so much maximum discount*
Permies likes permaculture and the farmer likes Is it possible to grow citrus trees in New Brunswick, Canada using hugelbeds? permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login


permies » forums » growies » permaculture
Bookmark "Is it possible to grow citrus trees in New Brunswick, Canada using hugelbeds?" Watch "Is it possible to grow citrus trees in New Brunswick, Canada using hugelbeds?" New topic
Author

Is it possible to grow citrus trees in New Brunswick, Canada using hugelbeds?

                            


Joined: May 24, 2011
Posts: 2
sepp holzer grows citrus trees and other warmer climate trees and shrubs where the average yearly temperature is 39.5 F.  Does he grow them between the hugelbeds, near ponds or another method?  I want to grow citrus trees but my only option is to make 2 hugelbeds and plant the citrus trees between them.  I have a very small piece of land to use and I will have to do the work of making the beds by hand as I have no equipment to use.  I would probably have room for 2 or 3 trees.  The average yearly temperature in central New Brunswick, Canada is 39 F.  I could also use some advice on how far apart to place the beds and how deep to dig the trenches  (the minimum width and depth I could get away with for citrus).  Once the trenches done, how high should I mound them.  As Sepp uses equipment he digs 3 ft trenches and stacks them up to 5 ft. I am not sure how far apart the beds are.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Rob Sigg


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 710
Location: PA-Zone 6
I don’t want to discourage you in any way, but I have researched this a bit myself. First there are many citrus plants that are hardy to well below freezing, what they don’t tell you is that the fruit is not that great, so don’t expect it to be like a florida orange, however I don’t think that should be your only deciding factor. Secondly, Sepp uses the large ponds, hugelkultur, dense vegetation around the citrus and very large rocks to create a super microclimate. Anything but large scale like hes doing will not create a sufficient enough microclimate. I am in zone 6b, and I planted 4 citrus trees outside under my balcony near my house on the south side. There were boulders behind it, they were mulched with straw and leaves, and large rocks which was right next to a small fish pond. By late December they were all dead. I don’t know what zone you are in, but I think you will need something large scale to remotely pull this off. Maybe someone else that has had success will prove me wrong. And maybe Paul can speak about the variety of citrus Sepp is growing since I think he was there on his farm. Good luck to you and please let me know if you have success!


permaculture wiki: www.permies.com/permaculture
Cris Bessette
volunteer

Joined: May 20, 2011
Posts: 691
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 8A
    
  29
Looking at a hardiness zone map for your area, it looks pretty unlikely you are going to grow citrus outside in the winter without some more intensive protection.  -10F is  guaranteed death for unprotected citrus.
http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-new-brunswick-plant-zone-hardiness-map.php


I am growing Satsuma oranges in the ground here in the Georgia mountains, zone 7B/8A.
They are growing in a slightly recessed area facing south, the sides and back of the walls around the trees are made of stacked rock. Late in the fall I put a small wood and plastic sheet row house over them. Also there is a small 40w incandescent lamp over each tree that is controlled by a greenhouse thermostat. Whenever the temp falls to freezing inside then the lights come on. Last winter the lowest temp I had was 10F/-12C.

A thing to remember is that mature trees are much more hardy than young trees. The smaller the tree, the more it should be OVER protected.

Hügelkutur beds might generate a little heat from decomposition the first year or so, but I wouldn't rely on it.
If I were in your position, I would build the beds as high as possible to block icy winds, put the trees right in the low point of the slope between (keeping in mind the angle of the sun in winter) AND cover them with an enclosure.  Put large dark rocks, jugs/barrels/buckets painted black full of water around the trees to act as passive solar collectors. Of course, a solar collector is useless if they don't get sunlight on cloudy days, so there should be some sort of active backup such as lights/ electric or gas heater, candles, attached livestock shelter, fresh decomposing compost, etc.

One creative trick a guy in the Ukraine uses is an in-ground greenhouse. This is basically a pit in the ground with an enclosure over it.  This uses the constant temperature of the soil itself to help moderate the over all low temperatures outside.  The pit is deeper than the trees are tall, but is oriented so as much sunlight gets in as possible.


                            


Joined: May 24, 2011
Posts: 2
Thank you Rob and Crispy for your input.  Although I may not be able to grow citrus trees, the information you have provided will certainly help me with other plants and trees. I find it interesting how Holzer can grow citrus. I must admit I am a permaculture newbie.  Earlier this spring I planted cold hardy trees for Zone 5. I live between Fredericton and Nackawic in New Brunswick.  I have Stanley plum,  4 in 1 pear (Flemish Beauty, Bartlett, Anjou, Comice)  and Wolf River Apple.  I need to get another apple to pollinate the Wolf River.  I have been viewing video after video of Holzer's work and read whatever I can find.  I value others opinions that have tried his methods.  I stumbled upon permaculture by accident looking to see how I could improve my garden spot as it wasn't doing too well.  This year I have noticed a difference already...the worms are back.  I am hoping some of the things I have learned and implemented into my garden will give me a much better harvest.  Thank you both for sharing your information with me and if you have any other advice to offer I am more than willing to listen. 
Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
    
  11
we keep citrus alive down to the high teens here. the tricks keeping the frost off of them and to a lesser extent the snow. plant out in the open and they will die. young plants do better in pots and overwintered inside or in a greenhouse. we grow limes, oranges, regular lemons, kumquats, calomondin, kaffir lime, and lemon from mexico that is awesome for drinks.


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
Rob Sigg


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 710
Location: PA-Zone 6
emerinza wrote:
Thank you Rob and Crispy for your input.  Although I may not be able to grow citrus trees, the information you have provided will certainly help me with other plants and trees. I find it interesting how Holzer can grow citrus. I must admit I am a permaculture newbie.  Earlier this spring I planted cold hardy trees for Zone 5. I live between Fredericton and Nackawic in New Brunswick.  I have Stanley plum,  4 in 1 pear (Flemish Beauty, Bartlett, Anjou, Comice)  and Wolf River Apple.  I need to get another apple to pollinate the Wolf River.   I have been viewing video after video of Holzer's work and read whatever I can find.  I value others opinions that have tried his methods.  I stumbled upon permaculture by accident looking to see how I could improve my garden spot as it wasn't doing too well.  This year I have noticed a difference already...the worms are back.   I am hoping some of the things I have learned and implemented into my garden will give me a much better harvest.  Thank you both for sharing your information with me and if you have any other advice to offer I am more than willing to listen. 


You are very welcome! If I think of anything else I will post it. My citrus trees are doing great in pots, so if you can try it out!
Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
If you have a very small land i would actually grow what grows well. You could as well put citrus in pots and protect them in winter somehow.
We live in a marginal citrus country that means that we can grow some citrus but not all. We can for example grow Meyer lemon, but no oranges. Oranges are actually hardier than lemons but they need more heat/ time to ripen. So there are two different factors: one is the hardiness and one is the temperature and time you need for them to ripen. Average temperatures don't mean anything. Kumquats are nice and very hardy and ripen here too. They taste lovely and make the best marmalade ever. We're getting down to -5°C but I have no idea about Fahrenheits.
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit


Joined: Aug 08, 2010
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
CrispyCritter wrote: A thing to remember is that mature trees are much more hardy than young trees. The smaller the tree, the more it should be OVER

That's the opposite of what Sepp Holzer says in one of his videos. He stated that he raised his citrus trees from seed. He let them stay outside in a pot without cover for 2 years and (of course) only planted the ones that survived. He used natural selection in this process.
The larger the citrus tree you bought the more unlikely it is to survive the change of not being warm and cozy the whole year. Starting from seed is the way to go, says Sepp Holzer. Too much work for me. I have three lemon trees in my greenhouse and have plenty of lemons to give to my neighbours.

If I were in your position, I would build the beds as high as possible to block icy winds, put the trees right in the low point of the slope between (keeping in mind the angle of the sun in winter) AND cover them with an enclosure.

Don't forget that cold air flows DOWN. When you build a pit like this you would have to mulch the inside of the pit for the winter higher than the tops of the mounds. Otherwise you're collecting cold air. Your plants would certainly die.

I would plant the tree right on a slope and put larger rocks behind and around the citrus tree in U-form. So that cold air flows around the rocks not over them. I would even try to find a large thin plate-like stone as sort of a roof.



I wouldn't build it exactly that way either... haha.


Life that has a meaning wouldn't ask for its meaning. - Theodor W. Adorno
Nathalie Poulin


Joined: Feb 07, 2011
Posts: 60
How about growing citrus (oranges) in Ottawa, Canada where the temperatures can get as low as -30C (-22F)? Writing this seems laughable, but I'm curious if anything thinks it could be done....using hugelkultur/compost to keep it warm?
Cris Bessette
volunteer

Joined: May 20, 2011
Posts: 691
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 8A
    
  29
>>>That's the opposite of what Sepp Holzer says in one of his videos. He stated that he raised his citrus trees from seed. He let them stay outside in a pot without cover for 2 years and (of course) only planted the ones that survived. He used natural selection in this process.<<<

I am open to learning anything about how Mr. Holzer does it. I've just found personally that young plants in general (not only citrus) are less hardy than ones that have matured and have larger diameter trunks, stems.  (Do you know where I can see the video you mentioned?)

Oddly enough, I have tried the "natural selection" process.  I have grown some mandarin trees / kumquats from seed try out this very idea. I was very suprised that two tiny trees small enough to fit under a coffee cup actually lived through two winters in my yard with almost no protection (sadly they died after having most of their tops frozen off last winter, still, they lived a lot longer than I thought they would.)
I have two mandarins that I grew in pots over the last year or so and planted out in front of my house this Spring. They are at least 3ft / 1m tall so they are physically sturdier than the tiny ones that didn't make it.
The way I see it, I am out little money if I eat some citrus fruit, grow the seeds and experiment with them. If even a tiny percentage of them live and thrive, then great.


>>>The larger the citrus tree you bought the more unlikely it is to survive the change of not being warm and cozy the whole year. Starting from seed is the way to go, says Sepp Holzer.

Just to note, the Satsuma mandarins I have bought were field grown in a similar climate to mine, there was not much adjusting they needed to do. In any case, I have experimented with growing my own trees from seed, its nice to get confirmation that Mr. Holzer is having success with this and I will put more effort into this.



>>>on't forget that cold air flows DOWN. When you build a pit like this you would have to mulch the inside of the pit for the winter higher than the tops of the mounds. Otherwise you're collecting cold air. Your plants would certainly die.
Cold air does flow down, but I personally think the small elevation change between two mounds would benefit the trees more by protecting them from freeze-drying winds than harm them from collecting a little cold air. In in any case I see Holzer use this idea in this diagram: http://edenparadigm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Holzer-Raised-Bed-Diagram-LRG.jpg

I would plant the tree right on a slope and put larger rocks behind and around the citrus tree in U-form. So that cold air flows around the rocks not over them. I would even try to find a large thin plate-like stone as sort of a roof.

You have basically described how I protect my satsuma mandarins, except I have a small plastic and wood greenhouse instead of the stone roof (lets more light through!)



                          


Joined: Feb 03, 2011
Posts: 32
Consider a Meyer Lemon. They make a fine houseplant over winter, and produce nearly year round.
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
fireweed, can you give me some suggestions on my meyer lemon?  I thought it had died over the winter in the house - I am not a genuis with houseplants.

So I put the pot outside in the sun and ignored it.  The three foot long trunk, thinner than the size of a pencil started putting out small leaves rather rapidly.  Then it just quit.  And that is where it is now.

This is my second year trying to grow this poor lemon.  I am sure that it is something I am doing as every where I read they are supposed to grow like crazy.  Help?

P.S., I did have one outside, I should be able to grow outside here, but it croaked.


1. my projects
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
      I would buy a minature lemon so that it was easier to protect, a dwarf tree.
    Ponds work like the reflectors of a solar oven so look up solar ovens to understand how sepp uses his ponds.
    In place your reflc¡ector pond, then you have to screen off the plants from prevailing winds so a place were the sun shines on the pond and gets reflected off it and that is not open to prevailing winds.
    Sepp keeps his pumpkins warm by planitng them next to a rock that the suns shines on .
      Rocks apart from getting very hot in sunlight retain heat and let it off at night when it gets colder, they lose heat when there is a temperature differential, if the heat was the same outside as within the rock they would not lose heat.  Rocks reduce temperature swings by warming the surroundings when the temperature goes down.. Mind you they would increase the swing to hot under full sunlight.
      I would get a dwarf citrus and cheat by putting plastic protection round it in winter or i would prune the tree so it statyed small, have a lemon bush.
      The japanese wrap trees up in winter, they dont just cross their fingers and hope frost wont get them. This goes a bit against the permaculture idae that the natural way is good, it is silly to work too hard.
      The truth is i would like to hear a long description of the places Sepp plants lemons.
        I like the information dunkelheit gives on hot and cold air and his way to create a microclimate for a citrus tree..
      In paul wheatons video of a village made of clay houses, they make an alcove that seems to be two steps deep onto a wall and apparently ithe temperature in the alcove is twenty grades i have to check that out, warmer in the alcove than outside it. I suppose it is south facing I should check that out too.
      There are youtube videos of semicircular constructions in brick with i higher wall in the centre than on the edge, cuissant shaped walls, i am not sure if they were built as a way of shading plants or warming them, shading i think but in a cold climate they might work for warming them. The sound track to the video is, "the eyes of a lioin", Dont look in the eyes of a lion and think you see a friend. a song instead of an explanation of the walls. It is among permaculture videos and is shot in Africa. agri rose macaskie. 
Cris Bessette
volunteer

Joined: May 20, 2011
Posts: 691
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 8A
    
  29
South Carolina wrote:
fireweed, can you give me some suggestions on my meyer lemon?  I thought it had died over the winter in the house - I am not a genuis with houseplants.

So I put the pot outside in the sun and ignored it.  The three foot long trunk, thinner than the size of a pencil started putting out small leaves rather rapidly.  Then it just quit.  And that is where it is now.

This is my second year trying to grow this poor lemon.  I am sure that it is something I am doing as every where I read they are supposed to grow like crazy.  Help?

P.S., I did have one outside, I should be able to grow outside here, but it croaked.




I had some little citrus trees do that once, turned out the root systems were mostly rotten. I over watered or something. In any case, I took the trees out of their pots and pulled off all the dead stuff, washed the remaining root ball to make sure everything left was still good.
Next, I cut off almost all of the branches to equalize the top growth to the remaining roots.  Lastly I replanted the remaining bit in pots in good well draining potting soil.

After a few weeks they started to recover and put on new top growth.


In my opinion, you possibly have the same problem. You got new growth out in the sun, but there is not enough good roots to support the top growth, so it stopped. 
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Heidi Guildmeister says that mediteranean plants need to have dry soil round their roots in summer they are inclined to be semi dormant then so dont water them, is her advice but she is not talking of potted plants. You should have part of your mediteranean garden for plants that need watering all grown in the same spot and another for mediteranean plants that dont need anywater in summer. That backs up what you say about roots crispy critter. agri rose macaskie.
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
Thanks Crispy - I am going to try that.  The plant is not dead but I don't see it going anywhere either. 
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
Rose, you are probably right about overwatering - when I repot I'll try something faster draining.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Ii was just thinking of backing up what crispy critter said, however Heidi Guildeneisters book,  is  a good and inspiring book on growing in this sort of climate, mostly she advices growing plants that are natural to the climate, but she is talking of flower gardens not vegetable gardens, ceanothus, olives, curly leaves mountain mahogani, that dont need water in summer. California is said to have a mediteranean climate and south africa and some part of australia. She says the mediteranean plants dont like beign watered in summer, your olive tree and i suppose citrus fruits and such..
  Here in Spain they grow citrus fruits on the mi¡editeranean side of spain and the south where the winters are not too cold. Eneglish people seem to think they grow them everywhere here, it would need a sepp type arrangement for them to survive the winters of the rest of Spain.
The spanish evergreen oak the quercus iliex rotundifolia, bares the hard winters of the interior as well as the hot dry summers. agri rose macaskie. 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 5015
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
190
Rose - I'm right on the edge of 'citrus country' and I've learned that orange trees aren't truly mediterranean plants.  They cope with our winters, just, but they do need some water during the summer.  Not often, but if they don't get water, the oranges are dry and disgusting. 

Some trees, like the native oaks, can die if you water them in summer - something to do with a fungus that lives on the roots that will spring to life and kill the tree if conditions are right. 


What is a Mother Tree ?
Cris Bessette
volunteer

Joined: May 20, 2011
Posts: 691
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 8A
    
  29
Burra Maluca wrote:
Rose - I'm right on the edge of 'citrus country' and I've learned that orange trees aren't truly mediterranean plants.  They cope with our winters, just, but they do need some water during the summer.  Not often, but if they don't get water, the oranges are dry and disgusting. 



The rule I always hear is to water citrus trees well, then wait till the top 1" inch of soil is dry before watering them again. In other words they like a good soak, then to be let to dry somewhat in between waterings. Of course sandy soils will dry faster than heavier soils.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
  burra maluca, love the information on oaks i lawawys like more information on them.
  Evergreen oaks seem to hate too much nitrogen, everytime i have seen a small bit of land with oaks on it enclosed to hold animals, the first time for horses the next for goats and again for one horse the oaks inside the land enclosed have died. In the goat pen it took a long time for the oaks to die but where they tethered a horse at the camping sight, the tree next to the horse died in a year or two and the place i saw years ago enclosed to hold various horses was full of dead encinas. agri rose macaskie. 
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
I suppose that Heidi Guildemeister is talking about olive trees not being happpy on lawns that are weatered everyday. Maybe mediteranean plants olive grooves and such occasionally get watered i have seen ditches in the olive groves in marroco that looked like irrigation canals to me . I  have no to little idea about olives, though i have two that seem happy enough, one that gets watered with the other plants in the bed it is in, though the watrer does not reach the ground at its feet and another that does not, the clematic¡s at its feet gets a drip though but i have not read of how to keep them or known people that do so i dont know what is said about it.
 
    You could wrap up citrus trees in winter, the japanese do it. You put fir twigs in between the branches to fill in the gaps in the head of the tree or handfulls of straw or hay and then more of either on the outside of the whole head and trunk of the tree and then sackcloth.
    The gardening book i have that includes a description of how to protect trees in winter also says a teepee of bamboo fencing over the tree that is then covered in sack cloth is even better.
    The photos show and end result of these processes that is very tidy loooking, like a very tidy thin haystack.
        In the photo it looks more as if they have wrapped on of the small trees in a roll of that fencing made of a stoutish grass straw not that made of split bamboo.
    I reckon trees do photosynthasise in winter by the green layer just under their bark the green protected by bark as it is not in leaves. This could be a reason not to wrap them up. agri rose macaskie.
   
 
 
subject: Is it possible to grow citrus trees in New Brunswick, Canada using hugelbeds?
 
cast iron skillet 49er

more from paul wheaton's glorious empire of web junk: cast iron skillet diatomaceous earth sepp holzer raised garden beds raising chickens lawn care flea control missoula electric heaters permaculture videos permaculture books