same thing.

I did look around online and the two species have similar shaped leaves although the grapefruit leaf is larger than the orange. It also looks like the orange leaves can vary. I’m no expert, but I have to wonder if the leaves are a little stunted due to the altitude? I am curious if the tree was originally grown at a much lower altitude (I’m at 6,000 ft), would that make all the newer leaves smaller? If you are knowledgeable in this area please let me know. You can share your wisdom in the comments.

Until next time, please share your fruit growing experiences with us. Leave a comment or share my story.

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Hail is in the Bag

One of the growing hazards here in suburbs of Denver (and all of the Colorado region) is hail. We can be pummeled with golf ball sized ice balls that shatter windshields, destroy crops, and bury gardens. Hail comes with the intense afternoon thunderstorms that roll through here in June and July. I have watched it pile up like a blizzard and destroy plants in a matter of seconds.

So far, for my location anyway, the hail hasn’t been too bad (I am knocking on wood as I write this). The orange tree I am growing is now living outside along with the lime tree my daughter potted. Recently, we had a storm and I brought in my orange tree, but the pot for her lime tree is too big for one person to handle so it had to stay outside. Luckily the damage was very minimal with just one leaf with a hole knocked in it.

Hail damage to lime tree leaf.

The other day I was out doing errands when huge, black, storm clouds came rumbling in and I wasn’t able to bring my tree inside like I usually would. My imagination pictured my orange tree decimated and the single orange smashed to the ground. Thankfully, it was just my imagination. When I returned home, we didn’t have a drop of rain and the orange still hung happily from the branch.

The orange still on my tree.

Because I have just a single orange I, like any good plant mom, want to protect it from our nasty spring weather. But how? After much thought I came up with a plan. I don’t know how well it will work, but it was the only thing I could come up with. I bagged it.

I hope this will protect it from hail damage. Time, and the next storm, will tell. I also hope that it will prevent any squirrels, raccoons, or other sneaky creatures from nibbling on the fruit once it gets to that delicious stage. One can only hope.

Do you have any experience growing a potted orange tree? Add any tips you have learned in the comments.

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How Do My Oranges Grow?

I am on a new growing experiment.  Orangelos, are a cross between an orange and a grapefruit. They purportedly are a sweet flavored grapefruit and easy to grow in a pot. Because I live in a winter to summer climate, I couldn’t grow it outdoors so a pot was necessary. I did a little research on how to feed and care for an orange tree before I bought it to be sure I purchased one that did well in a pot. I bought it this past fall so it wintered by the back door where it got a lot of sun, but stayed warm inside.

This spring it blossomed. Not only are the blossoms beautiful, but they smell wonderful. My kitchen and living room were the best places to be while there were flowers. I was so excited to see so many flowers that I thought I would have a huge orange crop too.

Orange Blossom

This is just one of the many blossoms.

It pushed out about 20 of these little fruits.

Tiny orange fruit

See the little green ball on the right and at the bottom edge of the frame?

I knew that not every blossom would produce fruit, but I did hope for at least 5-10 orangelos. Unfortunately, all but one fell off. This last little one has been hanging on and it is my hope it continues to grow.

Last surviving orange.

This is the last one. As of this posting, it is about 2x larger than any of the others I lost.

I will keep you posted on how well this one does. Maybe I will be able to enjoy one single orange later this year.

What about you? Have you ever tried to grow fruit in a pot? What lessons did you learn along the way? Leave your comments. We love comments!

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How Does My Garlic Grow? Time to Harvest

In December 0f 2017 I started four cloves of garlic in a pot on my windowsill. Now, ten months later, I think I will harvest my crop of three sprigs. I did pull the fourth one a couple of months ago to see where it had gotten as far as the number of cloves. I was a little disappointed to see that it looked more like a green onion than a garlic. So, I left the final three to grow for another few months.

Garlic plant before harvest

 

Today, I decided it was time to pull it all up. I read a number of articles last year, when I started this project, that stated it would take about 9 months for cloves to form. The greens did grow quickly, but the cloves? Well, not so much. After a little bit of careful pulling I found the plant to be quite root bound.

Root Bound Garlic

I suppose this isn’t too surprising because of how fast they grew and the size of the pot. Add to the fact that they grew much too close to one another it all resulted in what looks like green onions.

Garlic peeled to reveal root

After peeling back the outer layers I found a beautiful white core and a strong aroma of garlic. Although these beauties were not segmented into cloves, I’m still very happy. If the smell is any indicator of the flavor then these will be a successful first attempt at growing garlic.

For next time? The cloves will be started in a pot, but they will mature in the ground. Garlic seems to need the room that my pot could not provide.

Do you grow garlic? Share your tips for success in the comments.

Until next time!

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How Does My Garlic Grow? June Update

I am most excited that not only is my garlic still alive, but it is doing really well too. Yeah me! I took these photos today. Aren’t these guys looking great?

If you browse back to my post from 3-16-16 and compare the photos you can see that today the garlic has grown quite a bit. The photo on the right also shows a bulb forming. I moved the pot outside earlier in the season, and it really took off. Fresh air and sunshine does a soul (and garlic) good.

It will be a couple of months before full bulbs form. After reading up on the subject it takes about 9 months from sprout to bulb. I planted the sprouting bulbs back in December so there is still a month or two to go before I can pull them up. Interestingly, the one on the right that is set apart from the others is a bit bigger. It must have more room to stretch. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next year’s crop.

Have you ever tried to grow garlic? I’d love to hear about your successes and challenges.  Until next time.

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How Does My Garlic Grow?

Several months ago I posted that I was growing some garlic for the first time. Believe it or not, it’s still alive. I am the first to admit my brown thumb when it comes to plants that are needy. Thankfully garlic is not one of those kinds of plants. I have been told that the bulbs take awhile to grow, so I am not ready to yank one out to see how it is growing. With my luck all four of them would come out and I’d have to start over. Until I pull them out, here are a few photos of how fast it grew.

My first post was back in December and the photo there shows the plants just peaking out from under the dirt (taken December 2). Within a week the sprouts were already an inch tall, and by the 13th they grew to 4 or 5 inches.

December 13, 2017

 

January 8, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 15, 2018

It doesn’t look much different today than from this photo from back in March. The leaves still look scraggly, and deformed but I am hoping the goodness below the soil is beautiful.

I’ll keep you updated on my success or failure growing my first batch of garlic.

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Growing Garlic

I love garlic. I eat it in nearly every dish I make (except cookies), and I’m sure I put too much in sometimes. My sister told me about how she likes to grow her own garlic and she found a great batch from Germany. I don’t remember the exact strain, but she gave me a couple of bulbs so I could grow some too. She lives in the Midwest and I live in the Rocky Mountain region. When I asked how to grow it she said to take one clove, pointy side up, and stick in the ground in the fall and it will come up in the spring. Scratching my head I smiled. I wasn’t sure how that would translate to my climate, but we were interrupted at that moment and I didn’t follow up.  Then, once home, I ate the garlic and never thought again to try to grow it.

Last month, I read an article on one of my favorite blogs, Lovely Greens, about how to grow garlic. She reiterated just what my sister said. Plant it in fall and it grows in spring. Again, this is coming from someone in a climate very different from my own (Isle of Mann to be exact). So, this is the second time in just a few months that I have been told about growing garlic. Maybe I should make an attempt at it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have garlic left from my sister’s batch, but I did just get some from the grocery store. I figure that if I manage to grow that then I will ask for more of the German variety (it is delicious by the way). Doing my usual “guess and by golly” method of doing things, I found a little pot  and stuck four cloves in the dirt and dumped water on it.

It’s growing!!

I am pleasantly surprised that it is actually growing. The larger sprout had already started while it was attached to the bulb so that little guy had a head start. The others are also showing signs of life. If all goes well I should have four nice bulbs of garlic late in the Spring or early Summer.

I will keep you posted on the progress of my planting experiment. Until then, I think I need to eat what’s left of the bulb these came from. Roasted sounds lovely.

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