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Friday, January 1, 2016

Winter Watering Schedule for Lemon

Q. I have a Eureka lemon tree and a Rio Red grapefruit tree. Is it best to stop watering them through the winter weather or should I continue with their regular watering schedule?
Eureka lemon growing in Las Vegas Nevada while fruit still immature

A. They should have a winter watering schedule and water to them should not be turned off. Get a general idea when to water by monitoring the soil moisture with an inexpensive soil moisture meter. Purchase these at most nurseries or garden centers where they cost less than $10.
Simple moisture meter use to get a general idea of the water content of the soil

A winter watering schedule should be somewhere between 10 days and two or three weeks. Plants in containers must be watered much more often.

Push the tip of the meter as deep as you can in the soil somewhere beneath the canopy of the tree and midway between drip emitters if they are present. Do it in two or three locations. These meters are inaccurate but they give you a general idea if the soil is dry or wet. Water when they meter is midway between wet and dry.
            Trees that have leaves present use more water than trees without leaves. A layer of wood chips as a surface mulch will cause you to water less often. A lack of water or very cold weather may cause leaf drop

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