Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Winter means Mandarins!
Lately i've been getting more interested in Mandarins. They are always rewarding with their tangy deliciousness when i have one, but i often overlook them when thinking of new trees for the garden. Another merit is that they fruit in winter when there is not much else out there in regards to fruit.
I have had a currently have three Mandarins inground and two, just purchased, in pots. The varieties are Satsuma, Scarlett Burgess, Miho, Silverhill & Encore.
The Satsuma is around 4 years old but is achingly unproductive & slow to grow. He is unfortunately planted under the canopy of my fig tree so during the all important growing season of spring & summer he is in shade. To add to his struggle he is on dwarf rootstock too so may never get to a decent size (I might have to move him). The fruit however is nice & sweet and of a medium/large size & very easy peel.
The Scarlett Burgess is a tree i transplanted from my old house. He is about four years old & on dwarf rootstock so is a fairly modest size (1.5m) but produces well. He is planted along the side of my house in my so-called "Citrus Hedge" along with about another ten trees. He gets good sun for most of the year and is pretty happy in his current position i would say. It is a rich-flavoured variety with highly coloured, aromatic, medium-sized fruit. Fruit ripens around mid July. It has a thin skin. The only issue with this tree is that its fruit tends to split it's skin in the autumn when the rain starts after a dry summer. The way to avoid this is to ensure consistent watering in the latter end of summer. This gradually stretches the skin of the juvenile fruit as it is growing to avoid too rapid expansion of the inside flesh as it swells with new rainwater, which in turn rips the skin apart.
The Miho is a Satsuma manderin it is a medium size tree with heavy crops of sweet juicy, easy to peel fruit, generally seedless fruit. This one has only been in the ground for about 1 year so is not yet very productive.
My Encore mandarin is a recent purchase that is a late season fruit so i can extend out the mandarin season. It is an easy peel, sweet juicy fruit, ripening early summer. Heavy producer, with the fruit holding on the tree over a long period.
My latest purchase was a Silverhill Mandarin. It is still in its pot it is an easy peel, smooth rind and attractive, flat shaped, seedless fruit. The fruit is low in acid and therefore really sweet and juicy. Ripens June.