Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Growing limes in Southeast Texas

All the recent rain has sent my lime tree into production. I bought the tree three years ago and have yet to put it in the ground, so the production has been limited. The rain brought a bunch of new blossoms and many of them produced fruit, as you can see in this photo of a new cluster. Don't do like me; choose your location and put your citrus trees in the ground right away, in a well-drained site. Pick the fruit off a newly-planted tree for the first couple of years to get it established. Fruit grows on last year's wood, so avoid pruning anything but shoots that sprout below the graft line. Cut those off.

Limes do well in Southeast Texas. They can freeze, so winter protection is important. Plant them in the sun on the south side of a house when possible. My lime is a Bearrs, often called Persian lime. For a good publication on citrus, get a copy of "Ambrosia from Your Backyard: Growing Citrus Fruit on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas." It's available through the Jefferson County Agri-Life office.

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