NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Growing Tips -

While many lemon trees fruit dur­ing win­ter, some, like ’Meyer’, ’Lis­bon’ and ’Yen Ben’ are fruit­ing now. Wa­ter plants well. Lack of wa­ter can re­sult in fruit drop, small fruit or even lack of juice. Ap­ply a layer of mulch after wa­ter­ing to con­serve mois­ture, but keep it away from the trunk or it may rot. Re­move any weeds as these com­pete for wa­ter and nutri­ents. Lack of juice can also in­di­cate too much ni­tro­gen, while thick skins can in­di­cate a de­fi­ciency in phos­pho­rus. Feed your plants with a spe­cial­ist cit­rus fer­tiliser ev­ery six weeks to avoid nu­tri­ent de­fi­cien­cies.

Watch for ants

Ants can be a real nui­sance in the gar­den, but be sure to carry out a lit­tle de­tec­tive work be­fore you deal to them. If you no­tice an ant trail climb­ing a stem or ex­plor­ing a leaf, check to see where they’re go­ing. Ants feed on the sweet hon­ey­dew ex­creted by sap-suck­ing in­sects, so fol­low­ing these trails will of­ten lead you to

well-hid­den pests – like aphids hid­ing on the un­der­sides of leaves. Soapy wa­ter, a squirt with the hose or squish­ing be­tween fin­gers will con­trol aphids, which re­pro­duce partheno­genet­i­cally and viviparously, mean­ing that a sin­gle fe­male can pro­duce off­spring without a male and the ba­bies are born live rather than hatch­ing from eggs.

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