When to fertilize a newly planted Meyer Lemon tree.

JR78(9B USDA 2012)January 24, 2012

I planted a new Meyer Lemon tree and I'm not sure when I should start to fertilize it. I posted a different post and everyone tells me 3 to 4 times a year (Feb, May and Sep). That is great and all, but I just planted this in the ground last Sunday. Do I need to wait till May for a 1st fertilization or is it ok to do it in Feb?

Also, I got a 15gal. and I have always understood it that if it's a 5gal. plant then you give it 5gal. of water, if it's 15gal. then you give it 15gal. of water. I used B1 and gave the plant 12gal. of water the same day I planted it. Can you please clarify about the fertilization and water requirements for a newly planted Mayer Lemon.

Thanks,

Jon

Here is a picture for your viewing pleasure.

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dontommyg(6b)

That is a great question. I guess it also depends on your soil. Looks like you are in a warmer climate. For now as it is the winter season I'd do about half the gallons of the pot size. At first this may be a trial and error kind of thing. If you find that it gets thirsty you'll see the leafs start to droop or curl a little. Also it is good to lightly hose the leafs as well. For fertilizer you do cut back on fertilizing until you start seeing some blooms or fruits. Myself, I have a very small meyer Lemon tree and I do about half the amount of fertilizer twice as often. If that makes sense. But i'm sure you'll be fine. Start being a little light on watering and fertilizing and if you need to water more you'll know. Good luck! Great looking tree!

Here is a link that might be useful: sunroomgardening.blogspot.com

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 4:08PM
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JR78(9B USDA 2012)

I will try this out and see what I come up with. I will cut the watering to 8gal. each time the top layer of dirt looks dry. I plan to use AZ Best Citrus Fertilizer, and I plan to give it it's first fertilization at the end of Feb., this will give the plant a good month before any additional nutrients have been provided. Please if anyone sees any issues with my plan, speak up. Or even to suggest additional needs I'm not considering.

Thanks,
Jon

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 6:06PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

JR, don't water when the soil 'looks' dry. The surface of any bare soil will dry out very quickly, but the soil system underneath can remain moist for much longer. You'll have to get down and feel the soil beneath the surface.

As a general rule, it is not recommended that newly planted trees be fertilized for several months. This allows the root system to establish itself before the top begins to flush. In your location, with all of that heat reflective block and stone, you want to encourage plenty of roots before the hot season begins. Once you've found a good citrus fertilizer, you should consider following the directions that accompany that product.

Your gallons of water theory is off. Your little tree won't need near that amount for quite some time. Frequency depends upon how fast the soil drains, soil type, temperature, time of year, amount of sunlight, humidity, wind, and other factors.

It looks like the tree trunk is wrapped with something. Am I seeing things? Could you take a close-up image of the tree trunk at soil level? I'd like to figure out what kind of soil that is.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 4:05AM
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JR78(9B USDA 2012)

Rhizo,

Thanks for the knowledge. Their is not anything wrapped around the tree trunk. I plan to take some pictures today after I get home from work. I will get some close-ups so you can see the current condition of the soil, tree trunk and foliage. I was looking at the foliage last night and it seems that is looks rough in some spots and good in others, I'm not sure if this happened after I planted it or if I just didn't notice it at the nursery.

I will allow the roots to get established before I fertilize, do you have a time frame on when you would think that should be?

I thought that seemed like a large amount of water for the plant. I will tone it back quite a bit. What do you think would be a good amount to start with when it does require watering?

Thanks for your time and comments.
JR

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 8:40AM
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johnmerr(11)

Nice looking Meyer; I would expect it to start blooming soon. Rhizo is right about not fertilizing it when you plant it; the absence of nutrients encourages roots to grow in search of food; and that will be followed by leaf and branch growth. Because of the time of year, especially with expectation of bloom, I would wait about 3-4 weeks and then give it a light fertilizer; maybe again in another month if it is blooming; and after that I would rely on regular foliar fertilization (I spray my garden trees every 15 days) and then the first of May begin your regular 3 times per year fertilization. I fertilize my field trees January, May, and September with a side treatment of chelated minerals in July.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:06PM
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JR78(9B USDA 2012)

Rhizo, here are a few more pictures. One of the Lemon trunk so you can see soil type.

Here is one of the Meyer Lemon foliage.

Key Lime Tree I just planted yesterday.

Key Lime looks like it's in bloom.

Let me know if everything looks good. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:01AM
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johnmerr(11)

Good you have those fences around the trees; I see a dog in one of the pictures. Dog urine is very concentrated and can seriously damage a young tree; cats are not quite so bad, but I would still keep them away if you can.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 1:54PM
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JR78(9B USDA 2012)

She is a female, so no fire hydrant issue's here. LoL

But the fence is to keep her paws from digging. Still has a couple years to go to get past the puppy stuff.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:22PM
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tantanman(z9Tx)

Your trees leaves are showing a little chlorosis. If it gets worse or does not go away by the time it warms up, you need to start treatment for that.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 1:06AM
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