To encourage healthy, vigorous growth and desirable fruit characteristics, citrus trees should be supplied with sufficient amounts of nutrients.
Nutrients are generally classified as macronutrients and micronutrients. Both types are very essential, but macronutrients are needed in larger quantities compared to micronutrients.
Macronutrients include Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur.
Micronutrients include Boron, Iron, Manganese, Zinc and Copper.
In order to achieve a proper nutrition, both basal and foliar fertilizer should be applied.
Basal fertilizers are absorbed by the plants through the roots and include DAP, CAN, NPK, and UREA, while foliar fertilizers are taken up by the plant through its foliage and include OPTIMIZER, LAVENDER, DIMIPHITE, BIODISTINCTION XTRA, etc.
Soil testing is important before planting as it helps to determine the fertility of the soil.
Importance of a proper nutrition in citrus
- Maintains tree root health and productivity
- Encourages active flush of foliage
- Boosts yield and tree productivity
- Establishes a good early growth
- Ensures a continued strong growth
- Improves fruit set and fruit retention
- Minimizes fruit drop, prevent fruit deformities or storage problems from peel breakdown
- Maximizes fruit fill and fruit size, productivity, and vitamin C content
- Boosts leaf growth and tree vigor and reduce skin disorders including fruit splitting and albedo breakdown
- Improves juice content, quality and provides a thicker skin
Early growth stage
This is the period between seeding, germination/sprouting and about several weeks after seedlings emergence.
Seeds soaked in OPTIMIZER 20ml/1l for 6-12hours germinate faster and uniformly. Optimizer also promotes rapid rooting of grafts.
During this stage, the trees should be sprayed with LAVENDER 20ml/20l or GOLDCHANCE SUPER START 50g/20l or LEGENDARY 40ml/20l or PLANT SOUL 20ml/20l or ZINC GOLD 10ml/20l.
These fertilizers provide the relevant nutrients that are needed at this growth stage.
When transplanting, DAP is applied, which majorly provides Phosphorous, an important nutrient element at early growth stages of the crop.
Manure is necessary for soils with less or no organic matter. It releases its nutrients slowly throughout the growing period and adds organic matter to the soil.
It is during this stage whereby seedlings grow into young trees and energy is directed into relatively fast vegetative growth.
Nitrogenous fertilizers are most encouraged at this stage of growth and development.
Spray the trees with LAVENDER 20ml/20l or GOLDCHANCE SUPER GROWTH 50g/20l.
Top dressing using CAN is important. Other nitrogenous basal fertilizers like N.P.K 23.23.0, can be applied in order to ensure the crop gets sufficient nutrients.
Flowering, fruit set & maturity stages
This stage involves flower bud formation, flowering, fruit set and maturity of the fruits.
Spray the trees with GOLDCHANCE SUPER FLOWERS & FRUITS 50g/20l or DIMIPHITE 20ml/20l or GREENPHITE 40ml/20l or LEGENDARY 40ml/20l.
These fertilizers are responsible for inducing flowering, good fruit set and quality, increased fruit size, continued growth and yield maintenance among other benefits.
BIODISTINCTION XTRA, EURO GOLD, VITABOR GOLD and FERRARI GOLD also promote good fruit set, prevent fruit and flower drop and improve the general quality of the fruits, e.g. hardening the outer cover of the fruit which prolongs its shelf life.
Basal fertilizers rich in potassium like N.P.K 17.17.17 should also be applied during this stage.
- OPTIMIZER 10ml/20l should be sprayed at any stage of crop’s growth and development. It is a biostimulant which stimulates the trees to grow faster, helps it withstand stressful conditions, adds nutrients to the growing plant, stimulates growth of shoots, and development of chlorophyll for photosynthesis, among other functions.
- Foliar sprays should be incorporated with INTEGRA 3ml/20l. This is a sticker, spreader and penetrant which improves on the absorption of the fertilizer by the foliage of the crop.
- A repeat of foliar spray should be done on weekly basis.
- All basal fertilizers and manures should be mixed with HUMIPOWER, which adds organic matter to the soil, shifts pH to optimum making nutrients available, reduces leaching and minimizes runoff among other benefits.