Citrus of all sorts are such good plants for any garden and not only as they are covered in delicious and easy to use fruit, but because they provide year-round interest.
Citrus are heavy feeders and need lots to drink. The key to success is heat on their leaves and cool roots in the summer months. Both are easy to achieve by locating your citrus in a sunny position and by applying a 75mm thick layer of organic mulch, such as Richgro Water Saver Mulch. If you’re in a cooler region, your lemon tree may get a bit cold during winter so pull back the mulch off the roots to allow the sun to warm them up, giving your tree a good soak before any frosty weather will also help to insulate the roots too. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it really works (don’t forget to use Richgro Ezi-Wet to get the water deep into the root zone).
Before planting dig through lots of Richgro Garden Compost and Richgro Blended Manure into the soil, as this will help feed and retain moisture and nutrients around the plant. When placing the plant into the ground, ensure you only dig as deep as the root ball of the plant and for new grafted varieties, you should never bury the graft point where the root stock meets the stem of the fruiting plant (this is the knobbly bit low down on the plant).
Establish your citrus tree with lots of water and maintain this until you’re sure it has plenty of new roots out into the surrounding ground. Use Richgro Black Marvel as a regular feed (it lasts for 2 months) – it is drawn up and used in the plant as quickly and easily as a liquid feed. The black color comes from the iron coating that gives the plant glossy green leaves and it’s perfectly balanced with potassium to ensure your plants get the right nutrients when they need them.
If you’re in a small urban garden or even a balcony there are lots of varieties of smaller citrus that do well in pots, the rules are the same, a sunny spot and follow the same feeding regime with Richgro Black Marvel, just ensure you select a ‘Dwarf’ form so it doesn’t outgrow your space. Watering your potted citrus is slightly different, as potting mixes dry out quicker than normal garden soil, so ensure you keep the irrigation up to ensure successful flowering and fruiting and use Ezi-Wet Soil Wetter. Buy the best potting mix you can afford as this will prolong the good health of your plants – Richgro Seasol Potting Mix comes with a range of benefits such as seasol plant tonic, soil wetter, trace elements and 6 months’ worth of fertilisers in the mix.
Citrus is generally a carefree plant when it comes to pests and diseases. If you have a strong well-fed plant it will do most of the pest-fighting by itself. If you do get an outbreak of bugs, use Richgro Beat A Bug Naturally Based Insect Spray as its natural ingredients such as chilli and garlic mean it’s safe to use on edible plants. With any insecticide, don’t spray when the plant is in flower as this is when the good pollinators are also in the area.