Early Spring Checklist for Citrus Trees in the Southeast

If you live in the Southeast, now is the time to prune those citrus trees and prepare them for the hot summer days ahead. We like this 3-in-1 product by IV Organic because it is 1) an organic product, 2) protects the bark of our satsumas and citrus trees like our lemon and lime from intense sun burn and 3) keeps the pests and rodents away. The product comes in different colors: white, brown, green, grey, and grieve (which is between brown and grey and the one I actually apply to my trees.)

Product line up of IV Organics

Everything comes in the can along with instructions. All you need is a wide 1" paint brush, a small glass mixing bowl and some water. The kit comes with the natural powder that you mix with water and the mix of essential oils that comes in the kit. You simply mix and paint onto the trunk and lower limbs where sun may hit the trunk and lower limbs of the citrus tree. The product does need to be reapplied over time. I do a spring and late summer application. Even with our heavy rains in Atlanta, it holds up.

We've also applied it to a peach tree that has suffered from too much moisture last growing season (it didn't get re-treatment in late summer). It appears to be a sort of rust on the tree which concerns me. This product actually has essential oils in it that are anti-fungal including clove, cinnamon, garlic, peppermint, rosemary and spearmint. We will give you an update to see if it helps to save the tree or not.

Ingredients found in 3-in-1 IV Organics Product

While painting the trunk of our citrus and other fruiting trees, we also give it an application of fertilizer as temps begin to reach the day time temps of the low 70s. As the trees shift into growth mode, we want to feed them well and the IV Organic fertilizer is specially formulated for fruit and citrus trees. Simply follow the directions on the package.

You can apply to your soil, make it into a foliar feed or a do a compost tea with it for added microbial benefit. The IV Organic fertilizer:
  • Contains ALL Primary Nutrients: N-P-K
  • Contains ALL Secondary Nutrients: Ca-Mg-S
  • For use on ALL Plants; Fruits, Veggies, Roses, Potted, & More!
  • 4 lb bag makes 120+ Gallons and 12 oz bag makes 20+ Gallons / Contains Azomite
  • Versatile: Apply To Soil, Foliar Feed, and/ or Compost Tea

IV Organics Fertilizer Ingredients including macro-nutrients ideal for citrus trees

I like to get the bigger bag to have on hand (like this one), or for those with limited storage space, they offer a small bag (like this one) which will make 20+ gallons.

As you prune and treat your trees with the 3-in-1, make a note to order the fertilizer as well so it is ready for when temps reach the low 70s.

Event wristbands for identifying trees

It's also a good time to check all identification tags to make sure they are easy to read and that they fit loosely around the limb or trunk to prevent girdling which can cut off the supply line of nutrients from the roots to the top of the tree. I like to double tag my plants using these event wrist bands and a Sharpie permanent marker. Double-identification helps when adverse weather impacts your identification on the tree or plant. These tags will last you several growing seasons and you may even want to share with others you know who love to grow plants and fruit trees. 

Bio stretch

In addition to checking the identification tags, check any support ties to make sure they are loose as well and not girdling the tree trunk or any limbs. Now is a good time to clip off old ties and replace with new ones if you think the tree needs continued support. I like this one as it stretches which is important when you don't want to cause any tension on the circumference of a growing tree trunk.

So in summary, here is your checklist for early spring tree check-ups:

+ prune tree as needed
+ apply 3-in-1 IV Organic to base of tree trunk 
+ order fertilizer to have ready for warmer days that are just around the corner
+ up pot into a larger pot if a young seedling, preferably an air pruning pot
+ make sure you have two places where you have your tree identified incase inclement weather removes one
+ as you place stakes as supports, make sure you tie in such a way that gives some flexibility for growth and remove any old ties checking for any girdling.

Hope that helps and be sure to tag us on social media #growyourhealthgardening and show us what you're growing for a healthier you!

Happy growing,

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The above article includes a review based on our personal experience of a product. We ask that if you decide to try the product, to use the links provided in this article as we earn a small referral which helps us continue to offer helpful tips and advice to our gardening friends.

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