My citrus need help

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Flatland, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My poor citrus trees are struggling. Planted last winter got eaten by scale then by snails then bashed by winds some of them are surprisingly good but a couple particularly my orange are very sad. My orange has only 2 leaves. The sick ones are trying to put out new buds. I am wondering what is the best thing to do to help. I have seasol & my home made horse manure tea. Any suggestions which would be best to use & how often. Very sandy soil so I am watering once a week. Any other suggestions to help my my little citrus they look so sad.
     
  2. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I moved mine into pits and they are doing well after being in poor soil. I water then every second day in our climate. I used a good citrus fertilizer, give trace minerals as per listed on the bottle. Check the pH of your soil as well.
     
  3. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The soil ph is neutral. I didn't realize they may need watering that often. I will do a finger check every day and maybe up my watering. I am so used to not watering often because my last place was heavy clay. I'm still getting my head around sand.
     
  4. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Citrus like soil pH that is slightly acid 5.5 -7.0, keep below 7.

    Check out these links from another post I posted.

    On Australia Garden show on the ABC they feature every now and then a man called Ian Tolley, nickname "Mr Citrus". His experience in citrus goes way back before I was born. He seems well qualified to talk about how to plant and look after citrus. He talks about totally growing citrus in large pots, and gives a diagram on how to build the same pots he uses. I've used his method to transplant my citrus from the ground into pots and some new citrus trees I bought. They are currently in the biggest plastic pots I could buy from Bunnings, 85L until we build the Macropots, Ian talks about.

    First link is talking about citrus success and has a video on the episode as shown on the show, I can't figure out how to just embed the video as it's not a you tube one.

    http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4310556.htm

    The second story/link is about potted citrus and how to build his Macropots as he calls them.

    http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4420350.htm
     
  5. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'll check the ph and lower it if necessary. They poor little things look so sad. Anytime they put out a new shoot the B snails eat it off. I am thinking of putting something around the new shoots so the snail can't eat them but not sure what. thinking maybe a paper bag. I know that will keep out the light but that might be better than being eaten.
     
  6. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Ive had a number of citrus trees fail amongst others such as apple and a mulberry. Probably all because of the shock of being planted in hard clay ground and not getting consistent watering. The water helps, so does fertilising if your soil is not naturally rich in organic material, which mine isn't particularly. If the weather doesn't get to them, pests do, so you have to have your wits about you in this game.
     
  7. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My soil is definitely not the best so they are struggling, and earlier the scale attacked them and now the snails are trying to finish them off. had a look at them this morning and have decided to try and cover the whole tree (very small) with shade cloth in a way that will exclude snails. Worth a try. I've really got nothing to lose at this point. Interestingly the stone fruit trees next to the citrus are powering along. I guess citrus leaves just taste better
     
  8. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    In other threads here about citrus you will find a heap of valuable info.
    Citrus need lots of nitrogen particularly when getting established.
    So take a walk each evening & pee on them!
    They also like iron.
    But you really do have to deal with those snails for sure.
    You can buy copper bands to wrap around trunks that will stop snails climbing up.
    But sounds like the plants need a heap of TLC also, like much more fertilizer & water & a wind barrier such as shade cloth pegged around the plant.
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yes stone fruits are surprisingly hardy and I think because they shed leaves and go dormant it helps the trees cope with pest outbreaks better than citrus.

    Are you watering them heaps? I have also found heavily mulching around young trees helps dramatically. As Clissa mentioned above give the trees fertiliser and trace elements because although citrus can be pretty hardy they are particular about getting micro-nutrients and minerals.
     
  10. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm keeping the soil around them moist all the time feeding them a liquid fertilizer & seaweed extract once a week. I've also put up netting to keep the snails off of them. I hope it is not too late for them. I feel a bit like I am giving them the last rites. The funny thing is I planted 6 citrus. Treated them all the same. 2 are really healthy 1 is alright & 3 are in ICU. The 2 that are healthy are at opposite ends of the row. Go figure.
     
  11. violet

    violet Member Premium Member

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    Your trees look sick because they might be deficient in nitrogen.If you feel this is right then you could just spray it with a liquid spray that contains nitrogen.Most trees lose their health because they maybe lacking some vital nutrients required for their growth.You could get a lot of fertilizers in store perhaps using them might help.
     
  12. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've started them on liquid fertilizer which I am sure they need and will help them be strong enough to stand up to snail/scale attack but at the moment I think the protection form snails is the most important thing. And it seems to be working ,this morning's inspection showed a couple of new shoots that have not been eaten over night. YEH! All excited by 2 shoots. Is that sad or is that sad.
     
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  13. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm watching my poor tiny shoots like a hawk so far the snails haven't got to them. This morning the netting over one of the trees was covered in snails, but they couldn't get at the new shoots. So more water and fertilizer today and stamp on more snails. neighbour has told me that the snails are particularly bad this year
     
  14. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Continuing to care for my poor babies. I could not net my orange tree so every evening I go out and tie a chaff bag over it. It is responding by putting out lots of new shoots. Happiness is an orange tree shoot.
     
  15. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Flatland if your orange tree doesn't have any other foliage touching it you can put a wide copper band or tape around the trunk which will stop snails & slugs climbing higher into the tree.

    It's a recognised snail deterrent. This will also work on any tree that snails like to live in or predate upon.

    You should be able to find copper tape or very thin copper sheet at Bunnings or for sure on ebay. Some of the narrow tape is just not wide enough. Also be sure to keep it very clean with vinegar so the charge gets through as the tarnish forms a barrier to the charge.

    http://www.weekendgardener.net/how-to/snails-slugs.htm
    In the above link read deterrents 3, 4, 5 & 9 in particular.

    http://www.gardenersworld.com/blogs...olling-slugs-and-snails-with-copper/2820.html

    Here is an excellent video about using stainless steel welding wire to make a 9v slug barrier. Be sure to read what the guy wrote about this test.
     
  16. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Have you actually used the copper tape? I've seen several u tube clips showing snails going over copper without trouble so I haven't tried it. I tried the sand paper. That didn't slow them down and they aren't interested in beer traps. I could try the copper on other things that the snail climb up but a I think I will stay with the total exclusion for the citrus trees as they are so denuded I can't risk even one leave being eaten,
     
  17. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Liked the 9 volt slug barrier but would only be of use in certain situations. Loved the Pavlov slug
     
  18. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The thing about the copper is you have to keep it completely clean.
    That means no tarnish.
    Depending on the quality, it will tarnish sooner or later.
    The natural mild electrical charge wont go through the tarnish to affect the snail/slug.
    Giving it a wipe over with vinegar is enough to remove the tarnish.

    Actually you have to keep all those metal barriers clean & untarnished for them to work efficiently.
     
  19. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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  20. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The snails aren't the normal brown garden snail they are a small white snail. They are not Australian natives. The type you see on top of farm fence posts. Where they come from? Who knows they are an agricultural pest. They are in massive numbers like a mouse plague. When it starts to get dry that is when they go up posts or on my place the house walls. Not a good look. They don't do as much damage as a garden snail individually but because there are thousands of them they can do a lot of damage We have lots of birds here but most of them are seed & fruit eating types parrots etc. We have got some crows that have a peck at the snails but aren't that interested. We also have a lot of birds of prey that are beautiful to watch but they definitely are not interested in snails. I think the problem is the snail numbers are way out of kilter & probably have been for 50 + years so how do you deal with the problem.
    It is interesting that the two trees that didn't get scale last year are not being attacked by the snails. They have lots of new leaves coming on & growing beautifully it is only the trees that got attacked by the scale & lost most of their leaves that are being eatten. So I wonder is there something wrong with the trees that they got attacked by scale & has that made their new leaves more tasty. Anyway my netting is keeping the snails off of the new leaves & I am feeding & watering them & hopefully they will recover this summer so come next winter they will be able to cope. This summer I will watch for scale like a hawk.
     
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