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Ruud Kleinpaste: Citrus in Winter

Author
Ruud Kleinpaste,
Publish Date
Sat, 25 Jun 2022, 11:23am
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Ruud Kleinpaste: Citrus in Winter

Author
Ruud Kleinpaste,
Publish Date
Sat, 25 Jun 2022, 11:23am

Citrus are “surface-rooting” and hence do not like a lot of “competition” from grass roots, so it pays to keep them mulched and avoid grass growing close to the trunk.

Bark, Compost, Chippered branches; anything that suppresses the grass (especially Kikuyu) and will add organic matter is useful.

Fertiliser?

Nah! In mid-winter plants do not take up much nutrients – wait till it gets warmer in spring.

They love a warm, sheltered spot in full sun – protected from wind; usually not good with heavy frosts. (Meyer lemons possibly a few degrees below zero); protect the trees from heavy frosts with frost-cloth…. So: ensure you have a lot of direct sunlight on your plant; (trim the trees that shade the citrus!).

Lemons should be fruiting. Ensure that the load of fruit on the branches is not too heavy (breaking!), so remove fruit accordingly, especially from young trees and prune some off to let the frame-work develop; next year let a few more grow as the tree strengthens its branch system.

(Meyer) Lemons have a habit of fruiting well every second year (usually in winter and spring months); therefore it’s best to plant two or three lemon trees to have a continuous supply of lemons!

Peeled lemons hanging from your tree? Get a Timms Trap!

Sooty Mould; If you have sooty mould (fungi growing on sap sucking insect’s excrement) now’s the time to use some spraying oil (Conqueror Oil) to get rid of the cause: scale/mealybug/whitefly).

Neem Oil is often a good, organic “suffocator” of small sap-sucking insects. Use the Oils frequently (every two weeks or so) and spray both sides of leaves and branches.

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