A sunny, wind-free, southern exposure is best. Allow room for the tree’s ultimate size. It is best to avoid lawns which receive frequent shallow waterings. Microclimates are created by reflected heat from houses or walkways, providing heat for frost protection or summer growth if needed in your area.
GOOD DRAINAGE IS THE KEY
Check the drainage by digging a hole 30” deep and filling with water to saturate the soil. The next day refill the hole with water. Drainage is OK if water drops 2” in two hours. If drainage is poor, plant in a raised bed or container.
PLANTING IN THE GROUND
Plant rootball high so that when finished it will be slightly above garden grade. First (upper) roots may be visible. Stake may be needed. Provide a generous watering basin. Do not allow soil or mulch to cover the trunk. Fill the basin slowly and let it soak in.Water (thoroughly), weekly, more or less depending on your soil and climate conditions.
PLANTING IN A CONTAINER
Use a light, well-drained mix. Be sure there are numerous drainage holes. Upper roots may be exposed.Water thoroughly, then fertilize after a week or two.Water weekly or more often if necessary in the summer months.
Citrus thrive on balanced fertilizer. Citrus and Avocado Food is available where you purchase your citrus trees. If a fertilizer contains trace minerals, and has more Nitrogen (N) than Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K), it will work fine. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.Water soluble fertilizer can be used on foliage and soil. Granular or slow release fertilizer is sprinkled on the soil and watered in. Fertilizer stakes are not recommended. Yellow leaves are usually an indication of lack of fertilizer or overly wet roots.
Know where the GRAFT is on your tree. Remove all growth below the graft. Suckers take vitality from your tree.
Trees may be pruned to any desired shape. They will look fuller with occasional pruning to shape leggy branches. Pinching back tips of new growth will help trees to round out. Some trees may develop erratic juvenile growth above the graft. If so, cut it back. Pruning can be done any time of year except the winter.
Protect young trees and lemons and limes if temperatures are predicted to drop below 32 degrees. Use frost blankets, Christmas lights or anti-transparent sprays.
This information was from Four Winds Citrus Growers.
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