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Citrus Planting and Fertilising


July 27, 2022


Searle Gardening Team

If you want to grow a fruit in your own backyard that is fun, rewarding and just delicious, then you can't go past citrus trees.

Citrus trees are perfectly suited for home growing rewarding you for many years to come. One of the real tricks for citrus is to plant them in the right position, in the right soil.

Citrus need a full sun position and need plenty of room to grow in all directions. Ideally, they need about a 2m gap all around. If they are planted in a position where they will be shaded by other trees, or overcrowded, then they will not crop as well, so it is important to choose the right position from the start. These beautiful trees will last for many years to come and when planted in the right position, will reward you very well.

For citrus trees to grow well and produce delicious crops, they need a rich well drained soil. To give them an excellent start, dig a hole at least two to three times the size of the pot they are in and dig in Searles Fruit, Citrus & Rose Specialty Mix. Plant your citrus tree straight into the hole. As citrus like well drained soils, it can help to mound up the soil where planting.

For citrus to grow well, the golden rule is NO grass below them. In fact, they like the grass removed right out past the dripline. The dripline is the area directly below the outer branches. Citrus tree roots feed close to the ground surface and usually below the dripline, so grass will deprive them of their food.

After planting, mulch them all around. Be sure to leave a space around the trunk where there is no mulch, approximately 10cm all around. Mulching is wonderful for citrus. Not only does it save water, but it adds nutrition, keeps the root system cool and promotes better growth which means more fruit.

Now another trick for citrus is to make sure you water them deeply and regularly. Give them a good deep watering about once a week.

Citrus trees are heavy feeders, requiring lots of rich organic composted matter to produce a tree ladened with juicy fruit. It is essential to use a well-balanced fertiliser that counters deficiencies and contains all the nutrients and trace elements which are vital for strong growth. After removing the grass, spread 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser Pellets every 4-6 weeks from early spring through to autumn. Alternatively, fertilise fruit trees in pots and in the ground with Searles Fruit & Citrus Plant Food every 8 -12 week in early spring, late summer and winter in the first year and after that, early spring and early autumn. Ensure fertiliser is kept away from the trunk. When applying fertiliser, it is important to remember that the plant’s feeding roots are located directly below the outermost circle of leaves, known as the drip line. Apply fertiliser every season, especially in spring and autumn.