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.

Advertisement

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

Lemons available

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.