Keep cit­rus trees happy and healthy

Life & Style Weekend - - GARDEN - with Angie Thomas Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates.

CIT­RUS love moist but well-drained soil, which cre­ates a healthy en­vi­ron­ment for their roots to thrive and lower trunks to re­main dry and healthy. Weeks of wet weather in some ar­eas around Aus­tralia has cre­ated ideal con­di­tions for root and col­lar rot dis­eases to

de­velop. Th­ese dis­eases af­fect the abil­ity of cit­rus trees to ef­fec­tively ab­sorb soil wa­ter, lead­ing to wilt­ing, poor plant

health and some­times plant death if left un­treated. Here are a few steps you can take to re­duce the in­ci­dence of cit­rus col­lar and root rot dis­eases: ◗ Re­move lower hang­ing branches of cit­rus trees to im­prove the air flow around the trunk.

◗ Ap­ply­ing mulch over the root zone is very ben­e­fi­cial by help­ing to keep the roots moist. How­ever, keep mulch away

from touch­ing the trunk it­self, as this can keep the trunk wet which can pro­mote col­lar rot. ◗ Ap­ply anti-rot phosacid sys­temic fungi­cide over the fo­liage dur­ing au­tumn. The fungi­cide trav­els down through the plant and into the stems and roots, help­ing to con­trol

root and col­lar rot dis­eases. Using anti-rot as a pro­tec­tive spray dur­ing damp con­di­tions will give more ef­fec­tive

con­trol than wait­ing for symp­toms to ap­pear. ◗ As the fruit ma­tures con­tinue to feed trees each week with a com­plete and bal­anced fer­tiliser that has been spe­cially de­signed to pro­mote healthy cit­rus and help cre­ate good qual­ity fruit. Cit­rus liq­uid plant food is an easy to use liq­uid fer­tiliser that’s ideal. Di­lute two cap­fuls of liq­uid plant

food into a nine-litre wa­ter­ing can and ap­ply over the root zone each week.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Cit­rus love well-drained soil.

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