my citrus are unhappy...

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by japhy, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. japhy

    japhy Junior Member

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    Iºve been adding a lot of soil and compost in between the citrus this year, to interplant vegetables. Suddenly ,the oranges and lemons look unhappy, and have shed much of their smaller fruits. My gut feeling is that the compost might be too acidic, and I should counteract with some epsom salts or something... but I thought I should check since iºm quite new at this. Any help would be much appreciated...
     
  2. trimnut2

    trimnut2 Junior Member

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    Re: my citrus are unhappy...

    "japhy" Citrus are surface feeders. Putting a "lot of soil and compost" on would probably not be a good idea.
    If the citrus were doing fine beforehand find a new site to grow your vegetables. The citrus will recover but that will take some time as they will be regrowing their surface feeding roots through the added materials. Unless the compost was poorly made it is unlikely to be too acidic. Epsom salts are important for citrus but apply with a balanced fertilizer mix.
     
  3. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: my citrus are unhappy...

    Be careful not to put compost or mulch over the grafting point of the tree. They will die (all the leaves fall off first).
    In winter iron becomes less available to many plants, due to the "wee beasties' that make it available to plants, going on holiday. This results in yellowing leaves.
    Can you be more specific about why your trees look unhappy? What did they say to you? :)
     
  4. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    Re: my citrus are unhappy...

    has the compost you've put on gone under the drip line? - - if it has you've "drowned" the citrus in soil - the feeder roots don't like soil level changes (and this applies to every tree - - start piling lawn clippings around an old gum on your driveway and sit and wait for the widow makers to start falling)

    another problem may be the water level - if the soil and compost between the trees hasn't damaged the roots, the change in soil level and the accompanying change in water level may be the problem - if you've got your citrus in effectively a 15cm ring of soil and compost water could be sitting on the roots
     
  5. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: my citrus are unhappy...

    So how do you fertilize citrus then if you can't chuck compost under it?
     
  6. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: my citrus are unhappy...

    Hello all,

    You dont really need to 'chuck compost' under a citrus tree. They certainly need feeding. So straight animal manure around the leaf fringe is fine. A bit of leaf mould raked or thrown under will help.

    If you citrus is dropping fruit now it may be the result of odd circumstance or strange weather causing your tree to flower out of season.
    Two things, you plant may be divesting itself of excess fruit. Secondly, permaculture grown fruit, unless you have had a lot of practise/luck may not act in the same way as commercially grown fruit. Sometimes it is hard to set a permaculture 'standard' as we all grow plants for our own reasons in our own gardens.

    I live very tropical and have grown cauliflowers [not this year] now to any commercial grower they would have been considered a joke. They were scrawny and weighed in at about 400grams full grown but to me they were heavenly as they were fresh and homegrown. ]

    Back to the oranges. Your compost may well be holding too much water, mine does. My couple of citrus trees like a bit of straw under them but not much more. In my experience most citrus likes water but not damp.

    cheers,
     
  7. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    Re: my citrus are unhappy...

    compost is different to building te soil up - - compost breaks down easily and if you look after a couple of weeks most of it will be gone
     
  8. japhy

    japhy Junior Member

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    Re: my citrus are unhappy...

    Thanks for all your helpful replies. Since the house we're living in at the moment has most of its land in citrus orchard, if i want to grow vegetables i have no choice but to do so between the trees - which is the conundrum. I'm in Portugal and the temperature is hot, the soil moderate to heavy clay. So I had laid down some sheet mulch with soil and compost between the trees, in order to lessen the amount of irrigation and provide a decent medium for veg... I'm going to monitor the situation for a while and hope they can adapt....
     

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