How to grow and care for citrus plants

Autumn is the perfect time to plant citrus. Here's how to get started.

Citrus remains one of the most popular and delicious types of fruit to grow at home, whether you have a big backyard, compact sunny balcony or patio.

Yates sees a spike in questions relating to citrus over autumn, and sales of all citrus related products rise around 35 per cent over the planting season.

To help you enjoy the fruits of your labour, Angie Thomas, Horticulture Consultant to Yates has put together her top tips for growing citrus:

Improve soil health

When planting a new citrus tree it’s an ideal opportunity to improve the soil beforehand, as this will help give the tree the best possible start. Both clay and sandy soil can be improved by mixing some Dynamic Lifter into the planting hole.

As a rich source of organic matter, it helps improve soil structure and encourages earthworms that move around the soil. creating tunnels and air pockets that help roots to establish and grow. It also increases water and nutrient holding capacity and promotes beneficial soil micro-organisms.

Optimal growing season

Autumn is a fantastic time to plant a new citrus tree. Air temperatures are cooler, however, the soil is still warm enough to encourage new roots to grow. So, by planting a new citrus tree in autumn, it has the opportunity to establish before the cool winter weather arrives and it will be ready to grow fresh new foliage come spring.

Water and aeration

Like most trees and plants, it is important to keep your citrus well-watered. Make sure to water the new tree in well and keep the soil moist, particularly during the first year. Apply a layer of mulch around the trees to help conserve soil moisture.

Regular feeding

Citrus are heavy feeders - especially in autumn - when trees are maturing their fruit. Regularly feed your citrus with a plant food that’s been specifically designed to feed citrus trees such as Thrive Citrus, which has the correct blend of nutrients to promote healthy leaf growth as well as encouraging flowering and fruiting.

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