Garden Gate grows citrus in Southeast Texas

Citrus trees

If you have never tried to grow citrus in your own backyard, you might be surprised at how much luck you could have. Yes, we can grow oranges, grapefruit, lemons and other citrus with just a little care, patience and knowledge.

Many types of fruits grow well in home gardens in our area, but the key to a successful harvest is to select varieties best suited to our subtropical climate. One of the most important considerations in selecting an appropriate plant is its temperature likes and dislikes, according to the Agri-Life folks: “Citrus trees are subtropical to tropical in nature and many may suffer severe damage or even death in freezing temperatures. But there are several types of citrus that are cold hard enough to survive most winters in our region, particularly as the trees mature.”

Planting citrus trees on the south and southeast sides of the house or in sheltered locations will give your citrus trees even more protection from those northern cold fronts.

Need some more “citrus knowledge” before you try your hand at growing your own? You will be able to get that knowledge and learn how to care for citrus with the program called Growing Citrus in Southeast Texas: What-When-Where. Call (409) 835-8461 to register or get more information on the Golden Triangle Citrus Show and Lecture. The annual event will be held in the Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension Service Auditorium at 1225 Pearl St., Beaumont, on Thursday, Nov. 20, from 6-8 p.m.

Featured speakers are citrus specialists Jim Hearn, Robert Saldana of Texas A&M University Weslaco Citrus Center and B.L. Childers, Southeast Texas Citrus Grower.

A $10 admission fee includes the Citrus Show and lectures, which are sponsored by the Jefferson County Horticultural Committee. There will be a raffle and door prizes to boot.

Want to show off some of your own citrus? You can enter the Citrus Show contest. Just bring three of your best citrus, cleaned and polished to the Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension Office at 1225 Pearl St., 200 in Beaumont. You can bring your prize winning citrus from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, or 9 a.m. – noon on Thursday, Nov. 20. All are welcome to enter the contest.