the Zest in Citrus
If your lemons have
lost their zing and your citrus are in crisis, don't despair. The
Bug Man (Ruud Kleinpaste) has the solutions for you.
Citrus time in the garden
and you'd be surprised how many questions we get about citrus problems.
It's unbelievable. Number one what are these lumps on my
fruit and on my leaves? It makes the fruits and the lemons so ugly.
Got an example, right
here. Wonderful little lumps on the fruit and on the leaves. It's
a disease a fungal disease called verrucosis.
The nice thing about
the disease is it's purely cosmetic. It doesn't damage fruit; it's
a skin disease. So, if you want to leave it, be my guest. But if
you want to control it organically, a simple spray with copper or
copper oxychloride over the bush, maybe three or four times a year,
will protect the leaves from being infected.
And what about yellow
leaves? If it's older leaves it's very likely to be a deficiency
of magnesium. The funny thing is, if it's on the older leaves and
not on the newer leaves, they nick the magnesium from the older
leaves because there's only so much to go around. So magnesium is
soluble within the plant.
To control this, chuck
some Epsom salts or magnesium sulphate on the ground, water it well
in, and you give the whole plant a boost of magnesium.
But when the leaves that
are yellow are at the tips, you have a problem. These new leaves
show typical symptoms of a deficiency of a trace element like zinc
or iron. Zinc and iron cannot be nicked from the old leaves and
therefore translate as a whitening of the new leaves.
This is not temporary.
This is for ever. But the problem can be solved quite simply, down
You see, zinc and iron
are locked up by the soil in alkaline conditions. So what we really
need to do is make the soil more acid. Firstly, the cause of becoming
alkaline could be a concrete strip. Very simple. It's made of cement.
It's made of lime. Every time it rains and every time you water
the plants, bits of lime go into the soil, making it more alkaline.
So my first recommendation is who needs them? Get rid of them.
Secondly, if you really
want to make your pH a little bit more in the acid sort of direction,
a simple thing to use is aluminium sulphate. A bit over the soil
and it will bring down the pH to a more acid level, thereby unlocking
the zinc and iron in the soil, and the citrus can take it up.
If you want to give a
little more iron on top of that, sulphate of iron is the stuff to
So it's actually very
simple to remedy this problem. But you've got to know about the
pH of the soil. There could be plenty of food there. Availability's
the problem. That's all there is to it.
Click below for
Part Two of "Restoring the Zest in Citrus"
TREE BORER And How to Get Rid of It
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH