05 Oct Getting the best out of your citrus this season
Starting in the first week of October Garden Solutions͛ proprietor, Darren Seinor, will be producing a monthly blog, covering all the happenings in and around Garden Solutions and will be packed full of timely, seasonal hints and tips. Drawing on Darren͛s experience in magazines and newspapers it͛s sure to be entertaining and informative.
To get the ball rolling here͛s Darren͛s insights to getting the best out of your citrus this season:
Citrus are one Australia͛s favourite fruiting plants and we certainly plant a lot of citrus trees. They not only provide delicious, healthy fruit but are also highly ornamental with dark green, glossy foliage and perfumed white flowers. Citrus are generally easy to grow with good soil preparation the key, we always use and recommend Soil Solver ͚Clay Plus͛ and mature compost. Keep well-watered over the warm months and you can look forward to plentiful, healthy growth.
Spring is the season that gardeners put in the ground work to ensure a great crop of fruit form their citrus trees next winter.
Feeding – Citrus exhaust huge stocks of nutrients and energy in producing their massive crops, this needs to be replenished, so fertilising is vital. Use any good quality, complete fertiliser, preferably one designed for citrus. Look to see that it contains a full suite of trace elements as well the macro elements of NPK. Apply now and again in summer and autumn. Always water in well after fertilising. Some trace elements, such as Iron, can be apply as a foliar feed using liquid chelates. They should be available at your local garden centre. In sandy soils rock minerals can be highly beneficial.
Pest & Diseases – Look out for Citrus Leaf Minor, a pest which distorts new foliage with it͛s characteristic ͚wriggly lines͛ & warping of the leaves. This can be easily controlled with a horticultural oil such as Pest Oil. Read the instructions carefully and don͛t spray on hot days. A citrus pest that has only recently made it͛s mark in Perth is Gall Wasp, infestations show up as distinctive lumps, or galls, on new season growth, normally around April. These galls need to be cut off and disposed of, either by burning or deep burying. Don͛t put in green waste pick ups or take to the tip as this can serve to spread the pest. For more information see: www.agric.wa.gov.au/plant-biosecurity/citrus-gall-wasp-control
Mulching – Citrus are shallow rooted have a net work of feeder roots close to the surface, a 70mm layer of coarse mulch will help protect them from the summer heat and conserve moisture. Remember to keep clear of the trunk so as not to cause collar rot!
Good luck and happy gardening!