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Freeze Protecting Satsumas

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Protecting Citrus from Late Freezes

Well obviously spring has sprung because my citrus has started sprouting. That's right citrus in the San Antonio area. It's not unusual at all. Especially if you choose these cold hardier types, like Satsuma and Changsha, which are available now for sale in the local nursery. They're a tangerine type fruit, seedless, beautiful stuff as you can see by this photograph they are very productive in October and November.

Now the thing is that you want to give them a little bit of protection because if it gets below 25 degrees you're going to be in trouble. If you plant them in a container of course you can roll them in. If you want to plant them outside I recommend planting them near the eve of a house such as we have here so we can string light bulbs in there around them make it look kind of Christmassy at the time of the year you need to protect them. Then also string a little plastic from the eve of the house over the tree so you can just pull it off at this time of the year and your tree will take off and grow and start blooming. It's also one of the most fragrant types of fruit that you can have.

Now people say I don't know if I want to go through all that trouble or not, planting that near the house on the southwest sunny location or not. Well I guarantee you if you have a little child or big child and they ever taste that fruit, even an 1 1/2-year-old can peel it very easily, and once they eat it they will not be satisfied with any other thing. So try Satumas or Changsha tangerines and have citrus in your own backyard.

This has been Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.

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