People always ask how to grow better fruit in your garden, the addition of a citrus tree to your garden is one that can be both ornamental and productive – providing that you pay them the right amount of attention.
Not only have they been an integral part of many Australian gardens, but the fruit of citrus trees often provide us with a healthy dose of Vitamin C to protect us against colds and flu during the winter months. Common types of citrus trees can include:
While a younger citrus tree will initially require a little more care, once fully formed they are often happy to look after themselves providing the conditions are right.
What Can Go Wrong When Growing A Citrus Tree
Sour Fruit – Insufficient sunlight, nutrient deficiency and picking the fruit too early can usually result in a less than desirable taste.
Fruit That Drops – Wind exposure or too much (or too little) water can result in fruit falling prematurely.
Yellowing Leaves – Older leaves that yellow in the centre of the plant can be a sign of a magnesium deficiency, while yellowing tips can indicate a lack of fertiliser or iron.
Pests – You’re not the only one who wants to eat the fruit. Other than wildlife, watch out for bronze orange bugs (stink bugs) and citrus gall wasps.
How To Care For A Citrus Tree
If you’ve decided that your garden could use some new additions in the way of a citrus tree, then there are a few factors to consider to ensure that the trees are able to flourish.
Position – Your citrus tree will love the sun. Ensure that it’s position gets plenty of light, without too much exposure to the wind (which can strip the tree). They aren’t too fond of cold weather, which can also result in yellowing leaves.
Minimise Grass – Citrus and grass aren’t fond of each other, as the grass gets greedy and sucks up all the nutrients – so don’t be shy when it comes to mulching. Take care that your citrus base is free of weeds too, but ensure your repellent is organic if you intend on eating the fruit.
Regular Watering – Citrus trees are at their best when they can expect a regular watering schedule. Once established they require less attention, but during drier months or when the fruit is developing they may need a little more.
Pruning – Although they don’t actually need to be pruned in order to produce fruit, maintaining the lower branches are important to increase airflow and ward off pests. “Topping “your plant is optional, but will also help to increase fruit distribution to where you can reach it.
Pests And Diseases – Chemical bases aren’t going to cut it with fruit that is going to end up in your house. Instead, an organic foliant protector like FP-60 and it’s natural bacteria (bacillus) occupies the plant nodes where bad pathogens like to hang out, in turn making your plant stronger.
Hungry Plants – Citrus trees are notoriously hungry and require plenty of nutrition to stay happy and produce fruit. Another organic option that works well is Biotic Booster, a chemical-free liquid fertiliser that will not only feed your plants but also help to generate healthy soil.
Armed with the above knowledge, it’s fair to say that you can expect “the fruits of your labour” in no time at all. If your citrus tree is looking a little under the weather, get in touch with us at Bioweed to discuss ways that we can give your garden a whole new lust for life.