Welcome a new guest blogger. Emilio “Elmo” Telles, the Garden Guru. He has a vast knowledge of gardening and a passion for growing things like plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs. Elmo works at the Armstrong Garden Center in Glendale, where he frequently teaches free classes. I’ve covered some of Elmo’s great gardening classes on this blog.
Last Saturday, July 9, Elmo conducted a class on “Citrus and Tropical Fruits.” In his first guest post, Elmo shares some of the advice he gives about caring for citrus trees.
Summer citrus care and maintenance
I’ve been in the garden retail business for over 20 years. I take my Golden Retriever out for a walk everyday and get questions asked by my neighbors about gardening. Lately, I’ve been quizzed about why their citrus trees are having certain problems. I’m a nice guy and willing to answer questions while my doggy (Danica) waits patiently.
The #1 problem
Lawn sprinkler watering — which doesn’t get water down to established tree roots. When you have established (older) citrus in lawns that get everyday watering — that really does nothing for the roots of an older tree.
The #2 problem
Is over watering, especially with citrus in pots. If the top of the soil is moist then you know you are watering deep enough– so don’t increase the watering.
Deep and infrequent watering is the key to solving both problems. I once had to tell my wife, Yvonne, to not water the Meyer lemon in a big pot like she does the regular bedding plants (petunias, pansies, impatiens etc.) that we have in containers.
Feeding your citrus trees
Fertilizing citrus is something for you to decide. For instance, organic type of fertilizers are great to use about every six weeks. Organics take a while to break down and get to the root of the problem (no pun intended!).
Chemical type of fertilizers (Miracle Gro and other granular citrus foods) act faster and can be applied once a month because they get “leached” down to the soil more readily.
By the way, all citrus needs at least five hours of sun a day to be the most productive. Feel free to post any specific gardening questions for me here at Media City Groove.
Also, Emilio “Elmo” Telles is a garden expert at Armstrong Garden Center 5816 San Fernando Road, Glendale 91202.