Explore principles for building soil health in new citrus groves concerning planting and establishing young trees.

Soil health should be the starting point for any new citrus grove, according to Brad Turner, a citrus grower and operator of Sand to Soil Services, in a Citrus Industry article. Turner discussed regenerative principles and soil-building processes that help citrus trees to be as healthy as possible, an important consideration in the era of citrus greening. In Part I, we shared Turner’s recommendations for preparing the soil for new planting. Now, see his recommendations for planting and soil health in new citrus groves.

Continuing Soil Health in New Citrus Groves

A focus on soil health in new citrus groves continues with planting and nutrition. He maintained that growers need to consider the future ramifications of high-density plantings, including lost leaf volume and decreased photosynthesis capabilities.

Other recommendations include:

Setting Tips

  • When backfilling the planting hole, combine 75% parent soil with 25% vermicompost or other high-quality compost. Ideally, backfill with topsoil shaved from the top 4 inches of the grove middle.”
  • Mud-in trees, adding fish hydrolysate and diverse inoculums.”
  • Top dress with a trace mineral supplement.”

Nutritional Needs

  • “Utilize regular sap analysis results to determine nutritional needs. Nutrition excesses have the potential to cause more problems than deficiencies.”
  • “Prescribed foliar nutrition with added inoculums and biostimulants are necessary.”
  • “Use mineral fertilizer with predominately ammonium or urea nitrogen sources. Avoid excessive nitrates and muriates.”
  • “Small quantities of biostimulants and diverse inoculums need to be injected through the irrigation on a regular basis to feed and add needed soil biology.”
  • “Avoid excessive use of soluble nitrogen and phosphorous, which will short-circuit the biological system. Most fertilizers should be insoluble then made available through soil biology. “

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.