Louisiana citrus season is here and for the next two months or so, you will notice an abundance of Louisiana tree-ripened satsumas, grapefruits, navel oranges and lemons at your local grocer and farmers’ markets.
When it comes to Louisiana citrus, an ongoing trend is homeowners buying their very own citrus trees to plant in their yards. We consulted the experts at LSU’s AgCenter to find out what to look for and how to maintain a healthy citrus tree in Louisiana.
A few tips include:
- Purchase your citrus tree from a certified nursery; this ensures the health and longevity of the tree.
- Allow your fruit to tree-ripen before picking. This allows the fruit to absorb the most nutrients from the soil resulting in a sweeter fruit.
- Do not let the root stock take over the tree. Doing so creates a thorny plant that hurts and also produces a sour fruit, which is not palatable.
- Leaf damage may be unsightly, but is not a problem in citrus tress. Minor leaf damage will not affect your yield, quality of fruit or tree.
- Keep the ground beneath the tree bare by mulching or hand-pulling weeds regularly, which allows heat to be released during the colder months.