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Patio Lime

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I have a Kaffir Lime and what was labelled Patio Lime, bought about 5 years ago (not from Daleys)growing in tubs against a north facing brick wall which gives protection from our heavy frosts. Both fertilised regularly and both fruit consistently. But Patio Limes are tiny - around 2 cm diameter, but otherwise perfect and seedless.
I was expecting fruit a bit larger. Is the Patio Lime regarded as an ornamental? Orchard Swallowtails obviously regard it as their host plant of choice, so it does have its benefits.
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Prickles
GOULBURN,2580,NSW
30th January 2017 8:41am
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Brain says...
Kaffir limes are oversized golf balls (but smaller than tennis balls). They are knobbly when grown to full size but when they are tiny, they are well rounded with a hint of rough skin.

Otherwise I suspect your patio lime might be 'sublime' (a form of West Indian lime), which grows to a size of a 10 or 20 cent (Aus) coin full size. If this is the case, the lime goes very well with gin and tonic and if you google 'key lime' (what's known in the US), there are plenty of recipes.
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Brain
Brisbane
30th January 2017 4:01pm
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Prickles says...
I looked up Sublime - supposed to produce full sized fruit. Guess whatever I've got is purely ornamental, but a good butterfly host.
My Kaffir Lime fruits very well but I only use the leaves. I did try two fruit in a batch of marmalade, but the result was inedible!
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Prickles
GOULBURN,2580,NSW
2nd February 2017 7:08am
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Brain says...
The sublime is a bit fickle. It took me a few years to get a decent sized lime - which is a 20 cents coin. It's a vigorous grower and likes to have thin long branches that grows into each other. So it had to have a hair cut and now no fruits.

the sublime/west indian lime is a much much smaller lime than a Tahitian lime. So whilst it may look small, it is a true lime and has a true lime taste.
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Brain
Brisbane
3rd February 2017 3:15pm
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Prickles says...
Sounds just like mine! So it must be Sublime. Mine is in a big pot against an otherwise blank wall, so the long branches (and they are long) aren't a problem. It just wasn't what I was expecting, but what the heck. Big enough to squeeze over a bit of salad. And spotted an Orchard Swallowtail on it the other day, hopefully laying eggs.

Wonder how long it will take to have enough fruit for a Key Lime pie? Don't rate my chances very high - I'm almost 70.

Thank you for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.
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Prickles
GOULBURN,2580,NSW
16th February 2017 9:02am
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Original Post was last edited: 16th February 2017 9:03am
Brain says...
I wouldn't write off the sublime just yet. In general, they do flower heaps, just holding onto fruit is a different story. So they definitely have a lot of potential.

I suspect and this is what I'm trialling, is to really boost the nutrition. The aim is to get it to a big thick bush (they are bushy as opposed to a upright tree looking) and also increase the thickness of branches. I.e. once they have the green growth required, they should start to fruit more (in theory anyway).

I have a worm farm, so have plenty of worm casting etc. Otherwise, Dynamic lifter works (just as long as you don't mind the smell). If your tree has plenty of little fruits, then refrain from any fertilising (as they will make the fruit drop!) Otherwise, I'd apply low rates of fertiliser monthly.

I'll see if I can take a pic of the sublime on the weekend and compare notes.
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Brain
Brisbane
16th February 2017 12:42pm
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Prickles says...
Unlike me, the tree is happy - it produces lots of perfumed flowers, and lots of small fruit. Has a mass of new growth on it at the moment and is quite dense and lush.

My intention was to cut down on the number of limes I buy (love Thai & Lao food), but the produce is more suited to a doll house. Have become quite fond if it and couldn't get rid of it though. And there might be fairies in my garden who would appreciate the fruit.

Next to the patio lime is a Kaffir lime, also producing very well - both leaves and fruit (handy for pegging at neighbouring cats that beat up my old girl). It has finally decided to spread its branchs so must intend becoming a small tree, rather than a shrub.

Usually feed them with seaweed solution and the occasional drink of Epsoms Salts, and keep them mulched with dead leaves. But I'll try Dynamic Lifter as you suggest.

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Prickles
GOULBURN,2580,NSW
28th February 2017 1:16pm
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Prickles says...
Many thanks to all who offered advice. My little tree held its bumper crop and, after a bit of experimentation, daughter and I decided a garlic press was the way to juice them. She made a Keylime pie which was so delicious that I followed her up with a Keylime icecream (the easy whipped cream & condensed milk version, served in wafer cones) for my birthday dinner. She insisted that I had a candle plonked in the middle of my serving. Thank heavens she didn't want to add the other 69!
When the fruit is finally finished (still plenty more on the tree), I'll feed with dynamic lifter, as suggested.
Again, thank you all.
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Prickles
GOULBURN,2580,NSW
15th June 2017 8:29am
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Original Post was last edited: 15th June 2017 8:29am
Brain says...
I'm very happy that the tree has rewarded your patience and also happy to hear you are enjoying the fruit.

Can I tempt you into growing Aus finger limes and Tahitian limes next? haha
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Brain
brisbane
16th June 2017 5:15pm
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Prickles says...
A bit tired of starting off new lemon grass plants every year so am currently experimenting with one of last year's plants. Trimmed back the leaves, covered the entire plant with autumn leaves, made a bamboo tripod to fit over it all, and wrapped up the whole thing in two layers of bubble wrap. And gaffa taped fingers and toes into crossed position.

If it works, might even try a finger lime. The local Bunnings stock them - probably a variety that does well in Queensland.
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Prickles
GOULBURN,2580,NSW
17th June 2017 1:57pm
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Manfred says...
I think you might be on a loser with that lemongrass method. I have noticed that grasses here in the tropics die very quickly if they are covered. Two weeks under a layer of cardboard and nothing survives. I don't know if it the varieties or the warmth.

However, a friend of mine has success overwintering a healthy clump of lemongrass outside Canberra against a white north-facing masonry wall with automatic watering.
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Manfred
Wamboin
19th June 2017 10:02am
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Brain says...
I am surprised you need to go to such extreme to keep lemon grass down south.

a low tech solution is Wall-O-Water, not sure if they are sold in Aus but oversea experiences showed it works.

Alternatively, if you have a barrel of water (covered), it too should work.

But I like Manfred's idea, get a clump and baby it indoor over winter and then plant it out in spring.

Do note that some of those finger limes are cutting grown (not grafted). Probably ok for pots - well they tend to grow better in pots anyway. You'd surprised to find a lot of finger limes actually comes from the forest of NSW. But yes, there are other specific species that comes from Qld like gympie lime and indoora lime.
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Brain
brisbane
21st June 2017 5:47pm
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Markmelb says...
Lemon grass grows easy for me in Melb - have a big clump - been in same large black 430mm 4 years no probs but no real frost here as Goulburn would have. Have a sublime since they came out 5 or 6 years ago - Gall Wasps love it - is coming back after a hard prune 2 years ago with a few on it. Is a sub species of Key Lime that galls love also. Made a really nice Key Lime pie once.
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
22nd June 2017 1:42pm
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd June 2017 1:45pm
Prickles says...
Both my Patio and Kaffir Limes are looking decidedly sad at the moment. Our recent -10 degrees night burnt off most of the leaves, but still some green leaves against the wall. Sadder still was the fate of the lovely little limes that were still on the tree. They froze, thawed, went brown and turned to mush! My geraniums, also against a brick wall were a mass of flowers until that night. Now a mass of dead leaves and branches. But things must improve! Spring is just around the corner.
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Prickles
GOULBURN,2580,NSW
13th July 2017 8:34pm
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Prickles says...
Brain .. I googled the Wall-O-Water. They only protect to -8c.
Apart from the extremely low temperature, there was also an almighty frost that night. As well as my brick north & west facing walls, the whole area is paved with industrial depth concrete! On a 'normal' cold, frosty morning, I can feel a drop in temperature stepping from the concrete to the lawn area, so there is a smidge of solar heat retained in the concrete. Frost has never settled on the lime trees or the geraniums before, or on the concrete. But there's a first time for everything.
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Prickles
GOULBURN,2580,NSW
13th July 2017 8:48pm
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Original Post was last edited: 13th July 2017 8:48pm
Brain says...
Very sorry to hear the recent frost has damaged the plants. But it did sound like the bricks and concrete did create a micro climate and probably saved a small part of the plant and like you said, hopefully spring comes and the plants will turn around. It is very disappointing to see all your hard work wasted but sometimes nature can't be helped.

I don't know if it is worth your while to grow citrus in pots. That's what they do in colder states in US, where when winter/snow comes, they wheel in the plants indoor and baby it over the winter and bring it back out in spring.

There are definitely challenges and this is the 'fun' of gardening I suppose. :)
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Brain
brisbane
16th July 2017 10:44am
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