Citrus Gardening Calendar
This calendar is specially adapted to Phoenix, but probably applicable to many other climates. Here we choose to fertilize 3 times a year, which is a convenient way to do it. Citrus fertilizer with coated pellets release their nutrient more gradually, and are particularly well adapted to this frequence. If your citrus is growing in a pot, you might want to fertilize it more often, up to every 6 weeks in the growing period from February to September.
While citrus trees are mostly dormant, they still need some water. They are generally shedding some leaves, getting ready for the new growth, this is normal.
All the fruits are all ripe, enjoy!
The trees are getting ready to start growing buds. Depending on the species, they can be early or late in the month. Most species start blooming late February or early March. Water once or twice this month.
Now is also a good time to plant 5-gallon citrus.
Water deeply once this month.
It is still a good time to plant citrus. Check that all the trunk parts of citrus and young trees that are exposed to the sun are painted white. This keeps them cooler and protects them from sunburn. Use white latex paint diluted with water (1 volume white flat latex paint for 1 volume water).
The dry air and warmth mean that you need to increase watering to every two weeks.
After some of the newly set fruits drop, you can fertilize the tree. If the tree is still small, consider removing more of the small fruit to avoid exhausting it. Citrus tree generally drop the excess fruit by themselves. You might need to treat if caterpillars attack the leaves.
Water deeply once a week or more. Some mulch will keep the roots cooler and conserve water. There are disagreements on how useful mulch is for citrus. I generally put less than an inch, this helps avoiding the crust that sometimes form at the top of the dirt. In any case, almost everyone agrees that you should keep the mulch away from the trunk.
Water deeply once a week or more. Some mulch will keep the roots cooler and conserve water. Keep the mulch away from the trunk.
Keep on the lookout for signs of sunburn, and paint any part of the trunk that is exposed to direct sun.
The weather is cooling down, but the monsoon
is finished, water needs are still high. Planting is not as hard on the
plants if you wait until the night temperature falls in the 70's to do
Water less often.
The fruits start showing some color as they are exposed to cooler night temperatures. The color of the citrus does not indicate ripeness.
If the fruit has been damaged by heat or lack of water, it might split.
Slow down the watering to once every 3 weeks, or once a month. Start getting ready to protect the young trees on frosty nights. You might want to consider wrapping protection around the trunk of your young trees. Early-ripening fruit might be ready to pick.
Text and Pictures © 2001 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.