Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Fruit & Nut Trees
by National Gardening Association Editors
Citrus can be planted any time of year. Spring is the best time to set out container grown trees from a nursery. Select strong and healthy trees for planting. Citrus trees will grow in most soils except salty ones. Add organic matter to very heavy or sandy soils to improve their structure. Water stress is the single most important source of problems, so the goal is to have moist, but well-drained soil. Choose a site in an area protected from wind and with maximum heat and sun, unless you live in desert regions where a little midday shade might be appreciated. If you live in a cooler area, try to provide extra protection for your trees. Put them against a light-colored, south-facing wall that reflects heat. Planting on a slope where air drains away can often prevent frost damage.
How to Plant Citrus
Place the tree in its planting hole no deeper than it was in the nursery container. If the trunk is in constant contact with damp soil, it is more susceptible to the fungus disease gummosis. Planting distances will depend on type and variety. For example, standard orange trees should be 20 feet apart and standard sized grapefruit 25 feet apart, while standard limes and lemons require less space and can be set 12 to 15 feet apart. Set dwarf trees 6 to 10 feet apart.