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Satsumas for San Antonio


This is my best tree that I have in the yard. Me and the possums like to get out here and just chow down on these Satsuma mandarin oranges. This is a mandarin specifically for San Antonio because those folks in the Rio Grande Valley, they grow those great grapefruit, and they don't want to fool with these mandarin oranges. But we sure do because they're so good to eat and also cold hardy until about 25 degrees. What they're not is they're not drought hardy.

See these little baby oranges, they're kind of cute, but they should be just as big as this, if not larger. Why they're small is because I wasn't able to apply enough water during that period of drought on the root system to keep these things actively growing and expanding. How can you beat the drought and conserve water as well is to grow these things in containers. As you see there, they are very productive in containers, and even during periods of drought you can water this root system because it's a contained smaller root system. Another nice thing about it is that you can move these in if the temperature gets below 25 degrees. So think about containerizing Satsumas if you want to try and grow some in your backyard or you might end up with some little earring Satsumas.

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

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