A key factor in agricultural productivity is adequate fertilization. Citrus and fruit trees generally require a good balance. For this, it is important to know what is the best fertilizer for citrus fruits. You can buy it or make it at home.
In this article, we will show you which is the best fertilizer for citrus fruits and what its characteristics are.
Proper citrus fertilization should be combined with organic and mineral fertilizers. The first is intended to improve the physico-chemical properties of the soil, while with mineral fertilizers you will always provide your citrus fruits with the nutrients they need.
The supply should be slow decomposing, preferably compost, although it can also be supplemented with foliar or water-soluble organic fertilizers. Thanks to this type of fertilization, you will eventually have a soil that is more self-sufficient in nutrients.
While citrus fruits absorb nutrients throughout the year, especially in spring when most needed, coinciding with germination, flowering and fruit set. At this time, the supply of nitrogen (N) is particularly important, which promotes protein synthesis and is part of chlorophyll, which promotes tree growth and fruit quality.
What is the best fertilizer for citrus fruits?
Insufficient nitrogen produces yellow leaves and smaller fruits, while too much nitrogen can cause excessive growth that reduces yield and quality, while promoting pests and diseases. During the ripening of the fruit, it must also provide the following nutrients:
- The game (P) is used to metabolize sugars and nucleic acids. Its deficiencies cause leaves and stems to turn purple and produce thick-skinned fruits with little juice. Its excess hinders the absorption of zinc and copper.
- Potassium (K) to stabilize yield, increase nitrogen. Its deficiency leads to slow development of trees and small, thin-skinned fruits. Its excess limits the availability of magnesium and affects the quality of the fruit, which deteriorates a lot.
- sulfur (S) is essential for protein synthesis. Its absence would have consequences similar to those of nitrogen. Pale, curled leaves can be a symptom. Its excess reduces the presence of other elements and can trigger chlorophyllosis.
- Calcium (Ca) is used for binding plant molecules and absorbing nutrients. Its absence can lead to low-yielding crops. Excessive amounts raise the pH by 6, which reduces the absorption of phosphorus, zinc or manganese.
- Magnesium (Mg), which produces chlorophyll. Its defects are manifested by partially yellowed leaves and small acidic fruits. Excessive amounts can interfere with calcium availability.
Fertilization method: fertigation and foliar applications
The main method of applying citrus fertilization is fertigation. With this technique, by drop by drop, by sprinkling or by flooding, we distribute the fertilizer dissolved with the irrigation water. Soil Nutrient Requirements should be calculated based on the expected harvest and, specifically, factors such as fertilizer history and fertility analysis should also be evaluated. In general, the lower the irrigation efficiency, the higher the doses per unit area required.
To correct micronutrient deficiencies, but not as a primary system, foliar fertilization can be used. Its advantages are good correction effect, fast absorption and absorption rate up to 90%. For rectification to be effective, you must have a clear idea of the faults you need to overcome. In this sense, one of the micronutrients that causes the most headaches is iron (Fe), the deficiency of which causes chlorophyllosis and must be treated with iron chelates.
How to Calculate Fertilizer Needs
Other additional factors that allow you to adjust the estimate closer to the actual package needs include: soil type, previous years faults, foliage analysis, canopy diameter and water analysis.
In addition, it is important to balance the doses of the different nutrients, since an excess of one can inhibit the other. Also keep in mind that the relationship between fertilization and harvest is not linear, so assess which dose is most effective in each case. Fertilization can represent a significant percentage of your citrus farm’s costs, so making the right decisions is key to getting the most out of your investment.
What is the best homemade citrus fertilizer
Any gardener will benefit greatly from composting at least some of the compost at home, mainly because of the economic benefits. The smartest thing is to use a composter for better hygiene and comfort. Still others prefer to use a simple composter made from boards, anyway, below we will tell you how it is done.
Put different plant remains in the composter of your choice: leaves, leftover beans, husks and even roots. You can also add ruminant manure or mulch. We will moisten the contents with water, put the lid on and leave for more than three weeks.
During the fermentation of manure, We’re going to remove the material and let it air out a bit. Follow these tips and we will get a totally natural and free fertilizer. Of course, considering that it can smell a little bad, it’s best to keep this lemon tree fertilizer outdoors.
Tips for improving the quality of organic fertilizers
The variety of types of materials to prepare organic fertilizer will greatly improve its quality, so we have prepared an additional section showing you the best “ingredients” to create an excellent homemade fertilizer for your lemon tree. One of the best ways to enrich the substrate, in addition to the fertilizers that we have already mentioned, is to use earthworm humus which will greatly improve the quality of your lemon tree fertilizer.
Fertilization will begin with the onset of spring and continue until late fall. If you have already obtained plants, do not fertilize until the second bloom after planting. Of course, give it quality soil. Lemon trees are uncomfortable with too wet soil. Make sure the soil is well drained and the water is well filtered. Iron supplies will be added by canning or small chelates during the spring bloom.
Hopefully with this information you can learn more about the best citrus fertilizer.