Be water-wise and still have a beautiful garden.

Citrus, Fertilizer and Drip Irrigation

Warming weather and longer days have spurred our citrus trees into active growth. Now is a great time to feed your citrus. Unlike most of the ornamental landscape plants I tend to use, citrus are heavy feeders and need regular applications of fertilizer for best appearance and production. I fed my trees back in February and the winter rains helped wash the organic fertilizers in. Worm castings and composts are great if you have them, but for a more concentrated fertilizer Gro-power  is one of my favorites I’ve also used EB Stone. It’s important to think about building soil fertility and going organic especially when it comes to edibles.

Those who have worked with me are aware that I’m a big fan of drip irrigation and mulch but when it comes to fruit trees they present some challenges. The rains are tapering off and without overhead water to wash the nutrients down fertilizer applications may not be terribly effective, especially if applied on top of a thick layer of mulch. To effectively feed your trees it’s important to rake back the mulch, apply the fertilizer and wash it in with a garden hose, preferably a couple different times, and of course, put the mulch back in place.

The tender new shoots of citrus are especially appealing to aphids, so while you’re out there with a garden hose take some time to spray the new growth to remove aphids if you have them. I tend not spray for the aphids just a few passes on a semi regular basis with a garden hose seems to be enough to keep them under control, and at the same time I can hose the soil surface to wash nutrients down into the root zone.

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