Monday, June 26, 2017

CITRUS TREES PLANTED IN GALVANIZED RINGS

Here is a project we're finally ready to share the finished results (this was done over a month ago but I just put the post together this rainy weekend when we were housebound, ha!)

Planning for citrus trees
It all started with a plan (doesn't everything? ha).  We decided that since the regular orchard of fruit trees was behind the house, we still had the space here behind the garden that was unused.  It has water nearby and was just the right amount of space for three trees. Since we had three citrus trees, this was the best spot to put them.

Because of our soil (clay) we decided to go the open bottomed raised bed route just like we did with the peach/pear/apple/plum trees behind the house.  I was about to order more metal corner brackets and stopping to get wood, have it cut, build it, etc.

One day though, I had an epiphany: 


I realized that these galvanized fire rings could be perfect as a "raised bed".  They were 12" high, same as the wood boxes I built.  They were 36" in diameter and while a bit smaller than the 4x4 square boxes, with citrus trees that would be more than enough space around them (much bigger than any container and many people keep citrus in a container anyway).  BEST of all, there was no cutting, no buying anything extra, no hard work to do.  They come unassembled but literally took about 10 minutes for each one to just put in the screws and nuts and be done. 

Galvanized fire ring planter
Check this out!!!  

Boom!  Instant and, at least we think so, stylish above ground planter!

We bought ours online at Home Depot (sale/free shipping) but there are some here on Amazon.


This one is 18" deep, if you'd like deeper planting (we are thinking of deeper for another project, not involving fruit trees, ha).  


And here is a link to all the ones Amazon sells that are similar.  Prices are always changing so check i


All I had to do was add the soil blend.  We used a combination of garden soil and raised bed mixture (to help with moisture and allow roots to move around).  


I broke up the ground underneath, put down some cardboard and layered the soil/compost. Once it got to the right height, I put the tree inside so that the root ball was fairly even with the top of the ring and continued filling around it with soil.

Tree planting ring
I filled the soil to the top and was done. It has settled of course since then and we top it off when necessary, but it worked far better than we could have expected. These will even be easy to wrap up in the Winter if we have a hard freeze coming.

Limes
Now that we are over a month in, we already have fruit growing. Since citrus will develop fruit while growing in pretty much any container, we decided to leave these on and see what happens. We pulled off a few so they weren't overloaded but each tree still has a couple so we'll see how it goes.  Eventually we'll put some companion plantings at the base of them in the rings, whatever works best for each type of fruit of course.  

This coming weekend we'll be putting straw mulch down around them to keep the moisture in this Summer.

Citrus Yard
Behold!  

We have a lime, a lemon and an orange!  By the way, it's the angle that looks like the lime and orange are close together but they are all spaced in more or less a triangle shape.  

This area we will be calling "The Citrus Yard".  We figured that it's easier to identify various parts of the property like "the orchard" or the "apiary" or the "dewberry patch".  So "citrus yard" seemed good enough.  Not sure what else we will plant back there, might need to let them get bigger so we can see what we have to work with but so far so good!

Let the citrus growing begin!

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very creative use of a fire ring! And since citrus flowers smell heavenly, some seating with shade nearby to enjoy the fragrance would be a great place to relax. Good job!

Colleen said...

Great idea on another use for the fire rings.
May I ask where you bought the rings from? I was looking for something along that line to plant potatoes in come next year

Jimmy said...

It is amazing the range of fruit trees you can grow where you live.

donna baker said...

They should do well like that. Citrus will rid itself of fruit so no culling needed. You can't really harm citrus. Just give them some liquid chelated iron from time to time. I still have about 30 trees and just gave the four largest away this week. Didn't know at first not to plant them in large planters as they grow too large to handle and haul in and out of the greenhouse. Look for a new species of citrus that will go down to 20 degrees. Mine can't go down to freezing. I am making ice cubes with my citrus juice today in fact.

Mum said...

Brilliant design.
xx

Anne in the kitchen said...

That is so stinkin clever! I love satsumas. I hope everything grows well.

Linda said...

It seems like something too good to be true--picking citrus in the backyard.

Marcia said...

Great solution! It's good to name the garden areas to so you both know where you are referring to.

MargaretP said...

That looks fantastic, I am sure the trees will grow well in such a sunny spot. I think I read somewhere that although they love the sun, citrus like their roots to be cool, maybe worth asking at your local nursery (or someone knowledgeable ) and explaining the above ground setup with metal and get some advice.
You will have the most wonderful food production with all your well planned gardens, the farm will be such a lovely place to live.

Texas Rose said...

Those look so nice! The galvanized material is the perfect look for the Farm. And not nearly as much work as the square wooden ones. You are going to love going out to your orchard and picking your own fruit.

Colleen said...

You know, a person could even spray paint these in beautiful bright colors; adding some color décor to one's garden / yard.
By painting them will also gives them protection against rust.

Byron J said...

That is brilliant!!! Love it! Nice work. Now fingers crossed for your citrus.

Byron J

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Beautiful work, boys!

Alison said...

Nice job all the way around. ;-)

anne said...

I have a key lime, satsuma and lemon tree in containers, interestingly the key lime had perfectly good key limes for a couple of years, then last year the key lime tree produced strange small orange fruits. I think it was too close to the satsuma. I haven't been able to find any scientific evidence for why but have read other peoples same experiences with lemon and orange trees.

Rain said...

Hi 1st Man! :) I LOVE those rings! What a great idea! Your fruit orchard looks great!!! I hope one day I can grow more fruit but in our climate, it'll likely have to be in heated greenhouses, the dream is there though! :)

Mrs Shoes said...

I always thought fruit trees had to be planted in pairs so that they could cross pollinate - I guess I was wrong or you'd have 6 instead of three.
Re: Anne's comment about her lime tree growing strange orange fruit when it was close to an orange tree - wouldn't that be an example of cross pollination?

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm just wondering.

anne said...

Apparently they self pollinate..but the fruits last year were definitely not key lime. There are fruits on it now so maybe they will be the right color(btw I tasted them last year and did not like them but a friend tried them and loved them).

MargaretP said...

There is a book called "The hidden life of trees " it is a very interesting read and may be something that would help you as you go forward with all your wonderful plans for your farm and future life growing food and taking good care of your land.

1st Man said...

Thank you and yes don't they smell heavenly? We were imaging what all of them in bloom might smell like someday.

1st Man said...

OOOH! Potatoes would be great! We're going to stay several things. Yes, we got them at Home Depot online. Not sure they have them in the stores, it was an online but with free delivery since purchase was over $50 (not sure what special they have now). When we ordered them they were only sale, $36 each as I recall. I updated the post to include one from Amazon that's a bit taller that might work better for potatoes since it would be deeper.

1st Man said...

It's warm and humid so most tropicals do well. Of course, the downside is many tropicals don't like the hard freezes and we do get those once in awhile. All of the varieties we got though that most 'cold hardy' so fingers crossed!

1st Man said...

Wow, thanks for the info. That's what we love about the blog and learning new stuff from everyone with experience. Thanks!! Will have to look into that. awesome. And citrus juice ice cubes? Um yeah!! Sounds like a winner, I'm assuming just juice and water in ice cube trays? That's a great way to use them.

1st Man said...

Thank you much!

1st Man said...

Satsuma (at least this variety) is the most cold hardy and it loves the rest of our weather. That's why we chose it and yes, the are SO good!! Thank you!

1st Man said...

We'll see!!! It won't be for lack of trying that's for sure.

1st Man said...

At first it seemed kinda silly but we realize it makes sense like you said, especially in the future, to say things like "take this to the orchard" or "we need to find a bench for the citrus yard", ha.

1st Man said...

Fingers crossed. Funny you mentioned the temp. I stuck my hand down in the soil and it was nice and cool all the way around. The very edge touching the metal was a bit warmer. Will have to ask about that. Thank you!!! Fingers crossed!!!

1st Man said...

It does have a great look. And the work savings was well worth it. I hope we'll be picking our own fruit someday!!!

1st Man said...

That's a great idea actually. And as was mentioned about about heat, I wonder if putting some landscape fabric around the inside would work?

1st Man said...

Aww, thanks!!! We can use all the finger crossing we can get, ha.

1st Man said...

Thank you, that means a lot!!

1st Man said...

Aww, thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Hmm, I haven't heard of that but I will have to check that out. Interesting. Is that a lemorange? Oranemon? HA!

1st Man said...

Hey, never let anything get in the way of a dream. You can find a way to make it a reality. Thank you for the sweet words!

1st Man said...

Oh thank you for that. Love learning about new books. Very sweet of you to think of us for it. Off to look it up on Amazon. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

LOL, don't worry about that, never would think that. it's a great question. All of the varieties of trees that we get we always look for the varieties athat are what they call "self fruiting". That means they don't have two. Now the orchard trees we planted behind the house, we bought two each of peach, plum, apple, and pear. They are also all 'self fruiting' but when you do have more than one, you increase the odds in case you have a season when it doesn't work as well. But we always try to find the self fruitful variety. As for cross pollination it doesn't always happen on citrus but it can, though they say it doesn't affect flavor unless you planted the seeds of the cross pollinated fruit. It's a mystery we'll learn and post the results here, ha!!! Comment anytime!!

1st Man said...

Anne, thanks for the info. That's so crazy about the key limes. I will have to read up on that. We don't have any key lime, I wonder if maybe that variety is susceptible? Interesting!!! Thank you for the info!!!