fruit on mandarin
have an eight-year-old mandarin tree (I think it is 'Clementine')
which is growing beautifully and each year is covered in fruit which
looks sensational but is virtually inedible. The problem is that
the mandarins never sweeten, no matter how long we leave them, and
of course, after a few months, they eventually dry out. We diligently
sprinkle citrus fruit fertiliser around the drip line, plus Epsom
salts, and have kept up with the watering in summer months. The
tree is planted in the lawn with no cultivated ground below, and
we wonder if this is causing the problem, or is it simply that we
have planted a dud? It was a gift for my 50th birthday and I would
really like to persevere if you think there is any hope. We love
mandarins and totally resent having to buy sweet ones from the supermarket
while our tree taunts us with its laden branches.
are great fruiting trees to have in a garden, especially when they
give wonderful rewards of juicy fruit to be used in many different
ways. However, it's a real nuisance when citrus trees produce fruit
that is tasteless and dry.
Your problem could be
irregular watering. Try covering the area under the tree with mulch.
Put down bark or wood chips to increase the amount of moisture that
the soil can retain. Water well before putting the layer of mulch
Feed with citrus fertiliser
every 3-4 months. Use Yates Gro-Plus Citrus food and water in well
around the drip line. Be aware that sometimes, too much fertiliser
can cause the fruit to drop or be dry.
Try using some Sulphate
of Potash around the tree as well - this helps to encourage good
Epsom Salts are used
to correct any magnesium deficiencies that the plant may have.
If your tree still refuses
to perform, perhaps you could plant another variety elsewhere. Then
enjoy your birthday gift for its ornamental qualities!
Gardener, Issue 104, 2002, Page 20
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.