It's Valentine’s Day weekend, and for gardeners that means more than a sappy card and a box of chocolates.
It means it's time to share some TLC with your citrus trees.
Feed them with a high-quality organic fertilizer such as Dr. Earth Natural Wonder or Grow More Citrus & Avocado fertilizer.
Check with your favorite local nursery — most carry organic products:
Northwest side: Rillito Nursery & Garden Center, 6303 N. La Cholla Blvd., carries Grow More.
Midtown/north side: Green Things Nursery, 3235 E Allen Road, carries Grow More.
East side: Magic Garden, 7909 E. 22nd St., carries Dr. Earth for citrus, plus Happy Frog Fruit & Flower.
Central: Harlow Gardens, 5620 E Pima St., carries Grow More.
The folks at Rillito Nursery, however, want to remind us to keep an eye on the weather, as we could get another cold snap.
"Fertilizing will encourage new growth, especially with the warm weather we are having, and if we do have another cold snap, the citrus will need to be protected,” Beth Hargrove said via Facebook.
At Harlow Gardens, Cara Bohardt cautions us to follow directions closely when applying fertilizer. Overfertilization can burn a tree, she says.
Over at Magic Garden, General Manager Tony Sarah says he has an elaborate system for keeping his citrus trees happy:
"I do the bat guano (my favorite), rare earth minerals, molasses and earthworm castings monthly through September. I apply the humic acid in the spring and fall, or as needed throughout the year. I also have problems with zinc deficiency so I add that in the spring if it’s needed,” he said via Facebook.
"I am also big on adding Epsom salts (I have that certified organic). You can also apply humic acid with trace elements to correct micro-nutrient deficiency. If someone wants to use a liquid, then fish emulsion with seaweed extract works well."
Phew. Got that?
Update: I fed my Meyer lemon and Valencia orange trees Sunday, lightly raking the fertilizer into the soil in the drip line area. Then I thoroughly watered the trees with a hose. (Regular drip irrigation might not be enough to do the job.)
Two peach trees — both 3 years old — got the same treatment, although I enlarged the basins to accommodate their growth. One is twice the size as the other, for some strange reason. Both are covered in blossoms — and happy bees.