About Me

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South Carolina, United States
Vetsy is my nickname that my family have fondly called me since my childhood. My blog reflects my personal views about the world around me. My topics may be anything that interest me but the majority of it is about my favorite past times...nature and gardening. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment or becoming a follower.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Early Spring Care for Citrus Trees

I have always wanted my own citrus tree/s, and as a child tried to grow them every summer from seeds after  my mother was done making lemonade. Unfortunately I didn't live in a climate that would be conducive to their growth or maturity, and today I still don't.... but I'm working on that, and one day darn it!..I'm going to have me a couple of lemon trees. 

I love a good old fashion glass of lemonade; and just a touch of it in my tea. I found that using the juice of lemons tenderizes meat such as chicken, and pork and helps cut down on salt used to season your meat... I could go own, but I think you get the picture. 

Below is an article brought to you by Fiskars, which features master gardener and blogger Fern Richardson; I love her informative blogs and invite you to check them out when time permits.  http://lifeonthebalcony.com...

"Oh and by the way, I'm a big fan of Fiskar's garden tools, http://www2.fiskars.com , so Fiskars.... if you happen to stop by this post, I'd like a couple of pruners for my birthday May 3rd. This is an early thank you. 

Early Spring is a great time to plant lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus trees in southern climates. Wait until all danger of frost has past. This will give your tree all spring and summer to get established before cool autumn and winter temperatures stop it's growth. Be sure to pick a site with fast draining soil, or amend to spot to improve drainage. If you're growing your citrus tree in a container, pick a pot that is at least 18 inches tall and wide. If the tree came from the nursery with fruit on it, remove them before planting to allow the tree to put all of its energy into settling in to its new digs.

This is also the time of year to start fertilizing your tree again. Select a fertilizer meant for citrus trees. If your tree is growing in the ground, imagine a circular line that is one foot wider than the longest branch on your tree. Sprinkle the citrus fertilizer evenly from the base of the trunk out to your imaginary line. Do not work in in to the soil, as citrus roots are close to the surface and easily damaged, simply scratch it in lightly with a rake. If your tree is growing in a pot, sprinkle the fertilizer over the entire soil surface.

As soon as a new flush of growth begins to show on your tree, you'll know if any of the branches were damaged over the winter. No leaves means the branch is dead. Prune off dead branches with an anvil pruner or lopper, as needed. Also, be sure to remove an suckers that start growing below the graft union or are popping up from the roots. Some citrus are not grafted (limes are usually not, for example), in which case, suckers need only be removed if they are aesthetically undesirable. Remember, though, that the lowest branches are the most productive.

Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when snails come out of hiding. They enjoy overwintering in clusters at the point where main branches connect to the trunk. You can pick them off by hand, place them in a plastic bag, and throw them out. Be sure to tie the plastic bag tightly before throwing it in the trash. You can imagine what will happen if you don't tie the bag of snails! Placing a copper cuff around the trunk of the tree will prevent future snail problems.

Photo credits and article by Fiskars:


  1. very helpful tips! i hope you have good luck with your lemon trees when you get them. i don't live in the right zone for those either but i ordered some this year anyway--dwarf meyer lemon, dwarf lime and orange. i'm going to grow them in containers and overwinter them inside. crossing my fingers.

  2. A lemon tree... what a cool concept :) I'm all about using lemons in my cooking. Tastes soo good!!


  3. Copper to rid snail... good idea Vetsy! Thanks for tips on the planting care for lemon also. I hope you will have lots of lemons :-D

  4. Thanks Emily and Steph. Hi! Senorita nice to meet you and thank you all for stopping by.

  5. My brother is lucky enough to live in CA and pick his own oranges and lemons! But he also has horrendous traffic on the high-way to deal with. :)
    Thanks for the tips! ( Maybe someday I will grow a citrus inside!)

  6. "Oh no! horrendous traffic... It's time for him to grow a couple in his backyard or on a patio, or balcony if he doesn't have a garden. "oh well every place has a plus and minus.

  7. Hi Vetsy girl : )
    Sorry it is taking me so long to get here!! wink wink
    I have been moaning and groaning about winter staying forever here and within the last two days Spring just rolled over us all here and the house was actually too warm ! can you believe that !!
    I love lemons too and there are so many ways to use them .. from drinks to cooking to beauty secrets .. and I also wanted to grow one too but being in the land of the Great White North .. that ain't going to happen out in my garden .. so I try to have lemons on hand in the fridge for any time I HAVE to have a squeeze : )
    these are great tips and I love Fiskar products too (so if they help you out for advertising .. tell them I will do the same thing too ? LOL)
    Hope you are having the same great weather we are right now .. it is wonderful : )

  8. Thank you Joy, so far the weather has been in the high 50's... I'll take that.

  9. Having lived in Florida as a child and still having relatives there I am spoiled by walking out the door and picking oranges or grapefruit off the tree. However, no lemons.
    I was visiting a friend last week (haven't seen her in a long time), and guess what she had in a fairly large pot in her sun room - uh huh, a lemon tree. It stands only about a foot and a half, and she said it did produce a few lemons. Now it has tiny buds on it which I am guessing will be flowers, then fruit. When it gets warmer she plans to put the pot in a sunny spot in the yard.

  10. Thanks Maya for stopping by and dropping that tip. Perhaps my next home will have a sun-room and I can do the same.

  11. Who doesn't love lemons. Just got to have them around all the time. It would be amazing to have a lemon tree, but not in the northern climes.

  12. Thank you Heather and Lindalou

  13. So... you've been interested in growing things all your life! Me, too.

  14. That's what I love about blogging around here. I love the things Barbee that we all have in common.

  15. Vetsy....I've been away too long and have missed you. It's been difficult to fit blogging into my life lately.

    I don't know a darn thing about citrus trees, but I do often see people blogging about their Meyer Lemon Trees. Not even sure if that's the kind of lemon you can eat, but they sure are pretty.

    We've been having almost nonstop rain this spring so I can only imagine the slugs/snails we'll have to deal with later. Ugggh!

    Happy weekend to you, my friend. donna