Citrus combos

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Fri, 07/03/2020 - 18:21

kumquat loversExperimenting and having wonderful success with multiple scion grafts onto one rootstock (a citrus cocktail plant) I am curious as to opinions on the best citrus cocktail plants to make next. A few ideas I have come up with include:

  • The kumquat cocktail: Centennial, Marumi, and Meiwa kumquats as shown in the attached photo.
  • The Sprite: Lisbon lemon, persian lime combo.
  • The Lime Lovers: Persian lime, giant key lime, palestine sweet lime combo.
  • The Lemon Lovers: Lisbon, Ponderosa, and New Zealand Lemonade combo.
  • The Blood Orange Lovers: Moro, Tarocco, and Vanilla blood orange combo.

If you had to choose, what cocktail plant would you make from the 56 different varieties of citrus we currently have in our collection:

What would your ideal combo be and why?  Leave us a comment!

Another fabulous growth spurt

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Sat, 04/04/2020 - 08:59

Chinotto flowersTChinotto floweringhe whole greenhouse is bursting with growth, flowers, and the lovely scent of citrus.  The Chinotto in particular seems extra excited this year, with flowers bursting on every single node on many of its branches.

Lots more lovely photos of what is currently going on in our little greenhouse can be found by clicking here.

Comparison plates

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Fri, 11/29/2019 - 14:34


comparison plates of citrus types being harvestedThought it might be nice to put together a little comparison plate of some of the citrus we are currently harvesting.  I started with one plate then realized there were more citrus ready, so I made two plates full of citrus! On the plates you can see the fruit next to each other.  Here are links to our notes for each of the citrus fruit in the photo:


Click on here or on the picture to see a larger photo with a label next to (or on) each fruit.  For perspective, each plate is just over 10.5 inches across.  The Buddha's hand is huge.

Harvesting Yummy Yuzu

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Sun, 10/06/2019 - 09:51

yuzu harvestyuzu fruitTime to harvest the Yuzu!  The Yuzu is the most popular of the acid citrus used in food preparation in east asia.  It is tart and aromatic. 

Our little Yuzu is growing in a container, but still managed to produce a bucketload of fruit.  With this crop we made ice cubes from the juice for use in cooking later, we also made a fresh batch of Yuzu-ade (quite tasty!), and the kid's favourite: candied citrus peel.

More Yuzu photos here.

Limequat harvest!

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Tue, 10/01/2019 - 17:16


limequat harvestOur limequats have been producing prolifically, it's now harvest time!  Limequats are a cross between a key lime and a kumquat.  More cold hardy than a key lime, have edible peel, and the great clean refreshing taste and aroma of a lime as well as considerable amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, and other nutritious elements.  The limequat plant is highly ornamental, grows great in containers, can be outdoors most of the year and indoors in winter.

Overall the limequat fruit tastes like a 'spicy' key lime.  Since we get so many at a time we tend to juice them using our slow juicer, then freeze the juice in ice cube trays so we can use the frozen cubes any time to make great "limequat-onade" (like lemonade but tastier!) or use in cooking when we want a spicier lime flavour.  Fabulous! 

There is no need to peel the limequats when juicing them, just pop them in whole in a slow juicer.  Super simple.  We happen to use a Panasonic model MJL500S slow juicer from costco, but pretty much any juicer that is not steam based should work on limequats.  They do not have the bitter taste in the peel that other limes can have, so juicing them with the peel still on is not a problem. 

Steam juicers should not generally be used on citrus as it can alter the taste and lose many of the aromas that make citrus fruit so wonderful.  For non-citrus fruit we use a steam-based mehu-liisa juicer that works very well for most other fruit.

While we have sold out of our lovely limequat plants for sale this year, we hope to have some available in early spring next year (we have already made them, but we ensure they are established and strong before selling them).  If you are interested in purchasing a limequat check the citrus for sale page here in the February-March time frame.

Giant Key Lime

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Wed, 09/18/2019 - 06:52

Our Giant Key Lime now has mature fruit that we can use to compare with a regular Key Lime.  As can be seen on the right, the Giant Key Lime fruit is 3-4 times bigger than a regular Key Lime.  Everything else about the Giant Key Lime is the same as a regular Key Lime: taste, leaves, growth pattern, lovely scented flowers.

The Giant Key Lime fruit is very juicy and will be great for cooking, margaritas, beer, even adding as flavouring to yogurt, or making Giant Key Lime pie!  Like other Key Limes it has a wonderful clean refreshing taste.

Giant Key Lime vs regular Key Lime


The great growth spurt and flowering is on!

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Sat, 03/23/2019 - 14:53

trovita floweringThe great citrus growth spurt and flowering of 2019 is on!  All the citrus have exploded with fresh new growth in their first great growth spurt of the year.  It seems like every single node is exploding with new tender branches, buds, and leaves.  Astonishing!

The more mature plants are also exploding with flowers now, everywhere.  At a minimum, tens of thousands of new citrus flowers are blooming in our greenhouse.  Stunning scents, beautiful flowers, who could ask for more?

Even some of our new plants for sale are flowering already.  The calamondins, persian limes, lisbon lemons, yuzu, pink variegated lemons, variegated calamondins, limequats, pondersa lemons, etc. all have flowers.  Life sure can be beautiful sometimes.

Quite the snow days!

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Sat, 02/16/2019 - 13:49

snow sliding offWowie, we had quite the exciting set of winter storms come through this winter!  After surviving the 100+km/h winds that knocked out power and devastated two of the little greenhouses in late 2018, we were recently pummeled with snow that added up to close to a meter over the  course of a few days.

The big greenhouse survived the winds, the power outages, and the snow.  It shed the snow readily as can be seen in the photo.  I left the lights on so I could see when the snow loads were building up and was prepared to dash out there and pull some off if needed, but it slid off by itself thank goodness.  The effect was quite interesting to see as the snow sheets cracked and slowly slid off.

After inspecting things it looks like all the citrus, cacti, succulents, and other plants are all fine.  While inside the greenhouse got quite cold (down to 0.5C) when it was very cold outside (-7C) it never froze, thanks to some backup propane heaters I have that did not require electricity ... and the water barrels which released the heat captured during the day.  Everything is looking good so far and lots of new shoots are showing on the citrus as they prepare for the great growth spurt expected in late February.

Additional photos of the snows days is available here.

Candied Citrus Peel

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Tue, 01/22/2019 - 18:39

Candied citrus peelMade a fresh batch of candied citrus peel.  Still perfecting my recipe, but I think we're getting close to perfection!  This was definitely in the excellent category.  Tasty, with sublime citrus flavours.  Made with fresh Rio Red Grapefruit citrus peel, the kids love it.

The Rio Red Grapefruit has been a real winner here in my little greenhouse.  A small tree, about 4 foot tall so far, heavy producer of delicious sweet red grapefruit.  We enjoy the fruit, and now we also enjoy the peel!  All this candy was made with just one fruit.

Hopefully I can reproduce this next year and have some plants for sale.

To see the current list of the citrus we have managed to reproduce and have for sale, click on this link.

New citrus plants

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Wed, 01/16/2019 - 20:24


brandon wateringThis has been a wonderful first year with our little greenhouse.  We even survived the very wild wind storm of 2018.  We were apparently in the 'complete destruction' path.  The storm destroyed two of my tiny greenhouses and toppled an ancient oak onto my property, then another in my property.  Sad!  I love my oaks and take care of them as best I can.  I hated to see them die.  But at least my small greenhouse survived.  Experimenting with citrus propagation in the small greenhouse over the last year has been a great success.  This means we have lots of lovely citrus plants for sale!

Propagating the citrus collection has worked well and we have made many new little citrus plants.  Lucky we have excellent help!  Brandon has been busy watering the delicate citrus plants just right, and everything is growing very happy and fast.  Lemons, limes, calamondins, citrons, limequats, and other exotic citrus are all doing well.  The new citrus rootstocks are also growing well, making me hopeful for a wonderful next year making citrus grafts.