Citrus trees are easy to grow most everywhere. They are well suited to Australia because citrus trees prefer a slightly acidic soil. Growing citrus trees can even be done in pots, which means small spaces, or even balconies, are sufficient. Read on for some basic tips on how to grow citrus trees.
The first thing to do when deciding on growing trees is to find the right spot. Citrus trees require about five hours of sunlight each day. They also need fertile soil that drains well. Digging up the soil and adding fertiliser has to be completed before planting the trees.
If using pots, terracotta material is the best because it drains well, and will allow the roots to breath. Make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate the roots. Keep in mind that potted trees will need to be transplanted every year into bigger pots. Dwarf varieties are conducive to pots because the trees stay small in size, but still produce full sized fruit.
How to grow citrus trees
Watering, mulching, and feeding the trees are important steps in growing citrus properly. Careful tending to the trees will help yield the maximum amount of fruit. Watering should be done often, but not to the degree that trees are saturated. Allow the trees to dry between watering times. Mulch provides insulation to the surface-feeding roots to protect them from excessive sun exposure. It also helps the trees retain water.
Trees should be fed a blend of organic fertiliser, seaweed fertiliser, and trace nutrients. Food needs to be placed under the mulch to prevent rain from washing it away. Feed trees regularly, except when they are flowering. Feeding them during that stage will stunt the growth and development of the new fruit. Potted plants should be fed every six weeks.
Weeding citrus trees has to be done by hand to avoid damage to the roots. Using a small garden rake can damage the delicate roots, which remain close to the surface. There will not be many weeds growing near the trees because they utilise most of the nutrients in the soil around them.
Tips for New Growers:
One of the best tips for citrus trees is to start growing citrus from saplings, rather than full grown trees. That will allow the trees to acclimate to the soil in the yard, or in the pots, from the very beginning. It also helps roots grow quickly into the ground.
Other tips for How to grow citrus trees include ways to ensure the tree grows strong. Pinching off developing fruit for the first three years is recommended. It does seem counter-productive at first, but it is important to the overall health of the tree. During those first few years, the branches have to grow strong enough to be able to support the full weight of fruit. That will not happen if fruit is allowed to develop from the very first year.
Pruning a citrus tree is not necessary for it to grow fruit. It is necessary to keep the trees looking great, fitting in the space, and growing the optimum number of fruit. The first pruning will not have to be done until trees reach five to ten years of age. From that point, pruning every year in the winter will be helpful.