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Meyer Lemon Cold Protection
I had to buy a larger flower house this winter, so my Christmas lights have a larger volume to heat. Consequently it got to about +4C earlier this week when the temperature dipped to it's lowest point outside (-6C). Right now it's +2C and +10C in the flower house. I'm turning off the ligh now, but I might need them on again tonight. Warmer weather in the forecast though.
The following thread was started by leapfrog on December 11, 2009 at 9:22 am PST
Here are some pics
The above followup was added by leapfrog on December 11, 2009 at 9:23 am PST.
Inside the flower house
The above followup was added by leapfrog on December 11, 2009 at 9:26 am PST.
A few of the ripe lemons are visible here
The above followup was added by leapfrog on December 11, 2009 at 9:27 am PST.
I wouldn't want it any warmer
The above followup was added by leapfrog on December 11, 2009 at 9:28 am PST.
I am inspired
Looks easy and you have a healthy, highly ornamental as well as useful tree growing outside. I will have to do similar with my Meyer Lemon (it doesn't seem to need as much help as some other citrus trees) and the newly acquired "Seedless Kishu".
The above followup was added by Vlad Pomajzl, Saltspring on December 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm PST.
leapfrog and Vlad, an excellent method
for overwintering Citrus. I have six such homemade enclosures that allow me to bring my Satsumas, Citrangequat and others through these cold snaps for the last three years with no damage. The only difference is that mine are on one of those plumbers thermostats that turns on at 35F and off at 45F. This way the trees stay dormant through the winter. Also, I have a removable section on the south side of the enclosure which leaves it normally open to the sun and wind, only closing it up and turning on the power on nights when it looks like the temperature will drop below 25F (-4C), Satsumas (my tenderest citrus) are tough, and will easily survive temperatures down to 22F (-6C) , or even lower, undamaged, IF they are dormant. Because Meyers lemons are tenderer fruit year round, they need higher temperatures perhaps to get ripe fruit .
The above followup was added by Jim in Vancouver Wa. on December 12, 2009 at 6:55 am PST.
Jim, any pics?
It is encouraging to hear that other people have grown them like this successfully. That plumber's thermostat you use is that the one that is part of the standard heat tape or can you buy it somewhere separately?
The above followup was added by Vlad Pomajzl, Saltspring on December 12, 2009 at 9:16 am PST.
Vlad, no pics, cuz I'm technologically
challenged. Something for my to do list; buy a cheap digital camera and learn how to download pics into the computer and then post them. So much to do!
The plumbers thermostat has the same temperature range as the one on wraparound heating tapes, but can be purchased as a separate plug in accessory, with two outlets; at least at Grovers Plumber and Electric in Vancouver Wa; and surely elsewherefor around 10 0r 15 bucks.
The above followup was added by Jim in Vancouver Wa. on December 12, 2009 at 12:28 am PST.
Doing good, leapfrog!
I always like to see pictures of your shelter. And your fruit production is incredible!
Keep it up!
The above followup was added by DavidInAmity,OrZ7 on December 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm PST.
Leapfrog where did you get your enclosure. It looks like the manufacturer is flower House?
The above followup was added by Wes North Van on December 13, 2009 at 0:00 am PST.
Flowerhouse available on line
I bought the mini greenhouses on line. I bought a 3' x 3' x 3'6" one three years ago, but the tree has outgrown it so I picked up a 4'x 4' x 4'8" one heading into this winter.
They're made of good quality, durable polyethylene and they're a snap to set up. You do need to tie or stake them down for high winds however. I have the small one covering my juvenile Chamaerops humilis and 8 inch tent pegs on each corner have kept it anchored in an exposed part of the yard through the 50 mph winds we had here a week or so ago. The one on the lemon tree is partly set over the sidewalk so I use rocks and a rope over the spine to keep it from blowing away.
I'll either have to keep the tree pruned to fit or come up with another system in a couple of years.
The above followup was added by leapfrog on December 13, 2009 at 9:04 am PST.
Leapfrog, great idea's for protecting your citrus, I'm just starting to experiment with smaller popup greenhouse and have found them fun and great if you provide some type of heat. Enjoying the fruit of your labor this spring.
The above followup was added by Roger in Olympia 8a on December 13, 2009 at 1:29 pm PST.
When do you think, it will be safe enough to take the greenhouse down?
The above followup was added by Roger in Olympia 8a on December 13, 2009 at 2:24 pm PST.
Take Greenhouse Down
Thanks for the comments, Roger.
For each of the first 3 winters I've been following the same schedule. I put the cover on in late November. I want to make sure it's ready for the first significant frost. I figure the tree is good to about -2C for short periods without protection, but I turn the lights on for cold spells, because as you know when it gets below freezing here it doesn't get much warmer during the daylight hours.
Each winter I have the lights on for 2 or 3 cold spells averaging 2 to 4 days each. Usually 24 hours a day. Last winter during that long cold spell I had them on 24/7 for 5 or 6 days.
Every year so far I've taken the protection off in mid to late February. I thought that I might experiment with a longer wintering period this year, as by the time we get to late February and early March there is often enough heat in the day for the sun to warm things up under the plastic and I thought I might get better bud growth. The crop yeild so far has alternated between one good crop and one poor one. First and third years were prolific ones. I'm due for only a few lemons this year.
The above followup was added by leapfrog on December 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm PST.
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