The beauty of home grown citrus trees is that they can grow practically anywhere in Australia, not to mention the succulent flavour they can produce. The first step, and possibly the most important when buying a citrus tree is making sure you buy ones that are not blossoming or fruiting. One would think this is ideal because the plant has already began it's journey and the work is already done, this however is very incorrect. If your plant is already at these stages when purchased, it means that is it under some form of stress, thus forcing your plant to stimulate and produce.
The second step and equally as import is choosing a plant which presents good shallow root systems. When looking to plant your tree, be sure to find a sheltered yet sunny location to ensure full growth to take place. Dig a wide hole ensuring it's not too deep as this will allow the root ball to sit just under the soil surface and water the soil (be sure to not flood the area, too).
If your hole is dug too deep you will encounter problems with your soil around the plants stem.
Once your plant has been placed in the hole, begin the process off 'backfilling'. When doing this be sure to gently press the soil down focusing around the tree stem, but don't compress the soil too firmly. Also be sure not to build the soil or mulch up too much against the stem of your plant. Doing this can cause problems for your plant such as collar rot (extremely common in the citrus tree family).
To ensure your plant received adequate nourishment be sure to use organic fertilisers such as pulverised or pellets of chicken manure. Spread this over the soil keeping it well away from the plants stem. This encourages the roots to spread and grow through new areas. If using the chicken manure be sure to use in moderation. In addition to this, spread a mix of mushroom compost and/or pulverised cow manure over the top. You can top if off with horse or sheep manure, however be sure to opt for dry manure as fresh manure isn't great on the nose! Finish with plenty of fresh water.
What about upkeep? It's vital for the best upkeep of your tree to prune off any unhealthy looking parts such as straggly branches, flowers or fruits. When pruning, cut the branches just below areas that they carry blossoms or fruits. By doing this it encourages the tree to promote vegetative growth while also growing sturdy.
What else will my tree need to help grow big and strong? Your tree will need some kind of support especially through out the early stages of growth. You can do this by using a stake. To install simply hammer the stake into the ground near your tree ensuring it comes in on an angle which slopes towards the tree. This is so there is no damage to the root systems. Finish off by using ties to secure the tree to the stake.
Do you need help with your citrus trees or general garden maintenance at home? Get in touch with Total Property Care today.