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Author Topic: Citrus Spring feeding and care regimen  (Read 1837 times)

Samu

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Citrus Spring feeding and care regimen
« on: April 12, 2018, 01:40:52 PM »
My citrus trees are showing activities now: new leaves and blooms in SoCal. I wonder if there is special extra feeding and/or disease prevention regiments; (other than the normal feeding routine) we can give our trees so they may stay healthy and produce well this year?
Thought I ask, not wanting to make mistake, thanks a lot fellow gardeners ...!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 01:19:21 AM by Samu »
Sam

Millet

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 05:22:09 PM »
Actually, the special bloom feeding to enhance a good flowering and retention should have been given 1 months before the expected bloom date.   That feeding would have been a foliar spray of low-biuret urea.  A citrus tree sets many times more flowers and small fruitlets, then the tree can possibly retain until maturity, and will drop the excess.  This is called the Early Drop Period, If the tree held onto all of the fruitlets that were originally set, as those fruit grew the tree would be crushed under its own weight.  After all the blooms have set fruit, and then dropped the excess small fruitlets a foliar  spray application of low-biuret urea, is need to give the tree the energy to grow the remaining  fruitlets into nice large size fruit. You can start the regular ground fertilizing at this time.  The number of fertilizer applications throughout the season depends on the age of the tree. If you tell us how old the tree is we can tell you what the fertilizer schedule should be.  Also while the tree is in flower BE SURE the tree is well watered.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 08:23:21 PM by Millet »

Samu

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 08:39:12 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to give valuable lesson! 
Yes, when I read your post regarding the need to give the foliar spray with low-biuret urea prior to expected bloom, I went ahead and sprayed them in mid Feb., but since I don’t know exactly what to get, I used Dynagrow’s “Superbloom” formula that I have available, which contains 3-12-6 and some minors.
OK, I will spray again after the “Early Drop Period”, this time using your recommended product, so would you recommend a low biuret urea product to use, a link will be most helpful.

Most of my trees are between 2-4 years in the ground, so some started fruiting for the first time last year, and I've been fertilizing them with Osmocote Plus every 3 months or so. As far as trying to keep them healthy and for disease prevention, do we need to do anything?
And yes, I am making sure the blooming citrus trees are well watered too, thanks again, Millet!
Sam

spaugh

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 01:47:44 PM »
Samu, citrus does pretty well will little care here in so cal.  I never spray anything on my trees and rarely fertilize.  A handful of citrus fertilizer on the mulch a few times a year and the trees are prolific.  I think spraying with urea is totally un necessary for a good fruit set in our climate.  There are wild citrus and neglected citrus trees all around here and they are completely loaded with fruit.  My neighbors dont even water or fertilize or anything and their trees are absolutely loaded. Sorry Millet, I have no idea about CO but citrus in so cal are like weeds. 
Brad Spaugh

Millet

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 02:07:49 PM »
Spaugh most all of the inflammation about urea applied as a foliar spray is found  in the University Of California's Citrus Production Manual, and that book is firstly intended for California growers and their trees..  All citrus trees, no matter where they are grown, need to be fertilized if one wants the best for their trees, and the best crop that their trees can produce.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 02:31:51 PM by Millet »

spaugh

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 12:18:25 AM »
Comercial groves MAY be doing urea sprays and other treatments but there are literally millions of backyard citrus trees in CA that fruit quite well with none of these treatments.  The average homeowner with an orange tree is not spraying anything on their tree.  Adding fertilizer also causes aphid and leaf miner infestatuons on trees that flush heavily from nitrogen heavy fertilizer.

 Citrus literally grows like weeds in CA.  I will have to upload some photos of completely neglected trees with hundreds of pounds of fruit on them.
Brad Spaugh

Millet

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2018, 10:22:06 AM »
spaugh, thank you for your thoughts.  As to your counsel that citrus trees should never ever be fertilized, we will just have to agree to disagree. 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 01:50:52 PM by Millet »

spaugh

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2018, 09:15:31 PM »
I never said not to fertilize.  I give my citrus ground feeding 2 or 3 times a year.  But lots of people dont and their trees do fine.  So much so I drive around and see trees loaded wih fruit and fruit all over the ground and the owners arent even picking the fruit.  Its just going to waste.   Almost every house in southern ca has a citrus tree.  I am telling you my observations based in a LOT of citrus trees.  The point is citrus doesnt need a lot of pampering for a backyard tree. 
Brad Spaugh

z_willus_d

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 11:44:47 PM »
Spaugh, it's not just a SoCa thing with the loaded, neglected citrus.  In Northern CA (particularly in Sacramento proper where I used to live), just about every other home has an citrus tree, usually an orange, that is always colored orange with the left over fruit from the preceding year.  The trees get tall with no care and no one takes the time to do anything about the trees or fruit they produce.  It's really amazes me that we pay $1-2 an orange at whole foods for a mushy product when there is fresh fruit going fallow everywhere you look.  I don't know enough about Citrus to identify these trees.  I've tried a few oranges in Capitol park that weren't great, but I think it has something to do with the care of the tree, or lack there of.

spaugh

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 11:00:42 AM »
I took a few pics of a neighbors trees.  He has not watered, trimmed or fertilized in over 15 years and we are in a very hot inland area and it rains just a few inches a year here.





Another neighbors lemon tree that has not been pruned or fertilized ever and only gets water from a lawn nearby.



This beautiful tree is at my sons preschool.  The owner said they water occasionally and fertilize once a year.



Anyway I am not trying to tell people to neglect their trees.  Just that they can do quite well with very basic care.
Brad Spaugh

gozp

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2018, 03:37:36 AM »

We have a 40+ year old orange neglected and it produces sweet oranges. Once, i started to mulch, use organic fertilizer, drench compost tea & foliar feed the tree. The sizes of the oranges grew 3 to 5x bigger & leaves were bigger than usual --& sweeter orange. (win-win)

That being said Millet is correct the importance of fertilizing a citrus tree & Spaugh is also correct that citrus can grow neglected.

(I am speaking base on my observation of my orange tree) :D

z_willus_d

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2018, 11:45:02 AM »
Nice Pics.  I grow my citrus in pots here where we get 110F temps regularly in the summer, so I can do nothing close to neglect the trees.  In fact, I can give them everything from regular watering (even hourly micro watering in the heat), mulching, good draining rejuvenated soil, foliar spray, time release and specific organic fertilization, compost teas, and AACT drenches and sprays, and more, yet they still struggle to thrive.  What I don't give them is regular root pruning and re-potting, which I just can't facilitate with the size they're at now.  The trees in the ground at my parents house, well that's another story.

Millet

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2018, 01:02:25 PM »
With a citrus tree (or any fruit tree) you get what you sew. 

Isaac-1

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2018, 08:40:29 PM »
With a citrus tree (or any fruit tree) you get what you sew.

I agree, however in the case of the typical home grower one may reach the point of diminishing returns rather easily.

Millet

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 08:56:38 PM »
A foliar spray of low-biuret urea after the tree's early drop phase will produce larger fruit and higher quality fruit.

z_willus_d

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2018, 11:58:17 PM »
Millet, I've seen you recommend LBU or ULBU several time related to citrus fertilization regimes, but just how would one purchase such a product as a home consumer?  I looked around, and only found a few ag chem company tech sheets.

Thanks!

z_willus_d

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2018, 12:06:18 AM »
Ah, never mind on the request.  I see you have another thread where this question of sourcing is addressed in some measure.  Thanks.

http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=26567.25

zephian

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2018, 01:39:00 AM »
Anyone know if there are any vegan alternatives to fertilize with? My trees are going insane but they produce so much I'd love to see how they'd do with some more fuel.
-Kris

Isaac-1

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2018, 08:16:00 AM »
Can you clarify what is Vegan Fertilizer? For an Organic option Epsoma Citrus Tone 5-2-6 is fairly good at least for in ground use, though like most Organics it is relatively weak so requires about 3 times more fertilizer per tree than commercial fertilizer.  It is made primarily from processed Chicken Litter (chicken manure, feather mill, etc.).  For a pure Vegan fertilizer mix with no direct animal products in it, you might consider Down to Earth brand Vegan mix with a 3-2-2 NPK ratio as a start.  Though at 3-2-2 you will need about twice as many pounds of fertilizer per tree as Citrus Tone, or about 6 times as much as the commercial bend I use. 

From an economic cost of fertilizer difference, using online Amazon prices for Citrus Tone and Down to Earth Vegan fertilizer adjusted for effective strength per pound vs 1 pound of the commercial mix I use.

I get 69 units of Nitrogen per dollar in the 18-9-11 commercial fruit and nut tree mix I buy locally ($12.90 for 50#)

For Epsoma Citrus Tone 5-2-6 using the most economic $34  per 18 pound bag from Amazon, I get 2.64 units of Nitrogen per dollar

And using Down to Earth Vegan 3-2-2 from Amazon at $12.99 per 6 pound bag we get a cost of 1.39 units of Nitrogen per Dollar.

Or in other words using Down To Earth Vegan mix will cost roughly 50 times more than what I pay for a commercial fertilizer and twice as much as an organic Citrus mix.

Now sure both the Organic and the Vegan mix probably has a better assortment of micro nutrients than my commercial blend, but one can afford a lot of miro supplements for the cost difference and in the end we are looking at many of the same Elemental minerals from different points in the organic decay chain.

zephian

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regiment
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2018, 02:20:13 PM »
Nice Pics.  I grow my citrus in pots here where we get 110F temps regularly in the summer, so I can do nothing close to neglect the trees.  In fact, I can give them everything from regular watering (even hourly micro watering in the heat), mulching, good draining rejuvenated soil, foliar spray, time release and specific organic fertilization, compost teas, and AACT drenches and sprays, and more, yet they still struggle to thrive.  What I don't give them is regular root pruning and re-potting, which I just can't facilitate with the size they're at now.  The trees in the ground at my parents house, well that's another story.
I have a meyer lemon, Naval orange and pomelo tree that have been directly planted in the ground , no fertilizer, grass up to the trunk. The only water these trees got from me last year was from the sprinkler for the grass. My 4 ft lemon tree still has lemons it produced so much and It took ages to go through my oranges. Ill see if I have pictures of my trees producing. I probably get about 20 pomelos, most as large as my head! They are thriving and I'm happy to admit I had nothing to do with it!
-Kris

Millet

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regimen
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2018, 03:02:44 PM »
No doubt at all that with proper care the tree produces more fruit, but more importantly higher quality fruit.  I was at the super market yesterday, and seen the Cara Cara.  Huge fruit very juicy high quality fruit.

zephian

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regimen
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2018, 03:28:22 PM »
No doubt at all that with proper care the tree produces more fruit, but more importantly higher quality fruit.  I was at the super market yesterday, and seen the Cara Cara.  Huge fruit very juicy high quality fruit.
Oh yeah. No arguments from this guy. I'm going to try some fertilizer and I'll be calling around to some tree companies and try to locate some mulch for my trees. I'm excited to see how well they will do with a little more care. I think I got the wife to see that a vegan fertilizer isn't going to reasonable for my budget, so we will settle on organic. Probably espoma.
-Kris

Yorgos

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regimen
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2018, 04:39:26 PM »
No doubt at all that with proper care the tree produces more fruit, but more importantly higher quality fruit.  I was at the super market yesterday, and seen the Cara Cara.  Huge fruit very juicy high quality fruit.
Oh yeah. No arguments from this guy. I'm going to try some fertilizer and I'll be calling around to some tree companies and try to locate some mulch for my trees. I'm excited to see how well they will do with a little more care. I think I got the wife to see that a vegan fertilizer isn't going to reasonable for my budget, so we will settle on organic. Probably espoma.

I am guessing that you do not spray for any insects, mites, CLM, scale or aphids as this would be counter to the vegan ethos, correct?
Near NRG Stadium, Houston Texas. USDA zone 9a

zephian

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regimen
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2018, 04:54:48 PM »
No doubt at all that with proper care the tree produces more fruit, but more importantly higher quality fruit.  I was at the super market yesterday, and seen the Cara Cara.  Huge fruit very juicy high quality fruit.
Oh yeah. No arguments from this guy. I'm going to try some fertilizer and I'll be calling around to some tree companies and try to locate some mulch for my trees. I'm excited to see how well they will do with a little more care. I think I got the wife to see that a vegan fertilizer isn't going to reasonable for my budget, so we will settle on organic. Probably espoma.

I am guessing that you do not spray for any insects, mites, CLM, scale or aphids as this would be counter to the vegan ethos, correct?
The trees have never been sprayed, fertilized, or even properly pruned (was my wifes grandfathers property before we purchased it) they were basically planted and watered and that's all.
I did have a cotton scale infestation in some branches on my naval orange this year and I sprayed lightly with isopropyl alcohol and thinned out the afflicted branches, haven't seen it since! I will be trying peppermint oil and water in the garden this year (growing alot of peppers and tomatoes) but I've never really had a huge problem with insects.
-Kris

CA Hockey

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Re: Citrus Spring feeding and care regimen
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2018, 08:40:31 PM »
I agree with both.

I’ve found where I’m at in SoCal I can ignore in ground citrus and they produce more than enough to satisty. I believe fertilizing can enhance fruit production and quality.

For most of my trees however, I fertilize monthly-6 was and foliar spray monthly. They are in pots though.

However, I have a difficult cultivar and wanted to get some expert advice. I have a Lee x nova and was warned that without special pruning it would grow slowly due to significant treat dieback. Sure enough, it puts out profuse flushes and then has dieback if most of those flushes a few months later. The grower is the one who warned me about that issue.

Any tips? Would low bioret urea help? Do I have to prune like a stone fruit tree?

K

 

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