Give citrus trees extra care in the summer to prevent stress caused by hot weather. Citrus trees that receive ample water and nutrients in the summer can better fend off pests and diseases all year long. Think of it as preventive health care.
To grow better lemons, tangerines, grapefruit or other citrus fruits, follow these easy steps now to keep your trees happy through the hot weather to come.
Summer Health Check for Citrus Trees:
- Check the trunk of the tree for signs of fungus or injury. Remove weeds growing within 2’ of the trunk.
- Paint the trunks of young trees with white latex paint to deter ants and reflect strong sun.
- Use a hoe to dig a 2” deep circular trench under the drip line of the tree. Think of the tree as an umbrella — the drip line is the outer circle where the tree sheds rain to the soil below. Fill the trench with water, allow time for the water to soak in, and then refill it a second time. Do this once a week unless you’ve experienced substantial rainfall prior to your scheduled watering day.
- Apply a light layer of high-nitrogen fertilizer formulated for citrus once the tree begins to flower.
- Use a micronutrient spray that contains essential nutrients such as boron and zinc on leaves once the tree begins to flower. The trees absorb nutrients better when they are applied to the soil and leaves.