I’ve been told to plant citrus and avocado on the south side of my home but forgot to ask him why. Is it because the home will absorb the heat from the winter sun which will keep the citrus tree warmer in winter?
I have a good place with good soil to plant my avocados put it’s in a open field up the hill from my home, could I put some 4x4 wood post behind the avocados and screw some metal roofing panels to them in the winter to get the same affect? I figure in the first couple years I could use the 4x4 to help hold the clear plastic winter protection as well.
I’m near Chipley Fl zone 8b
Citrus several miles from the ocean in the Florida panhandle seems very risky.
My thoughts are you either better plan on bringing citrus indoors in winter,
or else hope ‘global warming’ is real and will continue to escalate.
the sun arcs way south during daylight hrs in winter, so the south side will be warmer for the longer part of the winter days than any other side of the house. The ‘basin effect’ of the angle formed by the house and ground also maxes out the warmth and keeps it much longer.
citrus and avocado are evergreens as well(being tropical), so it isn’t just warmth that they need, but also sunlight. You could bring an avocado indoors for warmth, but if not getting enough light, it will likely not be as productive as when grown outdoors.
Sunlight is not an issue in the field it’ll actually get 7 hours in winter and 9 in summer whereas behind the house it might only get 4 to 5 in winter.
As far as citrus goes satsuma produces where I’m at. I got 200 off of a little Bush this winter but it is on the edge of a storage shed as well. The last orange came off the tree December 1st
South face makes a north wall for you that blocks wind and can radiate back heat at night. When I lived in San Jose I planted peppers all over my yard. The only ones that survived winter were next to the stucco house.
Satsuma, kumquat, and calmondin are very cold hardy. Your climate might just need frost fabric and Xmas lights to grow many more varieties
I planted a Chicago Hard fig in 2019 and put it in my warmest spot…
South Side of my house, within 6 ft of a large red brick wall, and the soil there slopes to the south as well (down hill from the side of the house on that side)… so it slopes towards the sunshine path.
If you get snow where you are… notice the side of your hose that the snow melts away from first… it will be the south side. The sun rises in the east… and sets in the west… but it does that on a angle that is offset to the south some… so the south side normally gets sunshine first thing in the morning… all day… and still hitting there late in the evening.
My CH Fig loves the location and has done well… first year we got around 25 figs, and last year 90.
PS… some plants cant take the kind of all day sunshine that a southern slope provides… I have a LoganBerry and read that they prefer morning sun, and evening shade…
To get that you plant it on the East Side of your home, or barn, or tree row… so that the cooler morning sun gets to it, but then about mid day it gets shade…that continues until sun down.
My LoganBerry is loving the east side, morning sun only location, producing LOTS of vine and berries.
The left finger is a high point which would be a good spot for the avocados however they’re a little too far off the porch to probably get any warmth from the building or porch, if I put them where the right finger is closer to the porch they’ll die since that is a low-lying area it’ll get way too much water and I don’t want to use large containers. It might be best to put them in the front yard up the hill and put the metal paneling behind them in the winter I can take them down during the summer or use them to hang shade cloth if need be. the Christmas lights might be a good idea, this year we have had a couple nights down around 26.
What avocado varieties are you going with? You’ll be hard-pressed to keep alive (or fruit) anything but a pure drymifolia (“Mexican race”) variety in zone 8b FL. I’d highly recommend checking out this blog post about growing avocados in north FL if you haven’t seen it already.
Mexicola, winter mexican and poncho. Might also look into Lila, Joey and fantastic depends on what I find when I go to the nursery in March but I already have a Mexicola inside. From what I’ve been told if I can get them to live into their fourth season I might not have to use any winter protection but until then I don’t see why I couldn’t use plastic and some type of heat source in the winter to keep them alive but I guess I’ll find out
Sounds like a good list! Make sure you plant them with the graft below ground level or cover it with mulch, assuming your local nursery uses Lula rootstock (like most gulf coast nurseries), since it’s not very hardy compared to the grafted variety. The author of the blog post I linked above sells own-rooted (air layered, I believe) Del Rio plants (my mom bought a couple), but he’s all the way over south of Gainesville and doesn’t ship or deliver.
That’s the area I plan on going in March I’ll have a little drive but I’ve got a cargo trailer so I should be able to get some larger trees than what I can order online. I’m going to also try to find some orange rootstock so I can start grafting my satsuma orange that stuff’s harder to find than gold. I called the University of Florida and they only give cuttings to nurseries, I’m hoping to find some for $15 but no way am I going to pay $40 like I’ve seen online for some orange root stock I might as well just buy satsuma orange tree from the nursery.
Gulf close to the coast is the perfect place to grow satsumas. They are hardy to around 18-20F and in my 20 years of growing them have only had freeze damage once. I live around 50 miles from the Gulf southwest of Houston. In the last 50 years it has gotten colder than 18F once in 1989 to 10F which killed all unprotected citrus including the rootstock.
Lots of avocado happy talk on the link. It doesn’t mention you must have perfect drainage or avocado trees die. The unhappy talk is that at least in the Houston area around with 100% clay soil 99% of avocado growers trees freeze or are drowned by poor drainage. One friend had a 30+ foot tall Day avocado tree freeze to the stump 2 years ago after surviving many years. The other unhappy thing is that the “cold hardy” avocados don’t taste very good, about like grass. For me I’ll buy my avocados at the grocery. A friend has a mature seedling mexican avocado tree but he lives only 6 miles from the Gulf in Lake Jackson, TX and has Oyster Creek in his back yard. His fruit has large seeds and is not up the super market eating quality. His tree is 40+ feet tall. Next to it is a mature white sapote tree. Another unhappy fact is that the big box stores sell cold hardy avocado trees from Florida with not cold hardy rootstock. Yup they freeze.
You will have to grow citrus rootstock from seed. Seed season is September.
I’ve heard very different opinions on their flavor, at least some of the varieties, but can’t really argue the point since I don’t have much personal experience. @Marta grows some of them and gave good reviews of flavor and texture, for example
I miss my time to try to find some Mexican avocados to taste test I tried to find some a week ago and can only find some green ones from Miami which I don’t think are Mexican variety, they’re very rare around Florida and I don’t know of any online stores that are selling them cuz they’re all out of season I think now. I’ll be sure to ask about the rootstock when I buy them. If I bought some trifolia orange seeds off the internet could they develop any viruses? it’s only reason I was worried about seeds I don’t want to bring a virus into my property
forgot to say(though you probably already know the hardy characteristics of this cultivar which you have)-- ‘mexicola’ survived a 17F winter here in las vegas, and got air-fried by our dry heat the next summer… Funny that it wasn’t the winter that killed it but instead died of lack of humidity plus extreme heat. Can safely say your growing conditions for both citrus and avocado are so much better than mine
Even better reason for me to try 3 or more type avocados, really don’t know which one is best suited for my property.
Here is a pic of the place I’m thinking about planting the avocado trees. Not much wind protection but plenty of sun and nice topsoil and good drainage.
I think Mexicola is an excellent avocado. A properly ripe Duke is a good one too. I am not a fan of Aravaipa, but I’ll eat it if there are no others. For the spring ripening in Sacramento Valley we don’t have a lot of choices. The storm we just had knocked down a lot of Royal Wright fruits. They would be better in March- April. Still are not bad and often better than store bought Hass during this season.