Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mulching with Pebbles around Citrus

Organic mulches such as straw, lucerne, bark, shredded sugar cane or nursery mulch mixes are ideal for reducing the loss of moisture around the roots. Organic mulches can increase more fungal activity around the plant, so ensure that any form of mulch that you use is not touching the stem of the tree. Overall, they have proven themselves to be ideal for citrus of every kind.

How much mulch?

A two inch depth of mulch is recommended to maintain soil moisture.
For potted citrus, allow more than an inch clearance around the stem with mulch.
Garden bed planted citrus, allow for up to 12 inches clearance around the trunk.

But what about Inorganic mulches, such as pebbles, stones, or rubber?

  • Pebbles can be great for assisting in humidity around a citrus to help increase yield and pigmentation in colder environments. Set the planter on a tray containing pebbles and water. The evaporating water will create the humid environment your citrus tree needs in order to survive. Limes and lemons benefit the most with humidity.
  • Rock and plastic placed around the base of the tree, especially the darker colours, will heat up more quickly which can cause a drying effect during summer which is especially dangerous to potted dwarf trees. Excessive heat around a citrus tree may also cause harm to the leaves, flowers and fruit. It is not recommended that pebbles/stones be placed around citrus trees for this reason.
  • Placing 1-2 inches of pebbles inside the base of a pot of a potted dwarf tree is highly recommended in order to assist with adequate drainage. This will not cause any harm to the vegetation of the plant.
As beautiful as pebbles in the garden can look, the trees' health need to be our first priority.

Inorganic mulches work best around flower gardens, natives, succulents and ornamental plants in pots.  

Great for drainage around plants that are prone to being flooded as well as providing a less muddy walk between plants.

Suits ornamental pot plants that love the heat.

 Ideal for suppressing weeds around boarders.

Best to use around drought tolerant plants.

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