Change Fertilizer Amount as Citrus Tree Ages

By Bruton, Tom | The Florida Times Union, March 3, 2009 | Go to article overview

Change Fertilizer Amount as Citrus Tree Ages


Bruton, Tom, The Florida Times Union


Byline: TOM BRUTON

Last week I read in the Garden Q&A that we should not fertilize citrus until we see a growth flush but it didn't mention the amount we should use. Can you give me a guide as to how much and when to fertilize my citrus trees?

During the first few years, apply fertilizer to young trees to stimulate vigorous growth of leaves and branches that become the framework of the mature tree.

Beginning about two weeks after planting, frequent, light applications of fertilizer should be made approximately every six weeks. Avoid burning roots with high levels of soluble fertilizer applied all at once. Your first fertilization should start about March 1 and the last one about Sept. 15.

At right is a chart for the fertilization of dooryard citrus trees. It is taken from the University of Florida publication HS120. For more information on fertilizing citrus trees, go to edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS120.

Your local nursery may have a slightly different formulation for the citrus fertilizer than 6-6-6 or 8-8-8 or 10-10-10. I checked one citrus fertilizer made by Sunniland and it was 6-4-6.

When buying the citrus fertilizer, check the bag to be sure the product has some slow-release nitrogen. A good idea is to get your soil checked to find out if you need as much phosphorous as contained in some of the fertilizers sold.

To arrive at the amount of fertilizer to be used per treatment, divide the total pounds shown in the chart by the number of applications. …

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