Did you know: Sub-freezing weather can injure citrus trees and fruit, but near-freezing weather actually improves citrus flavor and quality.
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There are many different varieties of rootstock that may be used at the beginning of the plant life cycle such as Macrophylla, Troyer, Swingle, Carrizo, C35, Volkameriana, Sour Orange and Cleopatra, to name a few. At Marei Nursery, the main rootstocks used are Volkameriana and Sour Orange. In essence, seeds are the most important and vital part of producing a plant. The different types of seeds used in citrus propagation are either susceptible or tolerant to factors such as diseases, soil types, and climatic conditions. So it is of utmost importance to select the variety that best adapts to the production environment.
Seed Sources
Since seeds are so important one has to make sure that the source of those seeds is reliable. That is why at Marei Nursery we are very careful choosing our sources. The first source of seeds that we use is from rootstock trees planted in our orchards. Seeds collected from these trees provide about 75% of the seeds annual requirement. The other 25% we receive from trusted local individuals, and occasionally from international sources.
Seed Treatment
nce the seeds have been collected, they are treated in strict observance of protocols. The first step consists of extracting the seeds from the fruits. Then the seeds are spread on a clean and treated surface, followed by a grading process where the healthy seeds; meaning those that do not display signs of rot, or are cracked, or do not adhere to the expected physical appearance of the seed type.
The next step is to treat the seeds. The treatment process involves soaking the seeds in water for a maximum of 48 hours then spread them out on a clean and treated surface in the sun to dry. After this, seeds are treated with fungicides to prevent decay, and placed into designated marked plastic bags according to their variety. The marking on bags contains relevant information such as variety, date of treatment, and source. They are then stored in coldrooms, or fridges, with controlled temperature. Seeds can be stored in such environments for a long period, stretching to 12 months. However, the longer seeds are stored the more they lose their viability.
Seed Sowing
Seed sowing is the procedure whereby seeds are placed into a growing medium for it to germinate for propagation purposes. This process involves preparing a medium mix beforehand, which is then filled in tubes which are fitted into trays referred to as seed or germination trays. Each tube gets one seed planted in it using a very careful method so as not to disturb the growth of the plant. Now we have successfully navigated the first integral step of creating the ideal citrus tree the other steps will be covered in other sections.