Fruit trees are a great addition to any home, especially citrus trees – orange, lemon, lime, mandarin, tangerine or even grapefruit! Whatever your preference, lemon trees can provide the family with a supply of fresh fruit in season packed with vitamin C, to make hot lemon drinks, with a spoonful of honey.
The best time to plant lemon trees is in autumn and spring as citrus fruit ripens in winter. This is so trees are established before the summer heat or cool winter temperatures.
Sooty mould affects lemon trees and it is at this time of year when we start to want to pick our lovely lemons for hot lemon and ginger to ward off colds and flu.
Sooty mould is a black fungal disease that develops on the fruit, stems and leaves. It is a secondary infection as it grows on the secretions of scale insects like aphids, mealybugs and whitefly.
To treat it – wash off the soot by wiping with a strong detergent / soap solution over the lemon tree in the cooler months, starting now! It is important to wipe off the soot as it can block the sun’s light to the plant and reduce photosynthesis, which is essential for plant growth.
To prevent it – you need to deal with the pests that created the secretions – so spray the lemon tree with a insect control spray, such as Yates Success Ultra at the first sign of bugs being present. If you don’t like spraying, then an open shaped tree discourages insects, so give your lemon tree a good prune this winter to reduce the density of its branches.
Lemon trees are big feeders too, so we recommend feeding them with citrus fertiliser or a good handful of sheep pellets twice a year, spring and autumn. If you do need to prune any damaged and diseased branches, do that in the winter, when it is colder and less bugs and nasties are about.
With Autumn just around the corner, March is a busy time in the garden in March. If you need some help this month, check our our Exclusive Autumn offer at the bottom of the blog.
Here’s our top gardening tips for this month in your garden.
Plant your bulbs. Daffodils can be planted any time from late February til end of May. Early planting gets them off to a cracking start, with warm soil in which they can get their roots down.
Feed your citrus! They are such heavy feeders, so get some citrus food or sheep pellets and water in well.
Tidy up that veggie patch ready for planting winter vegetables and herbs. And while you are in the veggie patch, prepare that soil with some compost, blood and bone, lime & sheep pellets.
Wait for some rain and plant new trees, shrubs & plants. Autumn is the best time for planting.
Take the loppers and hedge trimmers out and cut back all the crazy growth which we have had with the rain and warmth over summer.
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