- Author: Ed Perry
Citrus trees grow best in loam or sandy loam soil, but you can grow them in most soils that have good drainage. If your soil drains poorly, you might try planting in a raised bed or on a mound. Plant your trees in an area that receives full sun, and allow enough room for the tree's mature size. I don't recommend planting in a lawn area because it's difficult to irrigate both the citrus and the lawn correctly. Also, the grass tends to absorb many of the nutrients needed by the tree.
Dig the planting hole just deep enough to plant the tree at the same level that it was in the nursery. The diameter of the hole should be about 6 inches larger than the root ball. If the hole is too deep, the tree will settle too much after planting. Trees that settle too deep are likely to be killed by crown rot, a fungus disease that frequently develops where the soil covers the bark of the tree.
You can place balled and burlap-wrapped trees in the planting holes without removing the cloth sacking that covers the roots. Plant them a little higher than they were in the nursery, allowing about 3 inches for settling. Try to have the uppermost roots branch out at about ground level after the trees have settled.
Do not put any fertilizer in the hole when planting your tree because it may damage the roots. It's safer to apply fertilizer to the surface of the soil after you've planted. If you use manure, use it lightly because roots may be damaged by salts which manures contain.
Citrus trees do very poorly in dry soil, so be sure to pay close attention to irrigation, especially during the first summer.
Ed Perry is the emeritus Environmental Horticultural Advisor for University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in Stanislaus County where he worked for over 30 years.
- Author: Anne E Schellman
March 20 is the first day of spring for 2021. After this date, there is less of a chance of frost which can damage vegetable plants like tomatoes. Many vegetables prefer warm soil temperatures, and may “sulk” during cool weather.
You don't have to plant early to get the first tomato in your neighborhood. Many vegetables work well planted in April and still have plenty of time to produce.
We hope you will join our Master Gardeners for an evening talking all about how to have a successful vegetable garden.
Where*: On Zoom. You will receive a link the morning of the class.
When: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Register at: http://ucanr.edu/spring/veg/gardening/2021
Instructors: Heidi Aufdermaur & Johnny Mullins
- Author: Terry Pellegrini
Planning your garden now, I feel, will save you headaches and money, come spring. By taking the time to understand how much space you have (or don't have), whether or not you wish to plant directly in ground or containers, or a combination thereof, and what types of plants grow best in your area, you'll only purchase what you need. In addition, you can decide whether or not you wish to devote the time to starting your seeds indoors or in a greenhouse, plant the seeds directly in the garden beds, or if transplants are the way you wish to go.
If you are thinking of planting spring veggies, take under consideration what you and your family will actually eat. If the kids detest string beans, then planting a huge area full of them is probably not a good use of the space, your time, or money. However, if zucchini is something you eat frequently, then two mounds may serve you better than one.
Now is also a good time to get control of any weeds in your proposed planting areas. Removing any weeds now, before the weather gets warmer and they decide to seed, means less work for you come spring and summer. I like to get down, move the soil with a trowel, and pull out any stray roots or seeds that I see. You may even find grubs and larvae of Hoplia beetles that you can remove, saving your precious roses and flowers this spring.
Many of us reuse our favorite pots and containers year after year. As such, these pots will need some TLC and prep as well. All the old soil will need to be removed and the pot cleaned with a solution of one-part bleach to nine parts water. Submerge in solution and soak for at least 10 minutes. This sterilizes them, removing any insects or diseases from the previous plant in the pot.
Planning and prepping your garden now for your spring planting will give you that head start to a successful, satisfying, and fun gardening adventure. So, get out your seed catalogs, notebook, and take a walk in your yard or garden space, and imagine all the possibilities. Happy Gardening!
- Author: Lisa Cherenson
Fields of weeds abound
Challenge faced with sturdy hoe
Sweat, aching back-Spring!
Purple hues, blue sky
Buzzing bees laboring-gentle hum
Lisa Cherenson is a graduate of the 2019 Class of Master Gardeners in Stanislaus County.
- Author: Anne E Schellman
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I wish I had the presentation so I could take notes!
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Sign up by Wednesday, April 15 at 4 p.m.
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