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GROWING CITRUS

Citrus trees are grown from day one in the bags so there is no transplant shock meaning the trees very quickly adjust to planting in the garden or in a container as there is no root disturbance.

Cirtus grafted onto Trifoliate rootstock have been used both commercially and for the home gardener successfully - the benefits of this rootstock include good resistance to root rot, able to withstand variable soil conditions and produces very high quality thin-skinned and great flavoured fruit. 

Dwarf citrus is ideal for containers or smaller garden; dwarf citrus are grafted on a Flying Dragon rootstock that will significantly dwarf the plant to around a third less of the usual size. 

Citrus are gross feeders so it is important to fertilizer Spring and Autumn with a good citrus fertilizer making sure the fertilizer does not touch the bark when applying. 

Citrus responds to pruning and can be trained to grow in the space allocated to it, without being too detrimental to the crop.  Citrus can be espalliered successfully. 


PLANTING VARIETIES TOGETHER. 

Seed-less citrus varieties such as Satsuma, Silverhill, Okitsu and Corsica No 2, Washington & Carter Navels can be planted near seeded cultivators with success, as flowering periods do not usually coincide. However care should always be taken to plant Lemon and Grapefruit varieties as far as practical away from less-seeded varieties.

PLANTING CITRUS

Cirtus need free draining soil, if you have clay or a heavy soil, plant your tree on a mound of good top soil.

Dig the hole no deeper than the soil height of the tree in the container.  Do not put fertilizer in the hole, as it can easily burn the feeding roots.

To plant cut the bag open and plant with roots just as they are from the bag - disturb the roots as little as possible. 

Water liberally. Over the next month keep soil moist not wet.

Use a specialist citrus fertilizer, as all the elements required are included in this mix. Spread around the tree about a fortnight after planting, watering it in. Make sure the fertilizer does not touch the stem, as it will burn the bark. This will go a long way to eliminating yellow leaves, poor growth, which attracts bugs and diseases.

Remove all fruit for the 1st year, this will allow the tree maximum ability to 'settle in' and produce more growth for fruiting in the years to come.

Citrus trees can be planted all year round as the trees have been grown in a bag/container from day one, so with no root disturbance, the tree does not sulk, so in the first year good growth should appear as temperatures warm up in spring/summer. 

Meyer Lemon is an excellent producer of fruit. Perfect for a container as it flowers and fruits all the year round. If the fruit crop is heavy, remove some fruit when small and green, which will help keep the leaves green and healthy producing new growth for next season's fruit. Needs to be fertilizer more often than other citrus because it is a heavy producer of fruit, a little each month.

Tahitian Lime likes very warm situation. Fruit is ready in the winter months. The fruit turns pale yellow with the cold so it is very difficult to produce green limes in NZ as the winters are too cold. It is the cold that gives all citrus its colour. 

Yen Ben Lemon is a fast growing citrus producing an acid-flavoured lemon. An ideal lemon to grow in or near the vegetable garden. Main crop in the winter months with a few fruit through the summer.

Lisbon Seed-less Lemon, a fast growing citrus producing a heavy crop of fruit all year. More tolerant of heat, cold and wind than other lemons. Main harvest is July/August

Clementine, Corsica No.2. Small leaves giving a lovely dense look with smallish sweet round fruit in June/July.

Encore Mandarin. Has upright growth, fruit ready Xmas holding on the tree until March.

Best Seedless  A navel orange, fruits August/September, great orange flavour

Lemonade - Smooth yellow thin skin, oval fruit, a delicious tangy lemonade flavour; upright growth habit


CALENDAR YEAR FOR FRUITING OF CITRUS

May/June - all easy peel Satsuma mandarins, first is Miho, Okitsu, Miyagawa then Silverhill.
June/July - Mandarin Clementine and Corsica No.2
July-August - All Grapefruit.
June to December (some fruit all the year round) - All Lime varieties
June to September (some fruit all the year round) - all lemon varieties except Meyer which has 4/5 blossoms a year.
August/September - All sweet orange and Navel varieties
September - Mandarin Richard Special
November to February - Mandarin Encore
December to February - Seminole Tangelo and Ugli
December to March - Harwood Late

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Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email:     Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm