Wondering if anyone can help me out. We were lucky enough to move into a house late last year that has a little mandarin tree growing.
I have never grown a fruit tree let alone citrus. It is full of mandarins at the moment which are starting to gradually change colour.
Problem is i don't know when you are meant to pick them? Do I leave them to fully ripen and hope to beat any bugs? or do i take them early and let them ripen inside?
Any advice would be greatly appreciates as my children are keen to eat the fresh fruit from our yard
Wow, you are lucky @Natasha. And it's fantastic that your kids are so keen to eat fruit!
Let me tag some of our resident horticulturalists for you. I'm sure there are members of the community that can help. It might also assist if you told them what area of Australia you're in.
Most citrus are happy to stay on the tree, the longer you leave them the sweeter they get. EXCEPT Mandarins! Pick them as soon as they turn orange and enjoy sweet tasty fruit.
Great expert advice, many thanks @DonnaE. Lovely to have you as a member of Workshop and sharing your knowledge and experience. A very warm welcome to you and thanks again for joining in the discussion.
Oh dear Natasha! Nature throws all sorts of obstacles at us, but all is not lost! First, snip off all of the damaged fruit and any damaged branches. Clear out those weeds and grasses growing around the base of your tree, citrus have shallow feeder roots and are gross feeders (meaning they get pretty hungry) and your little tree is competeing with them for food. Ideally you want a space clear as far out as the drip line. (as far our as the canapy of the tree spreads) After you've tidied up, feed it with a liquid seaweed or fish emulsion. Mix it in a watering can or sprayer at half strength (the directions and ratios will be on the container) then water it onto the soil and foliage. Mulch around your tree being careful not to push it against the trunk with well rotted compost of an organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw. Keep an eye on it and all being well there's still time for your remaining fruit to ripen. If not, it'll bounce back and produce for your next season!
@DonnaE thank you so much for the great advice!
Clearly I'm not the most greenthumb out there. I appreciate all your tips and will get onto it tomorrow. We were looking forward to our fruit but if next season works out better for us we will be happy.
Again thank you