By Rose Kraakman
Consider planting citrus trees in your garden, they don't take up too much room and are well worth planting as they can bear quite heavy crops. By planting several different varieties you can have a continuation of citrus fruit all year.
How to care for your Citrus tree
Plant in a sunny sheltered position, with free draining soil.
Fertilise twice a year with citrus fertiliser - early spring and late summer.
Remove all the baby fruit from your new tree the first year, this allows the tree to put all its energy into growing/establishing itself. The second year remove half the fruit, after that leave it to do its own thing.
When planting, add compost, mix in well. Add gypsum if you have clay soil.
Orange varieties available
Washington Navel ripens July-Aug
Blood Orange 'Moro' ripens July-Aug
Carters Navel ripens August
Blood orange 'Caracara', ripens Aug-Sept
Best Seedless, ripens Sept-Nov
Harwood Late, ripens Nov-Mar
Mandarin varieties available
Miyagawa ripens April-May
Okitsu ripens March-May
Miho ripens April-May
Silverhill ripens June-August
Richards Special ripens Sept-October
Encore ripens Nov-Feb
Lime varieties available
Tahitian ripens June-August
Bearrs ripens about two weeks earlier than Tahitian
Kaffir, leaves are used
Genoa ripens Dec-Feb
Lisbon ripens July-August
Meyer ripens all year round.
Lemonade ripens July-August
Yen Ben ripens July-August
Citrus grown on Dwarf rootstock are perfect for growing in pots. Plant in a quality potting mix and top dress with slow release fertilizer in spring and late summer.
Common problems with citrus
Scale insects – Use Conqueror oil to kill them
Brown leaves – needs shelter from cold winds
Tree sheds leaves – cold winds or wet feet, improve drainage and erect shelter.
Small fruit drop off – as citrus are such heavy flowering trees they will drop the small fruit and leave what the tree is capable of holding.
Yellowing leaves - apply a proper citrus fertiliser. This has the proper nutrients that your citrus tree needs.