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The fruit trees we planted this spring are doing amazing!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

October
18
2011

As most of you know, I really enjoy gardening. Taking care of the extensive landscaping around my home and pond is a lot of work, but it’s a true labor of love. This past spring I decided to plant a several fruit trees (along with lots of herbs, peppers and other edibles). This decision turned out to be a very wise choice! The initial costs were low, and all spring and summer long we’ve been enjoying the most fresh and delicious tomatoes, cilantro, basil, dill, orange bell peppers, sweet banana peppers, hot banana peppers, Serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers and Anaheim peppers. With the exception of the tomatoes and cilantro, all of those plants are still producing!

The fruit trees take longer to become established and bear fruit, but they are doing amazing! I thought I’d update everyone on the fruit trees this morning because many of them have begun to blossom again.

Ponderosa Lemon Tree

Ponderosa Lemon Tree

The Ponderosa Lemon Tree is now covered with dozens and dozens of fragrant blossoms, and there is also mature fruit that is nearly ready to be picked.

Ponderosa lemons are HUGE. They taste identical to regular lemons, but they can grow to sizes as large as a football. The lemon in the background of this photograph is about as large as my outstretched hand.

We planted the lemon tree close to the patio because the blossoms smell so incredible that we wanted to be able to enjoy the scent as we relaxed on the back patio. I can’t describe how beautiful the smell of these blossoms is. If you see ever see one blooming, take a moment to enjoy it. I’m pretty sure this is what heaven must smell like.

Valencia Orange Tree

Valencia Orange Tree

This is the Valencia orange tree. There is fruit ripening on it, but it has not yet produced any new blossoms. I’m very much looking forward to it blossoming, as the smell of orange blossoms is also amazing.

This tree will be a big producer as it matures, and we’ll certainly use the fruit. There’s nothing better with egg whites and roasted red potatoes than a big glass of freshly squeezed orange juice! Eventually this tree will get so big that we’ll be able to have as much orange juice and many oranges as we like–with plenty for our family and friends, too.

Key Lime Tree

Key Lime Tree

This is our Key lime tree. I use limes all the time in my cooking, and I can’t wait to start harvesting the fruit from this tree! As you can see from the photograph, there is nearly mature fruit on the tree now, but about a week ago dozens of blossoms opened up all over the tree! Many of these blossoms are now tiny little key limes.

Hopefully we’ll have a mild winter this year (the last couple have been brutal for Florida), because this tree (actually most of our fruit trees) is not very cold tolerant. If we get any hard freezes this winter I’ll have to wrap it in Christmas lights and cover it up.

Cavendish Banana plants

Cavendish Banana plants

We also planted three Cavendish Banana plants this past spring, and they are doing better than we ever could have hoped for. Considering these plants were just 1-foot high when we planted them, it’s absolutely amazing how quickly they have grown. The middle plant (pictured here) is the largest of the three, and now stands at an incredible 15 feet high (to the top of the leaves)!

These plants love fertilizer, and I’ve been keeping them happy with plenty of it. They may not produce fruit this first year, but there is a chance that they will. If they do produce fruit, we should see some flowers very, very soon now!

I love bananas, and so does Lisa. Before I go mountain biking I almost always have a Nitrean + oats + banana smoothie.

Of all the fruit trees, I think this is the one we’re most excited about. We purchase bananas from the grocery store every week, and so being able to pick our own will be a real money saver. I can’t wait until I can actually walk out back and pick bananas right from my own trees!

Grapefruit Tree

Grapefruit Tree

The grapefruit tree is doing pretty good, and there is some mature fruit on it. It’s not blossomed again since we planted it, but I expect we’ll see some new blossoms very soon.

I used to hate grapefruit, but Mastover had me eating it every day when I was cutting down to 6% body fat back in 2007. I actually grew to like it quite a lot, which I found surprising. I don’t put anything on it, either: I just cut it in half and dig in. Grapefruit is one of those things that I guess you either love or hate, and I never thought I’d find myself in the “love” camp.

Hopefully when I’m cutting early next year I’ll have some fresh grapefruit that I can incorporate into my cutting diet.

Papaya Tree

Papaya Tree

This papaya tree is an interesting story. I had a lot of problems with this tree when I first planted it. It was not doing well, and it was having trouble becoming established. I almost gave up on it, but I decided to stick with it. I gave it a lot of extra care, and eventually it started to look much better. Then, seemingly overnight, it exploded with growth! The trunk thickened, it shot up several feet, the leaves were all healthy and dark green. Then… FRUIT! Lots and lots of fruit! Just look at all those papayas. If you’d told me that the sickly tree I was nursing back to health a few months ago would be covered in fruit right now, I wouldn’t have believed you.

We also planted a fig tree, but it’s struggling. I think it may have had a disease when we bought it and I have been unable to get it 100% under control. I’ll get it looking good, but then it declines. I may try another one next spring if I can’t get this guy nursed back to health.

Well, I’m out of time and need to wrap this up. If you live in a climate where fruit trees can grow, I highly recommend that you get some in the ground. It’s really fun and rewarding to grow your own food, and you’ll save a lot of money.

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