When we first toured this house five and a half years ago we realized quickly that it fit everything on our ‘must have’ house list. Including a big yard. And just to make the icing on the cake a little sweeter we found an apple, pear, and orange tree. Well, honestly saying ‘orange tree’ is really an exaggeration. It was more of a newly planted orange stick. For years it remained an orange stick with maybe only an inch or two of growth gained per year. It would blossom and fill the yard with it’s sweet scent, but we never had any oranges before. Until we read about how heavily they needed feeding. They have a voracious appetite for nitrogen, so we decided to be good citrus parents and feed it, along with the meyer lemon, with Dr. Earths Organic Citrus Fertilizer. Two years later it’s grown about three times its original size and has probably about a half a dozen oranges on it. Which is about twice as many as we got last year. Six oranges, is just about enough for a batch of marmalade, which has been my passion for a few years now. Frog Hollow, found at the San Francisco Farmers Market is my all time favorite.
Navel Orange trees can get pretty big, which is fine in my book. I wouldn’t mind a huge orange tree in the spot that it is in. However while they are frost tender when young. So while they are small enough, it’s a good idea to throw a blanket over them when the weatherman warns of a freeze. Or you can just look around as you drive through town at the neighboors citrus trees. Come December (in our town) you might notice all sorts of odd blankets and sheets strewn across people yards.
Do you have an orange tree? What do you do with the bounty?