PUT A LIT­TLE ZING IN CIT­RUS

Life & Style Weekend - - GARDEN - IN MY GAR­DEN WORDS: ANGIE THOMAS

Au­tumn is a busy sea­son for ripen­ing of cit­rus fruit. Un­less you’re get­ting reg­u­lar au­tumn rain, give cit­rus a deep drink each week. In­ad­e­quate soil mois­ture can af­fect fruit qual­ity and over­all plant health.

But poorly drained soil or pro­longed wet weather can lead to the de­vel­op­ment of root and col­lar rot dis­eases. Th­ese dis­eases af­fect the abil­ity of the cit­rus trees to ef­fec­tively ab­sorb soil mois­ture, leading to wilt­ing, poor plant health and some­times plant death if left un­treated.

Here are steps to re­duce the in­ci­dence of cit­rus col­lar and root rot dis­eases:

Re­move lower hanging branches of cit­rus trees, which im­proves the air flow around the trunk.

Ap­ply mulch over the root zone, which helps 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 an anti-rot 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.

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