Everyone loves the feeling of growing their own food. It is our primal instinct that fuels the desire to plant and grow what we need and want to eat. Arizona, believe it or not, is a great place to grow nearly anything and everything for your dinner table. Citrus trees are a popular addition to our yards and produce fresh fruit throughout the year. The late summer and early fall are a great time to plant citrus trees so we've highlighted the times of year that they produce and why they’re a great addition to our yard!
Lemons & Limes: Eureka Lemon, Lisbon Lemon, Bearss Lime, Mexican / Key Limes:
There are multiple varieties of Lemon and Lime trees depending on the size and taste desired. Lisbon Lemons are great for cooking and juicing while Mexican Limes are perfect for your favorite cocktail. Bearss Limes are larger limes and are are likely the ones you see at the grocery store. Lemons and Limes are closely related in terms of production and harvesting times and are two of the few citrus varieties that can be considered everbearing as they often produce two crops per year. Begin harvesting your winter production any time between November and March, and your summer harvest between September and October.
Oranges/Tangerines: Navel Oranges, Arizona Sweet Oranges, Valencia Oranges & Tangerines:
If you’ve lived in the Valley for any period of time then you know how popular Orange Trees are. From the East Valley to the West, Phoenix is populated with orange groves. Heck, there are even neighborhoods that mandate you have an orange tree in your yard! Here are four of the top orange varieties you can enjoy immediately.
Navel Oranges - considered an early producer and typically ready for harvest between late November through February.
Arizona Sweet Oranges - typically ready for harvest during the same time frame as the Navel but experience an extended harvest through March.
Valencia Oranges - considered to be late harvest oranges and are ready February through July depending on the area temperatures.
Tangerines - early harvest citrus and typically ready in late September and hold well on the tree deep into December.
Red Grapefruits are another tree that can be planted to increase the length of time you can harvest fresh citrus from your yard. These fruit are typically ready January through May and are again ready for harvest later in the year (September through December) depending on our weather patterns. Planting a grapefruit tree heading into the Fall could have fresh fruit hitting your breakfast table by Spring!
Tangelos are a great fruit to plant as they are a hybrid of the Duncan Grapefruit and the tangerine, offering a tart and sweet tasting flesh that many people enjoy for a variety of uses. These trees are typically ready for harvest November through February. For best production you can plant other citrus in your yard to get larger yields.
There are many types of citrus varieties available but these are the most commonly sought after because of their production of the largest and best tasting fruits in our environment. Planting different varieties of citrus allows you to prolong your harvest period and have fresh fruit throughout the year. There’s nothing better than sitting with your family and enjoying the freshest, safest and best tasting fruit right from your own backyard.
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