Citrus are another group of plants that are extremely versatile and are as varied in their growth habit as the flavour of the fruit. With clever variety selection, it’s possible to have homegrown fresh citrus to harvest for at least 6 months of the year. Throughout this month citrus are developing size and flavour, with the early Mandarins becoming ripe in mid-late autumn.

Citrus Care for March;

  • If there is an extremely heavy crop set, thin fruit out by removing at least ½. This will ensure the plant has enough in reserve to develop the fruit to a decent size. Small fruit is often a result of too many on the tree at once. Thinning fruit out also ensures the plant has enough energy in reserve for developing next year’s crop.
  • Trees tend to show nutrients deficiencies in their leaves this month. Pick a leaf off the plant and hold up to the sun. If there are green veins or yellow blotching, it’s a symptom of a typical trace element deficiency. Applications of Seasol and PowerFeed  PRO SERIES Plant Food, Flowers, Fruit & Citrus fortnightly will be absorbed by the plant quickly and result in healthy green leaves and tasty fruit.

  • Split fruit at this time of the year is usually a result of summer rains. The plant absorbs moisture quickly and directs it to the fruit. The skin of the developing citrus can’t divide quickly enough for the amount of moisture absorbed and usually splits. Navel oranges are very susceptible to split fruit and doesn’t usually affect every piece of fruit on the tree. It usually balances itself out when the season settles into a normal cool autumn pattern.
  • Calcium deficiency can cause tough hard skin that splits easily. The addition of a fertiliser with added calcium will benefit plants at this time of the year.
  • Cool weather experienced in March will trigger the skin colour change. Don’t be tempted to harvest fruit too early as it will be at least 6-8 weeks before the flavour is at its best.