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Small fruit developing on many varieties of citrus trees during summer heralds what we’ll be enjoying during the cooler months.
We can help nurture those promising fruitlets by taking a few simple citrus care steps over summer:
If you’ve noticed a black ash like film over citrus leaves or stems or ants crawling up and down the tree, it could indicate the presence of insect pests like scale.
Scale are sap sucking insects that can be covered in a waxy white, brown or pink coating and appear as small raised bumps on foliage or stems.
Scale deplete plants of important sugars and nutrients and excrete honey dew, which is a sweet sticky substance that ants eat, and sooty mould will grow on. If the scale insects are controlled, the sooty mould and ants will gradually disappear.
Control the scale insects by spraying leaves and stems with Yates Natures Way Organic Citrus, Vegie Ornamental Spray Ready to Use.
It’s based on natural pyrethrin and vegetable oil and is certified for use in organic gardening. Yates Nature’s Way Citrus & Ornamental Gun will also control aphids, which are another contributor to sooty mould attracting honey dew.
Deep and thorough watering of citrus trees, particularly potted citrus, will help reduce water stress, which can lead to citrus dropping their developing fruit.
It’s also a good opportunity to apply or top up mulch around the root zone, which will help protect the shallow root system. And regular feeding of hungry citrus trees will really help to promote a fantastic harvest so it’s important to make fertilising citrus trees a priority.
It’s as simple as diluting 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9 L watering can and applying over the root zone each week.
If you’re lucky enough to have your own Tahitian lime tree, some of the best tangy fruit will be ready from January. Limes can be harvested whilst still green, when they’re around 6 cm in diameter. Perfect for summer drinks and cocktails as well as marinades, cakes and desserts.