In this week’s blog, let’s take a look at citrus, lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins and kefir.
If you have these citrus trees in your garden or on the patio in a pot, you will notice that now they are in flower as well as bearing fruit.
Citrus trees are gross feeders and like a good fertilize at least 3 times a year. They have a lot going on for them right now with using energy to grow flowers and energy to hold fruit, and the ground is also drying out right now, creating extra stress.
If your trees are yellowing, this will mean they are hungry. They are a bit like a growing teenager – they need fuel!
Also at this time of year, you may see their leaves curling, which is a sure sign there are bugs underneath the leaves sucking away at the plant’s goodness.
If you have ants going up and down your tree, this is a sure sign you have a scale infestation. This is because scale secrete sugar, which then attracts the ants. A quality oil and some liquid kelp combined in a sprayer will help sort this out, remembering to spray under the leaves and around the base. Apply this weekly until the problem has gone.
A good mulch around the drip line (the outer branches of your tree) and the tree in general will help with the dryness. Citrus really need this as they have very close to the surface-feeding roots.
If you have a young tree and it gets laden with fruit, please remove some of the fruit as too many fruit will cause the branches to get stressed and even break. My advice would be to do this for the first 3 to 5 years while your trees grow to maturity. This will help the branches to become stronger and the roots to become sturdier.
Now is the time to take a really good look at your trees. What you hope to see are trees looking lush, with uncurled leaves that are a good, dark green. Please check under the leaves – as soon as the weather turns warmer, this will bring the white fly, among other pests, and they just love weak citrus trees!
Next week, we will talk about citrus pest and diseases and how to take preventative action now ready for the summer growth before the start of the pest and disease cycle.
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