Celebrating Citrus

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Topic: Celebrating Citrus
Theme:
Landscaping and decorating with citrus
Industry Expert:
Dane Montana
Garden Centre:
Montana Nurseries - https://www.montananurseries.co.za/

 

If you are looking to begin a citrus growing journey, come and learn some trade secrets, exclusively shared by our industry expert, Dane from Montana Nurseries. Incorporating these vibrant and versatile fruit trees as part of your landscaping design is easier than you may think. Check out Dane’s recommendations for which trees to grow in your province and get the best head start on your juicy journey.

1. What made you first fall in love with citrus growing? Why are citrus trees so special?

My dad, Alan Ross, started Montana Nurseries and began growing and farming citrus trees in our nursery. I have grown up with citrus and have always loved the variety of lemons, oranges, naartjies, and limes. Citrus trees are very rewarding and there’s always something happening, whether it be a new flush of sweet flowers or delicious fruit.

 

2. What are some of the reasons why gardeners should be growing citrus at home? Are there any benefits/advantages?

The main benefit is their juicy produce that’s loaded with vitamins. Citrus can be eaten as is or used in cooking or oils. The leaves of some varieties, such as the Thai lime, are used to create many fragrant and zesty dishes. The flowers are wonderfully scented too.

citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking
citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking

3. Besides utilising citrus trees for their produce, how could gardeners incorporate trees as part of their backyard landscaping design?

Citrus trees make great feature plants, either in the ground or in containers. There is a wide variety of cultivars with different coloured leaves, flowers and fruit. The ornamental types such as calamondins and chinotto are more of a shrub, whereas the commercial types such as lemon eureka and navels grow more like trees. Citrus also make great container plants. Pots should be about twice the size of the container it was bought in.

 

4. What are some of the most common pests and how can gardeners protect and treat their trees?

The three most common citrus pests are thrips, mealybug, and citrus psylla. Regular monitoring of new flush for any type of insect damage will be the best for early detection and treatment. Treat with the correct registered pesticide, available at your local garden centre.

citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking
citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking

5. Are there any general citrus hacks that you could share with a beginner citrus grower?

Do not overwater your plants. Overwatering is the biggest killer of citrus. At the end of winter, hold back water as much as possible. This will cause plants to stress and produce more flowers, resulting in more fruit.

citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking
citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking

6. Are there any citrus trees that grow particularly well in certain regions compared to others?

Northern Cape: Grapefruits

Eastern Cape: Lemons, oranges, and naartjies

Western Cape: Naartjies

Mpumalanga: Oranges, lemons, and naartjies

North West: Lemons and naartjies

Gauteng: Lemons and oranges

Limpopo: Lemons, oranges, and naartjies

KwaZulu Natal: Limes, lemons, and oranges

 

citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking
citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking

7. Do you have any advice on what to do with excess produce?

Excess produce can be used in preserves or for oils. In the garden, fruit can be added to the compost heap but it is recommended to cut up the fruit before doing so, to prevent secondary infestations of insects such as fruit flies, fungus, and citrus black spot. Citrus does not harm worms in a worm farm but does not get eaten very quickly. Spoiled or excess fruit should not be used as a mulch and should be chopped up or shredded when added to a compost heap.

 

citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking
citrus, bonsai, life is a garden, citrus bonsai, green, flowers, plants, greenery, July, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartijies, mini citrus, winter, delicious, healthy, juice, cooking

There you have it, citrus gardeners! Enjoy an outing with the family to one of our quality approved GCA Garden Centres where you can find trees, compost, fertilisers, and pest control solutions that have been specially formulated for your new fruitful babies. Remember to grab some compost starter and accelerator to ensure the necessary biology is all set and ready to receive your citrus leftovers.

 

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