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Nagami Cumquat

Show your citrus some lovin’

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If you’ve been enjoying a bumper crop of citrus this year, now is the time to give something back reports Phil Dudman.

Citrus are so incredibly productive, but you’ve got to look after them if you want to keep them that way. Feeding is really important, especially in July/August.

If you take a closer look at your trees you’ll see many of them have started to put on flush of a new growth as well as the flowers that will form next seasons crop. There’s no rest for citrus… most trees have just finished with last seasons crop… so give them a helping hand.

Get hold of a well-balanced organic citrus fertiliser with trace elements and spread it evenly according to directions over the drip line (the area directly beneath the outer canopy). This needs to be watered in really well. Follow up with another drink at least once a week for the next month or so. This regular watering is necessary to help transfer the nutrients to the roots.

And if you haven’t mulched in a while… cover that drip line area with a 100mm deep layer of mulch. That will help to hold the moisture in and put a stop to any competition from grass and weeds.

Something you need to watch out for… whenever you get new growth and flowers on citrus you can almost guarantee the aphids will be standing by licking their chops. Aphids are sap-sucking insects and new growth is where they get the sweetest feed. They can do a lot of damage so you need to control them. Hose them off regularly with a sharp spray from the hose.