Citrus fertilization

Homegrown citrus fruits

One of the pride of Italy are the citrus groves that produce large and fragrant fruits in our lands; we are not for any distinction or discrimination between north and south, but it must be said that these spectacular fruits find their ideal climate precisely in the southern regions of our boot. In fact it is from Campania downwards that there is excellence in quantity but above all in quality for all types of citrus fruit; we can talk about Sorrento lemons as well as Sicilian oranges, they are real quality brands known around the world, and even in some they are paid dearly if they are declared original and fresh (think of the United States of ‘America and Japan). Indeed in the areas of Italy below Rome there is a perfect climate for the cultivation of these fruits: short winters without peaks of frost and with average rain, very long and very hot summer, interspersed with some beneficial rain but above all a lot of sun which is ideal for the color and scent of these multipurpose fruits. They are mainly used as a condiment for various dishes (lemons), as fruit (oranges, mandarins, medlars), as the origin of excellent juices (oranges, grapefruits) and in many other ways, including the production of liqueurs (such as the famous limoncello Campania).

Features of cultivation

In the conditions that we described in the previous paragraph and which are typical of Southern Italy, citrus fruits grow strong and productive, with very little help; however, when the climate begins to be too cold or too little sunny, these plants suffer the unfavorable climatic situation and first become unproductive, then they dry up completely. They are quite resistant plants from the point of view of diseases and parasites, but the fact is that they have too many suitors: in fact, many species, especially insects, love their sap and their sugary juices that are so tempting to the larvae especially for the street. of the large amount of calories they contain (pure sugars). Precisely for this reason it is preferred to use some products with a light and non-toxic formulation to prevent attacks by similar species of insects, instead of using heavy products that immediately intervene against an already advanced disease and which has already been able to compromise fruit production. In general, citrus groves are gardens of any shape in which various different species can also be planted, but the important thing is that there is at least half a meter of separation between the fronds of nearby trees to allow good air circulation.

Citrus fertilization

A delicate and important phase of the cultivation of these fruits is their fertilization: it is basically practiced for two reasons, where the first is to make the plant stronger and more structured against diseases and parasites, while the second is to increase the productive capacity of the plant itself by improving the characteristics of the soil and therefore of the nutrients it can absorb. The best way to fertilize citrus fruits is to use organic fertilizer mixed with manure, with a prevalence of the latter; in practice it is manure with a small percentage of compost inside (to find out more, see the compost entry on our site). For lemons, for example, the dosage is a few liters of manure mixed with water in the first spring every year, while about three kilograms of pure manure in autumn every three years (the quantities are per plant). Maybe everything will not be fragrant for the first few days, but we assure you that plants will never be healthier than this.

Fertilizer for citrus fruits

Although manure is the best solution for citrus fertilization, sometimes its quantity is not enough or it is chosen for various reasons to resort to classic generic fertilizers; first of all, however, we advise you to integrate even a small amount of manure with these products, so do not use them alone. Then you have to decide only the best combination of the three main elements of NPK (N = nitrogen, P = phosphorus, K = potassium), which can vary slightly according to the citrus species or other needs of the soil (we must not forget that fertilization intervenes on the ground, not on the plant directly). Usually the last two elements slightly prevail, also because these minerals directly intervene in the construction of the plant and in the quality of the fruit. The basic technique for thecitrus fertilization is to dissolve the powder in water as indicated in the package and then to water the earth with this solution; alternatively, if you have fertilizer tablets, these will be placed in the ground by spreading it around the plant and then burying them with the pressure of a finger to avoid them being taken by fleeting birds or similar hungry animals. Manure should be sprinkled around the base of the trunk.

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