What can I do to ensure my mandarins taste better next year?

Q.

Hi, my mandarins were not very sweet this year. What can I do to ensure they taste better next year? Also is it time to prune my fruit trees? Citrus trees, plum trees, feijioa, apricot and nectarine trees?

Jude Anne Potton

A.

Hi Jude 

Apply a fertiliser rich in potassium or potash to improve fruit flavour. Apply Tui Citrus Food in early spring and again in late summer to keep your tree healthy and producing sweet juicy fruit. Winter is a good time to prune some fruit trees, do it on a fine dry day. Prune back feijoas after fruiting has finished, generally citrus do not need pruning unless they are growing in a direction that you don’t want them to or you want to shorten the growth. Apricots can be pruned now, however wait until summer for plums and nectarines. Take out branches that are dead, dying or diseased and crossing over, prune to an outside bud, create an open vase shaped canopy.

Thanks, Tui Team 

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What can I do to ensure my mandarins taste better next year? Comments

  • I tend to get some Epson Salts from a bulk bin barn and sprinkle a good handful at roughly monthly intervals from flowering. I also put my lawn clippings around the base. Is the latter is good practice?

    Logan

    Epsom Salts corrects magnesium deficiency which shows up as yellowing leaves. It can be mixed into a watering can and applied and this will have a more instant effect. If your plants aren’t showing any effects of imbalance of nutrients then continue with your practice, but you probably don’t need to apply Epsom Salts monthly. Twice a year would be sufficient or when plants are showing yellow leaves. Over application of fertilisers or remedies can have the same effect as under feeding plants and the only way to know what is really deficient in your soil it to get a soil test done. There are simple soil test kits available in DIY stores and Garden Centres. An application of lime to the lawn clippings will help them break down more quickly. Best practice would be to compost them first before putting them around your garden. Heat is generated in the breakdown process and this also kills any weed seeds from the lawn which can grow in your garden.