We’re approaching the end of February and you know what that means… it’s fruit tree time of year! We’ve been looking forward to this for a while now. My mom-in-law (Mama) has wanted Meyer Lemon trees for the longest time and this year we found some at last. Well, that’s not entirely accurate… We really were looking in all the wrong places before. Here’s a hint – there are more options available than just big box nurseries, and ordering online! Who knew, right?
With all the planning of our vegetable garden I’ve been visiting our local Agri Extension office website quite a lot lately and on one visit the annual Master Gardener’s Association Fruit Tree Sale caught my eye. I was reviewing the anticipated list of tree varieties when the heavens opened, light shone down on my keyboard and I swear I heard a choir of angels singing in the distance… there they were Meyer Lemon. Eureka!
Needless to say, we saved the date!
Today was that glorious day. We set our alarms for 0’dark-thirty because doors opened at 8am – and we’d been advised that this thing sells out fast. We pulled into the parking lot at 0730am to find this… (I posted it to our Instagram account).
YIKES! Note to self: Next year we’re pulling a “Black Friday at Best Buy” move and camping out overnight!
When we finally made it into the tiny hall after dodging countless carts and little red wagons I thanked my lucky stars for all 6 feet of my height as I immediately spotted the lemon section over the heads of the crowd and led the way.
Snagged! One Meyer Lemon. Mama was VERY happy! Who knew the flowers were so pretty and they smell amazing!
Next Mama grabbed an Ujukitsu Lemon which we’d heard a lot about – apparently you can practically drink this straight from the tree, you need only add vodka… or, you know… water and whatever… but no sugar is necessary. Yeah, Mama had to get one of those too!
Lastly we were torn between apple tree and avocado. Our little radio flyer cart was already struggling under the weight of the lemons, and there really wouldn’t be room for more than one. (Also, while excellent quality, these babies weren’t ridiculously cheap at between $40-50 for a standard root stock).
Apple trees were wayyyy over on the other side of the hall. Avocados were across the aisle. It was a no-brainer, Mama decided to go with the Mexicola Grande Avocado so off we went throwing elbows and knees to get there… (okay, that’s a mild exaggeration, but I do struggle with mild claustrophobia and I really did have to hold myself back from balling my fists, screaming “NO!” and punching my way outta there).
Roddy loaded the avo up and headed for the door all while reconfirming his pre-negotiated fried chicken, mashed ‘taters and gravy for dinner in exchange for his cart-rolling, tree-lifting, and hole-digging labor.
On our return home, Mama and I walked the yard trying to decide on placement for these delicious newcomers. We’ve been advised to plant them on higher ground to avoid root-rot in our largely clay soil. (Here’s another trick we heard: If you’re in an area where clay soil and standing water are a problem, consider planting new fruit trees on a cinder block. According to one local Master Gardener this is a great way to prevent waterlogged roots).
Roddy got busy digging, and here is the end result.
We cannot wait till these babies are in fruit and we can add to the insane number of grapefruits produced by these two:
Next month we need to get into them and do a little pruning. It’s better to leave them be until the worst of the cold weather is behind us.
Oh, I need to brag for a minute… this was last year’s grapefruit yield from Mama’s trees above. They weren’t the prettiest grapefruits you ever saw, but MAN were they sweet and delicious and we made several batches of grapefruit jelly!
What kinds of fruit do you have in your yard? Do you have any awesome grapefruit recipes to share? As you can see, we need all the help we can get to use these up!
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