Africa's citrus industry buoyant despite global shocks

To ensure that citrus trees grow strong and produce desirable fruit, it’s important to provide them with the right amount of nutrients. Nutrients can be divided into two types: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are needed in larger quantities, while micronutrients are required in smaller amounts.

Macronutrients, such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur, play a crucial role in supporting healthy growth. On the other hand, micronutrients like Boron, Iron, Manganese, Zinc, and Copper are also essential but needed in smaller quantities.

To achieve proper nutrition, it’s necessary to use both basal and foliar fertilizers. Basal fertilizers are absorbed by the tree’s roots and include DAP, CAN, NPK, and UREA. Foliar fertilizers, on the other hand, are applied to the foliage and include OPTIMIZER, LAVENDER, DIMIPHITE, BIODISTINCTION XTRA, and others.

Before planting, it’s important to conduct soil testing to assess the soil’s fertility. This helps determine the right nutrients to supply to the citrus trees.

Importance of Proper Nutrition in Citrus Trees

Proper nutrition in citrus trees has several benefits:

  1. Maintains healthy roots and tree productivity.
  2. Encourages the growth of lush foliage.
  3. Increases yield and overall productivity of the tree.
  4. Establishes strong early growth.
  5. Ensures continuous strong growth.
  6. Improves fruit set and retention.
  7. Reduces fruit drop, prevents deformities, and storage issues.
  8. Maximizes fruit size, productivity, and vitamin C content.
  9. Promotes leaf growth and vigor, reducing skin disorders.
  10. Enhances juice content, quality, and provides a thicker skin.

Fertilizer Application for Citrus Trees

Early Growth Stage

During the period between seeding, germination/sprouting, and several weeks after seedling emergence, specific fertilizer applications are necessary.

Seed soaking with OPTIMIZER (20ml/1l) for 6-12 hours promotes faster and uniform germination, as well as rapid rooting of grafts.

Trees should be sprayed with LAVENDER (20ml/20l), GOLDCHANCE SUPER START (50g/20l), LEGENDARY (40ml/20l), PLANT SOUL (20ml/20l), or ZINC GOLD (10ml/20l) during this stage. These fertilizers provide the essential nutrients needed for early growth.

Transplanting requires the application of DAP, which supplies phosphorus, an important nutrient for the early growth stages of citrus crops.

Manure is necessary for soils with low or no organic matter, as it slowly releases nutrients throughout the growing period and adds organic matter to the soil.

Juvenile Stage

The juvenile stage is when seedlings grow into young trees, directing energy toward fast vegetative growth.

Nitrogenous fertilizers are particularly beneficial at this stage to support vigorous vegetative growth.

Spraying trees with LAVENDER (20ml/20l) or GOLDCHANCE SUPER GROWTH (50g/20l) is recommended.

Top dressing with CAN and other nitrogenous basal fertilizers, such as N.P.K 23.23.0, ensures the citrus crop receives sufficient nutrients.

Flowering, Fruit Set & Maturity Stages

This stage involves flower bud formation, flowering, fruit set, and the maturation of citrus fruits.

Spraying trees with GOLDCHANCE SUPER FLOWERS & FRUITS (50g/20l), DIMIPHITE (20ml/20l), GREENPHITE (40ml/20l), or LEGENDARY (40ml/20l) helps induce flowering, promote good fruit set and quality, increase fruit size, sustain growth, and maintain yields.

Fertilizers like BIODISTINCTION XTRA, EURO GOLD, VITABOR GOLD, and FERRARI GOLD also contribute to good fruit set, prevent fruit and flower drop, and enhance overall fruit quality, including the hardening of the fruit’s outer cover for prolonged shelf life.

Basal fertilizers rich in potassium, such as N.P.K 17.17.17, should be applied during this stage.

Note:

OPTIMIZER (10ml/20l) can be sprayed at any stage of the citrus crop’s growth and development. It acts as a biostimulant, stimulating faster growth, enhancing stress tolerance, providing nutrients, promoting shoot growth, and aiding chlorophyll development for photosynthesis, among other functions.

Foliar sprays should be combined with INTEGRA (3ml/20l), which acts as a sticker, spreader, and penetrant, improving the absorption of fertilizers by the citrus tree’s foliage.

Weekly foliar sprays are recommended for optimal results.

All basal fertilizers and manures should be mixed with HUMIPOWER, which adds organic matter to the soil, optimizes pH levels for nutrient availability, reduces leaching, and minimizes runoff, among other benefits.

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