Citrus

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Meyer Lemons

Meyer lemon (Citrus limon ‘Meyer’) is a hardy lemon that can produce lots of fruit over much of the year. The decorative yellow juicy fruit is sweeter and less acidic than other lemons such as Eureka and Lisbon so is perfect for juicing.

Meyer lemons can grow up to 5 m tall or around 2.5 m for dwarf grafted trees, which are ideal for growing in smaller spaces and also pots. They’ll grow in all but the coldest areas and do best in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. In addition to the bright yellow fruit, Meyer lemons also have glossy green leaves and sweetly perfumed white flowers in spring, so they’re both beautiful and delicious!

Spring is an ideal time to plant a new citrus tree like a Meyer lemon. When planting citrus into containers, choose a well drained pot that’s at least 40 cm in diameter and use a good quality potting mix like Yates® Premium Potting Mix.

When planting a new citrus tree into the ground, mix some Yates Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food into the bottom of the planting hole. Yates Dynamic Lifter improves the quality of the soil and supplies the newly planted lemon with gentle, organic nutrients as it establishes.

Keep the new tree well watered, particularly during its first summer. It’s also beneficial to apply a few centimetres of mulch over the soil (or potting mix) surface, which will help the root zone stay moist. Keep the mulch a few centimetres away from the trunk to allow good air flow and reduce the chance of collar rot disease.

Lemons, like other citrus, are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to support all the foliage, flowers and developing fruit. While trees are flowering, growing new foliage or carrying fruit, feed every week with Yates Thrive® Citrus Liquid Plant Food. Dilute 1 – 2 capfuls in a 9 L watering can and apply around the root zone.

Citrus spring care plan

Fabulous home grown citrus plants like oranges, limes, lemons, mandarins and grapefruit are putting in some overtime during spring, growing lots of lovely lush green foliage, flowering and developing their tiny fruit.

Insect pests and lack of water and nutrients can all adversely impact citrus plant health and the next harvest so it’s important to follow three simple steps during spring so you can get the best out of your citrus plants.

1. Insect pest control

Aphids and scale are two of the main citrus insect pest culprits. They are both sap sucking insects that can damage new leaves and feed on plant sugar and nutrient reserves.

Both these pests can multiply rapidly and cause significant damage if not controlled. Spray citrus plant foliage and stems each week with Yates Nature’s Way® Pyrethrum & Oil Citrus & Ornamental Spray as soon as aphids or scale appear.

It contains natural pyrethrin and vegetable oil and is certified for use in organic gardening by BioGro New Zealand.

2. Watering

Citrus plants have a shallow root system which can dry out quickly and water repellent top soil can reduce the amount of moisture reaching the root zone.

Apply Yates Waterwise™ Soil Wetter around the root zone, which will help to break down the waxy water repellent soil layer and enable water to penetrate more effectively down into the roots. Thoroughly water in-ground citrus plants at least once a week, more frequently for potted citrus.

Spread some organic mulch, such as bark chips, around the root zone to help reduce water loss and protect the vulnerable citrus root system. To allow good air circulation, keep the mulch a few centimetres away from the trunk or stem.

3. Feeding

Citrus plants are called ‘gross feeders’, which is an unusual sounding term meaning that they require lots of lots of nutrients, particularly during periods of foliage growth, flowering and fruiting.

It’s easy to ensure that citrus plants have enough nutrients by applying Yates Thrive® Citrus Liquid Plant Food over the foliage and root zone each week.

Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food contains a complete and balanced meal for citrus, helping to promote healthy green leaves and a great harvest.


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