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Growing Satsuma Mandarins


This is some of the best citrus in the world I'm holding in front of me and I grew it in my own backyard right here in San Antonio; on the north side of San Antonio. Luckily, not only is this the best citrus in the world, it's also one of the most cold hardy in the world. It's called the Satsuma. That's right it came from Japan too, I can't help it, it's just that good.

Now, we've never ever really talked about Satsuma oranges in this area because there never has been any available. They don't produce them in the Valley because, of course, they don't grow them in the Valley; it's to hot down there. It's our particular climate that they do the best in. And, of course, we want the best in San Antonio. This is not an orange; it is a tangerine and look how easy it peels. It peels a lot easier than an orange. And another nice thing about it is it's completely seedless, absolutely seedless, and one of the sweetest things you'll ever put in your mouth.

Right now, this year, for the first time ever, we've got trees available in your local nurseries. They need to be purchased and planted now, or you can plant them all the way through April, May, in fact, the rest of the year as long as you can find them. It's called Satsuma. They need to be planted on a protected side of your house, just in case we have one of those unusual '83 freezes. There's also one called Changsha that's got a few seeds in it, but you can plant it out in the wide-open spaces and not worry about it freezing. So finally now we can have our own citrus here in San Antonio and enjoy the best in the world.

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

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