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Backyard Citrus Care

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Citrus trees are an integral part of an Australian backyard and have an important place in today’s garden.

Not only does the Vitamin C in their fruit protect against colds and flu in the colder months, citrus are highly productive. Citrus trees don’t require a lot of attention throughout the year (they can be virtually neglected and still weigh down their branches with fruit, season after season) and they are a fruit most children enjoy.

Citrus Fruit Care


Best Citrus Varieties

Mandarins: Mandarins are fast health food – they peel easily and cleanly, and are not messy. Their sweetness makes them a great favourite with kids

Oranges: Many people love the taste of Navel orange juice, the seedless Valencia is also great for juicing and has fewer problems. It is the better growing tree for backyards as it crops over a longer period

Lemons: The ‘Eureka’ lemon is great for the warmer areas in Australia, while ‘Lisbon’ or ‘Meyer’ lemons suit cooler climates. Of all varieties, the ‘Meyer’ is the best choice for planting in a tub in any climate

Lime: ‘Tahiti’ produces very juicy fruit, and is used in drinks or as a lemon substitute. The fruit is small and green when ripe, and seedless

Cumquat: The ‘Nagami’ cumquat with its oval shaped fruit has a sweeter taste than other cumquats and is very decorative to look at on the tree. A great container plant in a small garden.

Diseases

Citrus scab - Lumps and brown scabs on the skin of citrus (particularly lemons) are symptoms of a disease called Citrus Scab but not one that affects the fruit. Remove the scabs if using the rind or just use pulp or juice. Ignore the dis­ease, or treat by spraying with a solution of copper oxychloride and white oil around October to get rid of the disease before scabs form.


Citrus pruning

- It is not necessary to prune citrus to produce fruit
- The trees can be pruned however if it is necessary to shape them in some way, ie to remove low hanging branches, or to remove branches that are rubbing and can cause bark damage and allow an entry point for disease.
- Use secateurs (for small branches) and a pruning saw (thicker stems) for the task. Tip: Make a small cut underneath the branch first then cut through from the top. This will stop the bark tearing
- Citrus may also require pruning if too heavy a crop is produced. A heavy crop can weigh down branches to the point where they can break, espe­cially after heavy rain. In this situation either remove some of the fruit to lighten the weight or cut out some of the smaller branches- The heavy crop can be avoided again by removing some of the young, developing fruit before it gets too big. The tree will then produce larger fruit.

Poppy's Home and Garden have a large range of citrus available. Contact our friendly staff on Ph: 49478255 for more info or visit here


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