Late Summer Citrus Care

For established citrus, it’s important to keep deep watering and feeding during late summer, as autumn and winter fruit are continuing to develop. Citrus are gross feeders, so they're especially hungry while fruit is developing.

Moisture and nutrient stress can upset the quantity and quality of the harvest, so it’s well worth giving extra care to your citrus at this time of year. Feeding is 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.

Mulch around the base of the tree with organic mulch like woodchip or pea straw (being careful not to let the mulch touch the trunk; always leave a gap around it).

Whenever citrus leaves are looking a little yellow or sad, you can give them a pick-me-up of micronutrients. Yates Health Tonic Trace Element Chelates delivers a wide range of micronutrients in small doses, so it's ideal to use when the exact deficiency isn't obvious or can't be diagnosed.

It's also a great time to start feeding with our potassium-rich secret ingredient: Yates Liquid Potash. If you're not using a specific citrus fertiliser, adding small but regular doses of Liquid Potash into your feeding schedule will result in bigger, tastier, juicier fruit at harvest time. 

Sweet sugary sap that’s flowing through citrus plants is a magnet for sap sucking pests like scale. Scale insects can be brown, white, pink or grey and appear as small raised bumps along leaves and stems.

Sometimes the scale are hard to spot, but if you see sooty mould developing on the leaves (a black ashy-looking film) or ants moving up and down the stems then they’re indicators of sap sucking insect pests like scale, or aphids.

Regular sprays of Yates Natures Way Organic Citrus, Vegie Ornamental Spray, on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces, will help keep scale under control.

It’s based on natural pyrethrin and vegetable oil and is certified for use in organic gardening, so is ideal for gardeners wanting to use organic methods of insect pest control.

Lisbon Lemons - Tart Tasting Treats

Lisbon lemons (Citrus lemon ‘Lisbon’) are thought to have originated in Portugal and are large cold and heat hardy trees that produce heavy winter and spring crops. The thin skinned, juicy fruit are highly acidic, and Lisbon is one of the most common varieties grown around the world.

Being a sizeable tree (growing up to 8 m tall and 4 m wide) Lisbon is a great citrus for a large backyard. For smaller gardens, look out for dwarf grafted Lisbon's which reach a more manageable 3 m and can be grown in a medium to large pot on a sunny balcony or deck.

When planting a new Lisbon lemon out in the garden, choose a spot with well-drained soil that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day and enrich the soil in the planting hole first with some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food.

It promotes increased soil organic matter content and water holding capacity, in addition to providing the new tree with gentle slow release organic nutrients as it establishes.

For potted citrus, choose a pot with good drainage holes and fill with a good quality potting mix like Yates Premium Potting Mix. Keep new citrus trees well-watered as they settle into their new home.

Harvest Time for Melons

Delicious rockmelon sown during spring will soon be ready to pick. It’s time to harvest your rockmelons when the stem begins to break away from the fruit.

You might be desperate to taste your beautiful home-grown melons; but the best flavour will develop if you leave the fruit to mature for a few days after picking.

If your rockmelons aren't quite mature, continue to keep the soil moist and feed each week with a fast acting fertiliser like Yates Thrive Flower Fruit Soluble Plant Food. Its a complete plant food that’s rich in potassium and phosphorus to promote fruit development.

Keep a watch for downy mildew and leaf spot diseases on rockmelon leaves. When watering, gently water the soil rather than the leaves, which can help reduce the spread of disease, and apply Yates Natures Way Fungus Spray to help keep diseases under control.

Related products

Project guides & articles

Summer Vegie Care

Spring planted vegies & herbs are literally jumping out of the ground during summer’s warm weather. Here are some summer vegie care hints to keep your patch or pot wonderfully productive.