Thursday, January 8, 2015

Possibly the Very Best Citrus

Not only am I a gardener, but my dad is a gardener, and my granddad is a gardener. IMG_4189

This past summer my dad and I helped out in my grandad’s garden. Here we are, three generations of gardeners. My grandparents live in Kansas, needless to say…they cannot grow citrus.

They do have a lot of Texas crepe myrtles growing there, but semi-tropical they are not.

(ok, there is no such thing as a Texas crepe myrtle, they are just crepe myrtles that my Dad brought from Texas many years ago.)



My Dad lives in NE Harris County and started his orchard at the same time I started mine at my old house, about 7 years ago. He probably has between 20 and 30 trees now, mostly citrus, but also apples, pears, and peaches plus muscadines and blackberries. oranges_to_kansas

He’s been taking citrus to Kansas for Christmas for a few years now. This year, my mom and him have also been boxing it up and shipping it there. My grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins, and 2nd cousins are loving these treats from Texas.

But, I digress. 


What I really wanted to tell you about are Kishu Mandarins. If you are going to grow one citrus tree, this is it! The fruit is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!

The tree itself stays relatively small, around 8 feet tall. My Dad’s 5 year old tree has produced 615 mandarins this year, and it’s not finished yet!

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These small, SEEDLESS, fruit are sweet and very easy to peel.

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Kids love them and will eat them like candy…I eat them like candy!

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I will usually pop half of one in my mouth at a time.

You may have to be patient with the tree. It took about 4 years before this one’s production took off. Dad thinks it had about 400 mandarins last year.

Harvest is from November through January. Follow typical guidelines for citrus care.

Most of Dad’s and my fruit trees have come from the Urban Harvest Annual Fruit Tree Sale. This year’s sale in on January 17th and they will be selling the Kishu Mandarin. Check out their website for more details.

The Houston Chronicle has published several good articles in the past week about local fruit tree sales and growing fruit in small spaces.

If you have a patio or any amount of yard, you can and should grow citrus. Good luck and happy eating!