What do I do now? All citrus blooming or buds

kumquat1March 20, 2012

Trees are a good size. Look healthy. I want to have as much fruit as possible. For example, lots of blooms on our satsuma tree (which bore 3 satsumas last year). Should I water deeply twice a week, or once a week? light fertilize now? All the trees are putting out new leaves at branch tips. What is the routine to follow now? All my citrus trees are in ground.

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How old are they?

Don't fertilize them while they are blooming, don't spray anything with pesticides on them since the pollinators will be working on them. Once a week watering is probably fine if they have been in the ground a while and are established. Might even be too much water if they have been established already. I know everywhere is different, and here in south Texas the water table in the ground is pretty high so anything that can put out deep roots is fine for the most part.

Anyway, I'm in the same zone as you, either 9 or 10 and our twelve newer citrus trees have been in the ground about 3 years but we only water maybe once a month, even in the heat of summer and they have been thriving.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:20AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Watering will be up to how warm your days are and how much rain you get, kumquat. Check your soil, and if it is starting the dry out, water well. Not deeply, just well enough to soak the top 18 to 24 inches (deep watering citrus has gone by the wayside, it is not necessary and a waste of water.) That might be once a week, twice a week, once every 2 weeks, impossible to say since I don't know how much rain you're getting or how warm your area is. And, your satsuma will naturally drop excess blossoms as well as excess set fruit. If you end up, however, with a lot of fruit set past the ball bearing/marble size, you can thin some if your tree is very tiny, and you fear the branches breaking. You should be fertilizing (actually, you should apply fertilizer before blossom set), and then every 2 to 3 months through about Sept. You should be following your citrus growing recommendations for your area. Check out your local Cooperative Extension office's recommendations for growing citrus in your area. Or, contact your local Master Gardener's group.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: University of Florida Cooperative Extension: Growing Dooryard Citrus

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Andrew Scott

Hi Patty,
Thanks for addressing the fert qusetion. I always feed pretty much non stop from spring thru fall. I like the idea of "weekly weakly", and for me, it works pretty well. i know what works for one person doesn't always work for another. Time to go fertilize my Oro Blanco grapefruit now!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:36PM
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If your trees are blooming and also putting out growth, it probably means they are adequately fertilized. If they are a bit overfed, they tend to put masses of blooms and almost no growth until later; if they are underfed, they will produce fewer blooms and little if any growth. All my inground citrus get fertilized beginning of January, May, and September; they are in Guatemala, you might want to delay the January application if you are in a frost zone.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 5:47PM
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Thanks, much, all!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Our ground is acid sand that slopes slightly down to a bayou. When it rains an inch, just the top inch of soil gets damp, it all runs off. Never have seen an actual puddle on our place. I usually dig "dams" around any plantings, so I can give a good watering when needed.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:38AM
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