Saturday, February 25, 2017

Citrus feeding time again, folks

It's a wet weekend at the end of February, and so that means it's ideal citrus feeding weather at the ideal time of year. I just did my lemon, lime and potted Thai lime trees, and garden smells glorious, although I'm not sure if Pammy and the neighbours totally agree.

Use whatever you like to feed your citrus. I prefer Dynamic Lifter (which is pelletised chicken poo, hence the aromatics) but there are lots of different citrus foods you can use. 

The reason for the wet weekend being ideal is that in a perfect world, you should apply fertiliser to damp soil, then water it in afterwards. There was rain overnight, the soil was nicely damp, and as showers are forecast for the rest of the weekend, the rain gods can do the rest. All I had to do was fling the dung.

Most fertiliser packets/bags actually come with instructions on how much fertiliser to use, so I suggest you follow those. It's hard to overdose with an organic food like Dynamic Lifter, but half a dozen handfuls scattered all around under the tree's canopy will do it. And concentrate most of the food on the ground that's under the outer edges of the canopy, not near the trunk.

And if the mulch has broken down a lot, it's also an ideal time to top up the mulches, because like citrus, mulch goes down best over damp ground.

Don't you love the way rainy weather is the ideal time to be out in garden? I do ...


Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

I have a friend with a very dilapidated lemon tree on their English windowsill. It produced 6 lemons last year, even though it's only about a foot high. Then all its leaves fell off. It's been re-potted since but is sitting above a radiator - which might be producing the wrong kind of heat. Do you have any suggestions about how better to care for it?

Jamie said...

Wow, that story reminds me of the guy who grows frangipanis indoors in Minnesota. Whatever he is doing, he's doing right, and whatever your friend is doing with the indoor lemon tree is probably close to being the right thing (sort of) because at least it's producing fruit.

One suggestion is that if the lemon tree is too close to the window it could be affected by radiated cold coming through the glass. Moving it away from the window in winter could help reduce the chills (which probably cause the leaves to drop), then moving it back to the window in summer could also help.

Feeding it won't help in winter. Might even be harmful. However, a feed of slow release fertiliser when the weather warms up in spring would help.

Good luck to your friend. I think producing fruit indoors in England is a good effort in itself.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Thanks for the info. Jamie. I'll pass it on. It's on a windowsill for the sake of light at present - in the hopes it will grow new shoots. But perhaps getting it away from the cold would be more important than light until spring gets going?

Perhaps I shouldn't say this . . but he bought the tree last year with the lemons already on it, though not at that point, yet ripe. The credit for them therefore must go to its previous and unknown owner who, rather remarkably (I think) put it into a bargain-plant sale!

Jamie said...


Yes, I agree that the windowsill would be the best place for light, but I wonder if it wouldn't be too much of a pest to move it away from the window at night and on dreadful, sunless days too?

Also, just like people, plants love a holiday, so any chance your friend could get to take the plant outdoors on nice warm days – even in summer – would probably give the poor thing a much needed boost.