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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002381/00001
 Material Information
Title: Growing Citrus In The Dooryard
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Jackson, Larry K.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1995
 Notes
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Publication date: February 1991. Revised: February 1994. Revised: September 1995."
General Note: "HS-85"
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00002381:00001


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FactSheetHS-85 September1995GrowingCitrusintheDooryard1 L.K.Jackson2Citrustreescanbeanimportantpartofthe landscapeformanyFloridahomeowners.Theyare bothusefulornamentaltreesandcanprovidean abundanceofdeliciousfruitforthegrower.Citrusis, however,asubtropicalfruittreeanditscultureis limitedtoareasofthestatethatarenotregularly compromisedbydamagingcold.Also,likemost otherplantsinthedooryardlandscape,regular maintenancesuchasirrigation,fertilization,weed controlandpestmanagementproceduresmustbe followedforbestgrowthandproductionoffruit. Commercialproductionofthecropislargelyconfined towarmareassouthofalineextendingbetween CrystalRiveronthewestcoasttoDaytonaBeachon theeastcoast.Majorproductionisconfined (followingnumerousseriousfreezesduringthe 1980's)largelytotheareasouthofalinerunning betweenTampaandTitusville.Thisdoesnotmean thatcitruscannotbegrowninotherareasofthe state,butitdoessuggestthatcarefulconsideration shouldbegiventositeselection,choiceofvarietyand coldprotectioniftreesaretobeplantedoutsideareas wherecitrustreesaregrowncommercially.CITRUSTYPESANDVARIETIESManydifferenttypesofcitrussuchasoranges, grapefruitandlimescanbegrowninFlorida.Within eachtypeofcitrusthereareusuallyseveralvarieties withdistinctivecharacterswhichsetthemapartfrom othervarieties.Suchcultivatedvarietiesareusually givennamesandarereferredtoascultivars(whichis anabbreviationofthewords"cultivatedvariety").For example,withValenciaorange,wehaveasweet orangecitrustypeandthecultivarisValencia. NumerousotherexampleswillbefoundinTable1. Clearly,therearemanytypesandcultivars availableforthedooryardgrowerfromthelist presented.Additionally,therearemanyothersinthe industry,butonlythemorepopularoneshavebeen presentedinthetable. Citrustreesshouldbepurchasedfromareputable sourceasabuddedtreeonanappropriaterootstock. Therewillprobablynotbeachoiceofrootstocks availabletothedooryardgrowerpurchasingavery smallnumberoftrees.However,thisislittlecause forconcernsincemostdooryardtreeswillreceive caresubstantiallydifferentfromthosewhichare placedincommercialplantings.Again,oneshould purchasefromareputablesourcethathasmadean appropriaterootstockselectionforyourcultivarand geographiclocationandwhowillstandbehindtheir productsifthereareproblems. Selectingacultivarislargelyamatterofpersonal choice.Mostpeoplegrowwhattheyprefertoeat. Therearemanyfactorswhichneedtobeconsidered beforethefinalchoiceismade.Perhapsthemost importantissensitivitytocold.Siteswhichare historicallycoldduringwintershouldnotbeplanted withtendercitrustypesandonlythemosthardy shouldbechosen.Likewise,late-maturingcultivars 1.ThisdocumentisFactSheetHS-85,aseriesoftheHorticulturalSciencesDepartment,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFood andAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.Publicationdate:February1991.Revised:February1994.Revised:September1995. 2.LarryK.Jackson,EmeritusProfessor,HorticulturalScienceDepartment,CREC-LakeAlfred,CooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFood andAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida,GainesvilleFL32611. TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/ChristineTaylorStephens,Dean

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GrowingCitrusintheDooryard Page2Table1. DooryardCitrusTypesandPopularCultivars. Types/Cultivars SeasonofMaturity Seeds/Fruit RelativeFruitSize SWEETORANGE Navel3 Oct.-Jan. Veryfew Large Hamlin Oct.-Jan. Few Small-Medium ParsonBrown Oct.-Jan. Many Small-Medium Ambersweet Nov.-Dec. Varies Large Pineapple Dec.-Feb. Many Medium Valencia March-June Few Medium GRAPEFRUIT Duncan Nov.-March VeryMany Large Marsh Nov.-March Few Large Redblush Nov.-March Few Large Thompson Nov.-March Few Large Flame Nov.-March Few Large SPECIALTY Satsumamandarin Sept.-Oct. Few Medium Robinsontangerine4 Oct.-Dec. Varies Varies FallgloTangerine4Nov.-Jan. Varies Large Orlandotangelo4 Nov.-Jan. Varies Varies Minneolatangelo4Dec.-Jan. Few Large Templeorangehybrid Jan.-March Many Medium Dancytangerine Dec.-Jan. Many Small Murcotthoneytangerine Jan.-March Many Medium Sunbursttangerine4Nov.-Jan. Varies Varies Kumquat Nov.-Dec. Few Small ACID5 Calamondin Sept.-Dec. Many Small Tahitilime July-Sept. None Medium Keylime July-Sept. Many Small Lemon3Aug.-Nov. Few Large Limequat Oct.-Dec. Few Small

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GrowingCitrusintheDooryard Page3Table1. DooryardCitrusTypesandPopularCultivars. Types/Cultivars SeasonofMaturity Seeds/Fruit RelativeFruitSize 3Severalcultivarsareavailable.4Thesearecitrushybridswhichwilldobestinmixedplantingwithothercultivarsforcross-pollination whichshouldincreasebothfruityieldandsize.5Theacidcitrustypeswilloftenhavefruitmaturingyear-round.Datesgivenareforthemainharvest seasononly. shouldnotbeplantedonsuchsitessincethefruit wouldbefrozenbeforematuringinmanywinters. Somecultivarsaresusceptibletocertaininsectsand diseasesandfrequentsprayingmaybenecessary. Somecultivarsareoftenshybearerswhileothers requirenearbypollinatortreesofanothercultivarto ensuregoodyields.Timeinvestedresearchingthe meritsandproblemsofthedesiredcultivarshould payoffhandsomelyoverthemanyyearsofthe expectedlifeofthecitrustree.Additional informationisavailablefromlocalnurserymenand fromIFASExtensionofficesinyourhomecounty. Theycanalsoassistyouwithinformationonsite selectionandsoilpreparation.SOILSCitrussoilsaregenerallyof3types:(1)thedeep, well-drainedsands,(2)thepoorly-drainedflatwoods, and(3)thealkalinemarlorlimestonesoils.Citrus treescanbegrownonall3soilsifproperpreparation andaftercareisprovided. Thewell-drainedsandsneedlittleorno preparationotherthanremovalofweedsandgrass fromtheplantingsitepriortoplanting.Thepoorlydrainedflatwoodssoilswillneedtohavedrainage providedorthetreesshouldbeplantedonlarge moundsapproximately12feetindiameterandat least18-24incheshigh. Thecalcareousorlimestonesoilsmayalsoneed specialpreparation.Inthelimestonesoils,ahole shouldbepreparedaslargeasisconveniently possibleandfilledwithsoilpriortoplanting.This willallowamaximumareaforrootdevelopment.SPACINGANDPLANTINGSpacingwillvarywithcultivaranddesiredtree density.Amongthevariouscitrustypes,grapefruit treesareusuallylargerthanorangetreeswhichare largerthanmostspecialtytypes.Ifseveraltreesare tobeplanted,theyshouldbesetatleast20-25feet apartunlessavigorouspruningprogramis maintainedtokeepthetreesfromcrowdingeach other.Besuretoconsiderproximitytobuildingsor otherplantsascitrusisrathervigorousandwillgrow quiterapidlywhenwellcaredfor.Fullsunareasare mostdesirablebutseptictanksanddrainfieldsshould beavoidedduetopossiblecloggingofdrainsbythe rootsaswellasdamagetothetreefromdetergents andotherchemicals. Mostdooryardcitrustreesarepurchasedin containersandcanbeplantedanytimeoftheyear, althoughthepreferredtimeislatewinterorearly spring.Allgrassandweedsshouldberemovedfrom anarea4-6feetindiameterwherethetreeistobe planted.Theimmediateareawherethetreeistobe plantedshouldbethoroughlyspadedtoadepthof23feet.Removethetreefromthecontainerandif pot-bound,makeseveralverticalcutsintheballof therootstostimulateformationofnewroots.Setthe plantinthegroundslightly(1/2-1inch)higherthanit grewinthecontainer.Re-filltheholearoundthe plantabout1/3to1/2full,thenwaterandtampthe soilthoroughlytoremoveairpockets.Allowthe watertosettle,fillthehole2/3fullofsoil,re-water andtampagain.Finishfillingtheholeandpackthe soilfirmlyaroundthetree.Formawaterbasin aroundthetreeatleast3-4incheshighand30inches indiameter.Water3timesaweekfor2weeks,then taperoffgraduallytoonceaweekduringperiodsof littleornorainfall.Thebasinshouldstayinplace untilthetreeiswellestablished. Theyoungcitrustreewillneedspecialattention ifitistothriveandproducelargecropsoffruit.One ofthemostcriticalitemstowatchisthewatersupply. Citrustrees(especiallyyoungtrees)shouldreceivea generoussupplyofwaterevery7-10daysduring periodsoflittleornorainfall.Theareaunderthe treecanopyshouldbekeptweed-freetoreduce competitionforwaterandnutrients.Ayoungtree shouldnotbeallowedtowiltfromlackofwaterbut

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GrowingCitrusintheDooryard Page4conversely,toomuchwatercandamagethetree. Thisisespeciallytrueonpoorly-drainedsoils.FERTILIZATIONTheregularapplicationofappropriatefertilizer materialsisessentialtopropergrowthand developmentoftheyoungtreeandthesubsequent developmentoflargecropsofgoodqualityfruitin thematuretree.Whilefertilizationisimportant,itis notacomplicatedprocedureifrecommendationsare followed.Exceedingrecommendationsmaybejustas harmful(orevenmoreso)asnotapplyingenough. Over-fertilizationwillusuallyproducerampantgrowth attheexpenseoffruitproductionandseriousoverfertilizationcaninjureorkillthetrees. Twofertilizationschedulesaresuggested--one foryoung,non-bearingtrees(seeTable2)where growthismaximizedandfruityieldiscompromised somewhat;and,amaturetreeschedulewheretree growthisminimizedandfruityieldandqualityare maximized.Suggestedapplicationsshouldbemade betweenthemonthsofFebruary-October. Fertilizationofthetreesaftertheybeginto matureandproduceregularandsubstantialcropsof fruitisaratherinexactscienceinthedooryard situation.Thisisbecausetherearemanyvariables whichcanaffectfertilizerusesuchasgrassgrowing aroundthetree,proximitytobuildings,distancefrom othertreesorornamentals,heavyirrigationusefrom sprinklersystems,andthelike.However,asageneral ruleofthumb,bearingtreesshouldbefertilized3 timesperyearwiththesame8-8-8(orsimilar) fertilizerrecommendedforyoungtrees.Theamount appliedineachapplicationcanbegraduallyincreased aboutonepoundperyearuptoamaximumof8 pounds.Thiswouldmeanthatafully-growntree wouldbereceivingapproximately24poundsof fertilizerin3separate8poundapplications.Tree conditionshouldbeusedasaguidetoratesof appliedmaterialwithnoticeablydeficienttrees receivingmorematerialandluxuriant,vegetativetrees receivingless.Therecommended3applicationsper yearcanbemadeinJanuary-February,May-June andOctober-Novemberalthoughtimingisnot especiallycritical. Anutritionalspraymayberequiredwhenminor elementdeficiencysymptomsdevelop.(These problemsarelikelytodevelopmorequicklyon alkalinesoils.)Therearemanypre-packaged nutritionalspraymixesthataresatisfactory.These shouldcontainzinc,manganese,boronandcopper. Yourlocalgardensupplydealershouldbeableto recommendwhichmaterialisbest.Somedooryard growersprefertoroutinelyapplyanutritionalspray onanannualbasis.Thisisagoodpracticeon alkalinesoilsandwillnotharmtreesgrowninacid sandysoils.However,theinstructionsonthelabelof thematerialshouldbefollowedcarefully.Iron deficienciesmayoccurinsomelocationsandshould becorrectedifpresentbyusingsoil-appliediron chelates. ThepH(acidityoralkalinity)ofthesoilshould bemaintainedbetween5.5and6.5.Anapplicationof limestoneordolomiteshouldbeusedtobringupthe pHifitistoolow(acid).SoilsabovepH7.0should notbetreatedtobringpHdown.Thelocalextension agentorgardensupplydealercanbeofservicein helpingtodetermineifapHcorrectionisneeded.OTHERCULTURALPRACTICESCompleteweedcontrolisnotessentialbutweeds andsodgrassshouldberemovedfromtheareaunder thetreecanopy.Aboveall,makesureallweedsare removedfromtheareaadjacenttothetrunkofthe treesincethiscouldpromoteinjuryduetoasoilbornefungusknownasfootrotwhichcanseriously debilitateorevenkillthetree.Mulchesaregenerally notrecommendedaroundcitrustreesbutcouldbe usedifkeptatleastafootawayfromtreetrunks. Pruningshouldnotbenecessaryexcepttoshape thetreesorremovewatersproutsorsuckers.Be certaintomakepruningcutsflushwiththetrunkor surfacetobecut.Donotleavestubsastheymaybe attackedbyrottingorganismswhichcoulddamagethe tree. Fruitsplittingandfruitdropmaybeaproblem forsomegrowers.Thisisaphysiologicalproblemof unknownorigin.Theproblemisoftenaccentuated justafteraperiodofmoisturestressfollowedbya heavyrain.Splittinganddropwillusuallynotbea seriousproblemifthetreesarewellcaredforand furnishedwithadequatenutritionandirrigation.INSECTANDDISEASECONTROLOrganicfarmerswillbepleasedtolearnthat citrusfruitcanbesuccessfullygrowninmostFlorida dooryardswithoutanyinsectordiseasecontrolsprays. Fruitproducedinthismanner,however,willrarelybe

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GrowingCitrusintheDooryard Page5oftopexternalquality.Thereareseveralinsects, mitesandfungusdiseaseswhichmayattackthefruitTable2. SuggestedFertilization6RatesforCitrusTreesuptoFiveYearsofAge. Yearssinceplanting Numberof applications/year7 Pounds/tree/application8 First 5-6 0.5-1.0 Second 4-5 1.0-1.5 Third 3-4 1.5-2.5 Fourth 3-4 2.5-3.0 Fifth 3-4 3.0-4.0 6Recommendedfertilizeranalysisis8-8-8-1.6-0.4-0.2-0.025orequivalent(N-P2O5-K2O-MgO-MnOCuO-H3BO3).7Lowernumberofapplicationsshouldbeusedfortreesplantedincolderlocationsorinmore northerlylatitudes.8Lowernumberreferstofirstapplicationoftheyearwithratesgraduallyincreaseduntilthelast applicationisusingtheratesuggestedbythelastnumberintherange. andrenderitsomewhatunsightly.Externalfruit blemisheswillusuallyhavelittleeffectoninternal fruitquality.Theappearanceofthetreeitself maysuffersomewhatalsoifnospraysareappliedbut rarelywilltreesbeseriouslydamagedbymostcitrus pests.Naturalbiologicalcontrolwillassistinkeeping mostpeststoalowlevel.Largepestssuchas caterpillarsandgrasshoppersshouldberemovedby handassoonastheyarenoticed,especiallyonyoung trees. Formulatingasprayprogramcanbeextremely complicated.Notonlyisthereavarietyofpests (insects,mites&fungi)tobecontrolled,thereare manydifferenttypesofchemicalstobeusedandboth timing&applicationofspraysiscritical.Other factorstobeconsideredwouldincludetheuseof severalchemicalsinonespraytocontroldifferent pests,thecompatibilityofthesechemicalsand adverseeffectsonbeneficialinsectscausedbytheuse ofcertainchemicals.Tofurthercomplicatethe problem,therearemanydifferentformulationsofthe severalchemicalsavailableanddosagesmayvarywith formulationandseasonoftheyear. Forthepreviouslycitedreasonsandduetothe factthatgovernmentregulationsregardinguseof agriculturalchemicalsareconstantlychanging,your localcountyExtensionagentorgardensupplycenter shouldbeconsultedbeforeattemptinganyinsector diseasecontrolprogramondooryardcitrustrees. Theywillbeabletoassistwithrecommendationsfor controllingpestsorinformulatingatotalspray programforyourdooryardcitrusifitisnecessary.