New location, new opportunities and challenges

I’ve been MIA here for a little while as I was in the process of getting a new job and moving to Houston, TX. Anyone near here? I believe @garybeaumont would be the closest in climate from the members who post failry regularly.

I’m looking forward to growing some in ground citrus and pushing the limits to see what else I can get to grow here.


good luck brad. if i lived down there id be a a orange/ peach growing fool!


For growing citrus trifoliate and flying dragon are the most cold tolerate root stock. Flying dragon is a dwarfing root stock that keeps the trees a manageable size. Satsuma’s, mandarines, oranges and lemons are pretty easy to grow here. Figs are easy also. Planting on raised beds helps with drainage. Tropical’s work well if you put them in container and bring them in the half dozen days it gets below 30.

Peaches are harder to grow. Tropic Snow seems to do well down here with spraying but squirrels and opossums got most of mine this year. Apricots are probably a lost cause due to all the rain we get. Plums and Nectarines seem to split bad. It is also hard to get enough chill hours for most stone fruits.

If you are planning on planting a garden remember you have 2 short seasons, one in the spring and the other in the fall. It is just too hot to try and keep most vegetables growing in July and August. Planting beans and tomatoes in early August seems to work well. When the plants are small they can take the heat and they have enough time to make before a killing frost, probably in late November to early December.


Thanks gary. I got a lot more chill in Atlanta so the really low chill will be something I need to adapt to. I’ve got a number of years of experience growing in containers so that shouldn’t be a big problem for me. I actually liked containers for stone fruit because I was able to control the water much better.

Thanks for the vegetable gardening tips too. I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to do a veg garden this year with the summer move but maybe I’ll try one.

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It is good to here you are from the south. If does make for an easier transition. I prefer container gardening where I am at because my soil is clay and stays wet. Citrus can take wetter soils as long as it does not stand water. I have citrus in containers and in raised beds. They do better in the ground. One thing that is strange about citrus is many times the first time they fruit the fruit taste bad, but improves the next year. Leaf miners are the main problem with citrus, but they seem to be able to live with it. One of the few fruits that you can grow organically… The experts say not to use a mulch in the winter for citrus. The mulch traps the heat in the ground and makes them more likely to get freeze damage. They also require regular nitrogen from spring to mid summer.

Many people here prefer fall gardens. Beans, peppers, and tomatoes do well in fall gardens. Lettuce, kale, and spinach can be grown in the fall and will grow all winter. I would suggest a raised bed if you have any drainage problems. Carrots and beets can be planted in the fall but I have not been able to get a harvest until the next spring. Not really sure why.

The most consistent fruit over the last 5 years has been blueberries. I grow them in containers due to drainage problems. The water drains off but stays saturated. I can get by with growing southern highbush such as indigo crisp and sweetcrisp. I do not have to spray them for any pest.


Great information, thanks Gary. I’m looking forward to trying some new things here. I did grow citrus in containers in Atlanta because of the winters so it will be nice not having to drag pots in and out of the garage during frosts.

Nice to hear about the blueberries too. One of the many things we will miss about our Atlanta home is the 6 foot blueberry bushes we had in our yard. I was growing rabbiteyes but will check these southern high bush varieties out.

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Rabbiteyes do well here also as long as they get enough chill hours. Southern highbush usually requires a little less chill hours. Sweetcrisp southern highbush is one of the best tasting varieties but only produces about 1/2 of other varieties. Emerald is early, large and makes good crops. Taste is not its strong suit, but I keep one just for production. Indigo is one of the new varieties that is crisp but so far mild tasting. It is hard to find but I got mine from someone between Beaumont and the Louisiana state line. If you come down Interstate 10 he is about 5 miles north of the interstate. Has good prices on blueberries and citrus but you have to call him ahead of time and he does not ship. His website is:

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You know that grows well here too in Northern Midwest, the taste was very bland the first year, much better the 2nd year (this year). But still lacking, I’m going to keep it anyway. At least for now. On firmness, my only conclusion is SHB must be soft fruits as most NHB is as firm as Indigocrisp. Some are firmer. Sweetcrisp is another story, I kept it alive for four years, but just barely losing main branches and all, never had a berry from it, but not giving up yet. I grow it in a container to protect it, this year I’m putting it in the ground, sink or swim Sweetcrisp! Container growing is not working.

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Most of my family is in south Louisiana so I’ll be traveling that way pretty frequently. I’ll have to check out that nursery at some point, thanks!

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