Cuckoo Buds 3 Column

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First REAL Harvest Of Our Fruit Trees!

Here's a photo of our little "Citrus Grove" (plus 1 additional Key Lime tree hiding off to the right side here.) These are dwarf trees and we bought 5 gallon sized trees 5 - yes FIVE - years ago. We've had a few Mandarin Oranges, several Meyer Lemons the last 3 years. The first year we had nothing, of course. When we bought them, the Nursery Man at OSH told us, "they'll do just fine in this area! And, they'll quickly grow to the 6' to 8' size we'd like to keep them at in no time at all." He fibbed just a little bit - well, actually he fibbed a BIG WHOPPER!! This guys pants caught on fire!!  Citrus Trees don't do well in an area where we have so many nights that freeze - only low to mid 20's, and many, many nights under 32 degrees. So, not just frosts or quick freeze, but a hard freeze for these tender trees.

Our first year here, we lost 3 of our first 4 trees, and had to start all over the following year.  OSH has an outstanding return policy - if your buy plants from them and they don't make it, they guarantee a refund for additional plants.  Can't beat that.  So, hearing that year was an exception and it's not usually this cold, again from the Nursery Man, we spent the next two winters taking the trees in and out of the garage to the back patio when the freeze would be for many nights in a row, or covered them as best we could.  Moving the trees so much we lost a lot of buds, and they weren't getting the proper amount of sunshine in the garage.

So, we contacted a nursery back East and spoke with them about the possibility of tenting them with a frost or freeze blanket, and were assured they would make it - and as you can see - they have.   They are too large now to move in and out of the garage, so their home is in the sheltered courtyard by our front door.  This summer they will be moved to the back yard, then planted a couple of months later, and before late winter rolls around, a tenting system will be in place - except the lime tree.  That is going to our son's new home in Hanford. 

Leila asked if she could "harvest" the fruit?  She's been patiently waiting for months, as citrus fruits take almost a year to go from bud to ripe - who knew?  (Not the Nursery Man by the way!  he he he!)  There are already buds beginning to open and the bees are starting to buzz about! 
She's so proud of herself!  She thought it would be very easy, but - - they didn't just drop into her hands.  I had to teach her to twist and tug.

She loved this.  She enjoys coming out to the garden with me during the spring and summer to help plant, water, trim and weed but loves to "harvest the veggies!"

Here she is showing off her two nice baskets of the fruit that was ready!  One is full of lemons, the other is filled with Navel and Washington Oranges and tons of Mandarin!  There are many more left on the trees in different degrees of ripeness.  She then asked, "Grandma, where's another basket?"  "What do you need a new one for?"  "Well, aren't we picking the zuchinnis now, too?"  she asked.  Oh, I wish!!  First - we need to plant them!!

Hope you enjoy my wee one and her "harvest!"  Wee ones are so easily amused!  Love it!

Blessings to you all!


  1. Donna how wonderful to have fresh fruit grown right in your own backyard. Those are the cutest little trees. I never would have guessed that you could get so much fruit on such little trees.


  2. I miss having fresh fruit from the backyard!
    My sister came to see me for Easter and brought some oranges from her mother-in-law, they were absolutely outstanding.
    When I was young we lived in Livermore, Ca and had a peach tree in the backyard.
    Nothing like peaches right off the tree, mmmmmm!

  3. I didn't realize it got so cold at night in your area. Well, at least you can grow them there even if you do have to baby them along. The only fruit trees we can grow here are cherries, apples, a few pears and not much else. It is just too cold and our growing season is too short.

    Your little Leila is just darling. Don't you love how proud they are when they can do those little things? It makes them feel so grown up to be able to "help".

    Blessings- Hope you have a great Friday-xo Diana

  4. Oh Donna they look lovely and delicious. We dont grow anything like that, they just wouldnt survive in our poor weather lol. They look delicious and Leila look so happy being a little gardner collecting the fruit. I think you all did a great job with bringing these fruits to life.
    Thanks also for your lovely comment on my freebies blog and you can just save and keep the ones you like, whenever you need them. I am hoping to make it into a an online library of free images so people can just browse, save and print and use.
    hugs June x

  5. Wow I cant even imagine oranges in Utah...I remember as a child visiting my uncle in Arizonia who had orange's,lemon's and grapefruit, I was in awe.
    Thank you for dropping by and praying for Dustin,it is so appreciated. He is home and on the mend.

  6. Oh my dear Donna! How wonderful you have fresh fruit in the yard! They look fantastic! I also have some lemon trees in my backyard but they're still small. So sweet and precious of Leila to help you to "harvest" the fresh fruit, how bright and happy she looks! She is such a cutie!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend with family!!!
    Much love,
    LS xoxo

  7. Oh my goodness Donna! I wish we could grow things like this in Michigan. What a fun thing to go out into your garden and pick beautiful, fresh fruit! Yummy.
    Hope your Easter was splendid.
    Much Love to You,