Monday, September 6, 2010

Time to mulch the citrus trees - This time we will use steer manure!

So it's that time of year for all of us in Southwest Arizona to add mulch to our citrus trees.

Today I'm putting down about a 1"-2" layer of steer manure  from Western Organics I bought at Lowe's. I really wanted chicken manure, but forsome reason Lowe's doesn't  carry it here. Just to refresh your memory, we  like  to fertilize cirus here in the valley three times a year; Valentine's day, Memorial Day and again on Labor Day. Now these dates are mostly to help your remember when to fertilize, however  a little before or after is fine. Don't think more is better either when putting down this typeof  mulch. The amount of salt can burn roots if applied to thick at one time.

In the second photo you can see what I had around the base of our citrus trees prior to today. It is a 3/4" rock that looks  really nice, but I only had it as a "rock mulch" for the first year since you shouldn't fertilize citrus until year two. I just  made a ring with this 3/4"rock thes size  of my trees drip line. The drip  line of any tree is where water would fall from the farthest leaf onto the ground. This is just about where your trees roots will be, so this is where you want to have your emitters if your using a drip system. One more thing to mention is that you should have a berm of some type, I used the left over rock mulch, that will keep the mulch about 6"-8" away from the trunk of the tree, as well as a berm at the drip line to hold the water inside the tree well.

I really love how this looks after I finished and had a good look at everything. I mean, I really liked the look of the rock mulch in the entire tree well, but now I look at it and see a very nice, clean look that benefits three as well as our yards appearance.

All finished...well, with these two anyway! I have two  other citrus trees to add mulch to today. The adding of the mulch isn't hard at all, it's the removing all the rocks from the tree well in this 101 degree heat that kicks my butt! It will be all worth when we get to bite into all these great tasting citrus!

For those who wanted to know, the citrus tree in the lower left corner of the last picture is our navel orange tree, the citrus closest to the fence is our lisbon lemon tree. I have two others  on the other side of the yard; a myers lemon tree and a tangelo tree that produces the most juicy of tangelos!

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