I have lived in Southern Cal for many years and citrus just went into the ground. My wife and I had a pretty extensive orchard in Van Nuys and we lived there for a decade. Now I live in Philomath on a small farm retired. I know (or think I know) that citrus here is something grown in pots and taken inside(garage, house?) during the winter. Does anyone have experience with it? What kind of pots do you use?
Right up front let me sympathize with you regarding home-grown citrus in the Pacific Northwest. My wife was born and raised in southern Californian, and I lived in the Pomona Valley for some 18 years. Citrus trees love it there. Once upon a time we had an old kumquat, a fruitful and tasty lemon that I'd eat right off the tree, and a mandarin orange (or what I call a "tangerine"). I do love citrus.... In the last couple of decades, since moving to the NW, despite my recommendations, my dear wife has purchased and killed a "Meyer" lemon, at least one kumquat, at least one mandarin,.... but she just cannot be stopped in her overwhelming desire to cultivate things that we both love, but that I know will not survive outdoors here. ...I feel her pain.
Now that you've retired and moved to a nice place like Philomath, I strongly recommend that you invest in building a greenhouse that is of sufficient size for at least a half-dozen dwarf, or semidwarf, citrus trees. In Philomath, you'll still have more annual heat units than I have here. With some strategic planning and solar warmth storage within the greenhouse, I think that you could have some success. Do some research on the matter. I believe that mandarins/tangerines are among the hardier citrus. Otherwise, you might just be left with growing Poncirus trifoliata. OK, I guess, if you have any experience making marmalade-type preserves.
No. That's no substitute for freshly picked and immediately munchable citrus off the tree, but I've moved enough times during my life to know that you sometimes simply have to leave your "favorites" behind. At least until you go back and visit the old "stomping grounds" at the right time of year.
I hope that this helps a tiny bit. All best wishes! ...Nice to make it to retirement!
One Green World has a pretty good selection of NW hardy citrus.
Thanks again for giving me the heads up about inappropriate posting.
What would your goal be for varieties and quantities of home-grown citrus?
Mainstream varieties for fresh eating or "hardy" varieties, processed for flavoring and ingredients?
Willing to lug 10-gallon pots seasonally, larger pots with wheels, or build a solarium?
We would like citrus for eating during the winter spring gap. We love the fruit and berries here, but there aren't any in Jan-April. We are buying mail order for good citrus from Ojai, warm days, cold nights ideal for citrus in winter. Satsumas (good) and Dancy's(great) so far.
The sour stuff is fine from the store, lemons limes etc..
We have a greenhouse, although it needs repairs. We would like Mandarins ideally(several older varieties(better flavor), so the season is longer), they have both high brix and high acid for just eating out of hand. Too much is really the goal, wouldn't mind giving some away.
We are good moving pots twice a year. If they are really going to be big we will start with them on wheels. Doing it with a tree and wet soil is much harder. If it is successful maybe a bigger greenhouse just for citrus.
I love all kinds of citrus, but I'd have to say that mandarins / tangerines have been a favorite ever since my childhood in Brazil. In Ontario, California, we had a dwarf Satsuma that -- if memory serves -- ripened in about early winter there (i.e., about December). I would much have preferred a full-sized tree (or several), but whatever home-grown fruits that we got always tasted better than anything purchased. If you really love your citrus, then I think that an investment toward a greenhouse of appropriate size is in order. All best wishes!