Irrigation and Fertilization Advice for Georgia Citrus

Daniel CooperGeorgia, Irrigation, Nutrition


Jake Price, University of Georgia (UGA) county Extension coordinator, recently wrote the following article about irrigation and fertility for Georgia citrus:

I don’t think it has rained since my last blog! Make sure to check your irrigation to make sure it’s working properly. In the research plot, it is very common for the microjets to be stopped up or not spraying properly. When it is raining frequently, this may not be an issue. But with this drought, the trees can stress and drop fruit.

I commonly have small pieces of algae in the tip of the microjet. Sometimes when it is dry, I will find an ant clogging them up. Snails looking for moisture will clog them, too. I normally use a toothpick or a thorn from a rootstock sprout to dig out the blockage. 

I do not think I have been to a site where there is not a bumper crop of citrus this year. With such a heavy fruit load, I have noticed many trees with yellowing leaves. Be sure to give the trees the fertility they need so they will not be stressed out later in the year heading into winter. 

Up until May, we had plenty of rain. It is possible a good percentage of the nutrients from spring applications leached out. If the trees are full of fruit, and the foliage is yellowing, do not hesitate to add more fertilizer in July. I like to see nitrogen applications wrapped up by late July. 

Nitrogen (N) recommendations for citrus vary, but 3- to 6-year-old trees generally require .45 to .75 pounds of N per tree. Trees 9 years and up may require as much as 1.5 pounds of N per tree per year. To give you an idea of how much 10-10-10 this would be, 4.5 pounds of 10-10-10 will provide .45 pounds of N and 15 pounds of 10-10-10 would provide 1.5 pounds of N. This should be divided into three applications.

Source: Georgia Citrus Association

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