General citrus questions

ejh065March 16, 2011

HI all, thank you in advance for your help/guidance.

I have just purchased one 15-gallon Eureka lemon and one 15-gallon Minneola tangelo. They have both been planted in the ground in sunny spots. My questions are:

1. When can they be fertilized? And what is the best fertilizer for these trees?

2. Should I pick off the fruits from both trees this year (and next year?) to encourage root growth/establishment?

3. Will my Meyer lemon trees serve as pollinators for the Minneola?

4. If I have landscape fabric on the dripline of the trees, do I put the fertilizer granules over the fabric, or under it?

5. The Eureka lemon currently has no flowers and has a lot of light-colored (new) foliage; is that a good or bad thing? Also I heard that Eureka lemon trees don't live for very long, if so, how many years can I expect it to live?

Thanks much!

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Okay, let's see if I can answer a few things:

1. When can they be fertilized? And what is the best fertilizer for these trees?

Best to wait to fertilize your new citrus after chance of any real cold temps have passed, so any new flush that might appear after fertilizing isn't injured. If temps are okay, you can fertilize the soil surface (don't put fertilizer in the hole) when you plant. Any fertilizer formulated for citrus is fine. I use Scott's Citrus, Avocado & Mango Fertilizer(6-4-6) which works fine for me.

2. Should I pick off the fruits from both trees this year (and next year?) to encourage root growth/establishment?

No, not necessary if your trees are healthy. Enjoy the fruit this year and next. And after that. Citrus are very hardy trees.

3. Will my Meyer lemon trees serve as pollinators for the Minneola?

Minneolas are best cross pollinated with just about any another mandarin (except Satsumas and Minneola's siblings, Orlando and Seminole). And, when cross pollinated, they will be seedier, but worth it, since they are definitely one of the finest citrus ever.

4. If I have landscape fabric on the dripline of the trees, do I put the fertilizer granules over the fabric, or under it?

Well, you're probably fine with sprinking the fertilizer on top, as the drip will soak the fertilizer down through the soil.

5. The Eureka lemon currently has no flowers and has a lot of light-colored (new) foliage; is that a good or bad thing? Also I heard that Eureka lemon trees don't live for very long, if so, how many years can I expect it to live?

That's good :-) It is already putting out its flush, and if you look very, very closely, you'll probably be able to see teeny, tiny flower buds at the tips of the flush. They're coming :-) And I've never heard that about a Eureka, being short-lived. Lemons are very hardy citrus and Eurekas are ever-bearing, having fruit and flowers at the same time. If there shorter lived than other citrus, it will still probably outlive you :-) There are producing citrus that are decades old. The 40+ year old Valencia orchard behind me, which has been abandoned for 5 years now is just filled with lovely Valencia oranges right now, and defying neglect.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:53AM
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andrewofthelemon(7b Central Arkansas)

patty, you need to go and get some of trees! i wish, in arkansas, i had the abundance and access to citrus that you californians do. aw, now im a little sad.
Andrew

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 3:21PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Patty!

You have missed your calling.

I can see you offering citrus advice to locals and offering to help them with their trees in their yards.
You are caring and have such a willingness to help.
Almost like a professional citrus landscaper.

Bravo and what an asset here;-))))

Mike

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 3:45PM
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ejh065

hi, thanks for the help! 2 follow up questions:

1. would a calamondin be a pollinator for the minneola?

and 2. what kind of citrus fertilizer is best? 6-4-6? 10-15-15? there are all diff. kinds!!!!!

thanks again

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 11:43PM
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