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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Daily Watering of Young Lemon Tree a Good Idea?

Q. I'm considering watering my little lemon tree every day during the summer months. Is this good or bad? The tree dropped two-thirds of it's leaves a month after planting. That was three months ago. It has stabilized, and I currently water it every other day on a slow drip. (4 gallons per watering) Should I water every day in June, July, and August because of the 100+ temps?

A. I have noticed some problems with citrus the first year after planting from containers into the soil. There was a lot of relief yellowing, leaf scorch, leaf drop and some dieback. This happened even though there was wood chip mulch at their base. Once small amounts of water were applied daily they did quite a bit better during the summer.

You will not have a problem watering every day if the soil drains water quickly. You will have a problem watering daily if the soil holds water for a long time. You might see some advantage to watering with small amounts of water every day. I see that sometimes on very young citrus but only for the first year after planting. I'm sorry to say, "it just depends…".

If you have not done it, try applying 3 to 4 inches of wood chips around the bottom of the tree and you should be able to water every other day with no problems even on the hottest days.

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