Citrus fruits have always enticed people with their subtle fragrance and are known for their exotic flavors. Most of the citrus trees can be found at the backyard of many households. They are typically evergreen trees that lend an ethereal beauty to the overall façade of the house. In general, citrus trees can grow to a height of about 25 feet and are from the rutaceae family. Most of the citrus fruits have distinct flavors and taste different from one another. They also vary in shapes and come in different sizes such as oval, oblong and so on.
Different types of citrus fruits based on the weather conditions
A lot of citrus fruits like grapes, lime and mandarins are found to grow best in the warmer climate regions. The quality of the fruit would vary, even with the slightest change in temperature. The Gulf coast is best known for its tender juicy mandarins, as it has temperate weather throughout the year. The following salient features are noted based on the weather conditions.
- Care should be taken to keep the temperature constant at 20 degree Fahrenheit.
- The taste and color of the citrus fruits would depend on temperature of the region.
- You can taste sweet grapes during the hot and dry season, while in the winter; they may taste sour and would be blood red in color.
- Seasonal changes have a direct impact on the produce of the citrus trees.
Benefits of growing citrus trees
In several countries, lemon trees would be seen to bloom all round the year, whereas other citrus fruit trees would ripen during the break of spring. A regular sized citrus tree would provide fruits for a maximum period of 4 - 5 months. Many people have a large yard of different varieties of citrus trees that would produce fruits all through the season. Growing citrus trees in the present age is seen as a big time investment for land value and provides other benefits as well. There is a strong growth of market for citrus fruits in comparison to other fruit types and varieties. Moreover, they are highly rich in vitamin content and have been seen as a natural herb for curing many ailments.
There are several factors to be considered before buying a sapling from a nursery. It would be better to get a fully grown sapling as it would be easier to spot blemishes and other defects. Make sure to select a sapling that has wide spread of branches with shiny leaves.
Nature of the soil and the different kinds of fertilizers
The soil conditions also play a pivotal role in nourishing the citrus tree. They generally grow best on acidic soil and have to be layered with the necessary fertilizers for a better produce. It would be best to get the soil checked at the lab for appropriate results. You can add barks of pine tree along with manure to increase the acidic condition of the soil. There are a lot of fertilizers that is available in the market for increasing the produce of citrus trees. It is by giving the right amount of water and fertilizers that would keep the tree healthy and free from insects and other pests. The following points have to be considered while handling fertilizers and are as follows:
- There are a lot of fertilizers that can be bought from well reputed wholesale dealers at an affordable price.
- They would have to be mixed in the right proportion and layered around the base.
- Besides fertilizers, there are disinfectant sprays that would keep away insects and fungal formations.
- It is only by observation and patience; the citrus tree would provide better results.
Ideal location and other factors for planting citrus trees
It is important to find an ideal spot for planting citrus trees. They need to be sheltered from the harsh rays of the sun and stormy winds. People generally plant trees in the northern or southern region as that would expose them to the needed warmth and shade. It is best to plant them beside a fence as it would lend support as well as shelter.
Spring is considered to be the best time for planting them, as it would give the needed time for the growth of the sapling. The place should not be allowed to retain water and should have a good drainage system as well. A pit of about 2- 4 feet should be dug to hold the manure that would firmly support the sapling. It is best to leave 2 or 3 inches above the ground for the manure to be evenly spread out. There are graft unions that are usually done for producing hybrid varieties. Care should be taken to graft the branches in such a way, that there is no way for a fungal attack. Apply enough mulch around the base to keep the water out and this would also help in keeping the insects at bay. Most of the citrus fruits trees have to be pruned regularly to prevent the branches from colliding with each other.
Maintenance and care for citrus trees
Besides planting citrus trees, it is very important to take care and maintain them at regular intervals. You need to water them regularly as the trees need to be hydrated in the initial stages. It would take time for the roots to develop and they would spread around gradually beneath the ground. For any tree to mature, it would take a span of more than 3-5 years. The citrus tree needs to develop strong roots and healthy leaves for producing quality fruits.
- At the onset, there would be tiny buds that would start to blossom during the early winter. The buds will undergo a transformation during the break of spring and give away a subtle fragrance.
- The buds later develops into a fully grown fruit and would take weeks to reach a ripened stage.
- It is very important to maintain a constant temperature and to provide the needed moisture for a better produce.
- It is essential to provide enough water, shade, and minerals for the citrus tree to attain a mature stage.
- Proper pruning has to be done for the branches to spread out and grow in an orderly fashion.
Better produce and quality of fruits
The citrus fruits would generally take weeks to ripen and should be allowed to take their own course of time. This would produce a better quality and also increase the sweet and sour flavor of the fruit. Sweet limes are best known for cocktails and they leave behind a tangy flavor of sourness. Healthy juices can be made with the help of a juicer and are seen as instant refreshments on a sunny day. A lot of online forums are found on the net that shares opinions on a common platform for the upbringing of citrus trees. You can find a lot of gardening tips for pruning the tree to the desired shape.
Citrus fruits are liked by people, young and old. They are known for their intoxicating essence that would refresh stressed out minds and relax the soul and body. They are high on health quotient and have a lot of benefits if consumed on a regular basis. The leaves and buds are used for producing herbal medicines and are known to cure a lot of ailments. Some of them have natural medicinal properties besides providing fruits all through the season. They would take time to grow and reach a stage, where the growth would start to diminish. This can be corrected by cutting away the unwanted branches and grafting them to a new branch.
Nurseries and other ways to produce better yields
A lot of nurseries have started to follow the grafting union for producing new hybrids of citrus trees. There are a lot of developments that have taken place for improving the quality of the citrus fruits. Most of the fertilizers have additives that give away better yields with less effort. It is important to conduct a proper research on the various methods of planting and grafting, so as to improve the standards of cultivation.
Global presence of the growth at the current market level
Most of the countries that are into the export and import of citrus fruits have reaped huge benefits with an annual gross of more than 12 million dollars per year. This has set the standard for the business sector to raise the bars for industries dealing with citrus fruits. There are canned fruits, fresh juices, herbal medicines and others that have created a niche for themselves in the global arena. There is a huge growth stake for the export of citrus fruits, thus increasing the economy level for developing countries.