An average gardener may find it a little difficult to grow a grapefruit tree. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to grow the tree in your garden. As long as you provide the tree with perfect growing conditions, it will flourish and thrive.
Here are some tips on how to grow grapefruit in your garden.
Grapefruit trees require warm weather conditions in order to flourish. So, it is imperative that you live in a warm climate in order to grow. The tree will grow in temperate and tropical climates, as long as it is planted in full sunlight. In the US, the tree will thrive in hardiness zone 9 and above. Also, the soil has to be loamy and should be well draining.
Before planting the tree, ensure that you get a suitable location for the planting. South part of the garden will be ideal for the tree, as not only will it get ample sunlight, the tree will also be protected during winter. Ensure that you do not plant the tree too close to your home, sidewalks or driveway. It requires ample space to grow and spread its branches.
Plant the tree either in fall or spring. If you are planting in spring, then provide ample water to the plant, so that it can survive harsh summer months. If you are planting in the tree in fall, ensure that you protect the plant from the cold.
Once you bring the plant from the local nursery, spread out the roots. Dig a hole that is deep enough as well as wide enough for the roots. Place the plant in the center of the hole and fill it up half way with the dirt. Press the dirt firmly in place and then water the plant. Once the soil has soaked up the water, cover the hole completely.
In the first two or three weeks, water the plant every couple of days followed by thorough watering once a week. In summer, make sure that you water the plant well every day. Add fertilizer to the soil every 4 to 6 weeks. Fertilize the soil while you are watering the plant. In the first year, refrain from pruning. However, do get rid of dead branches and weak branches.
During cold winter months, add mulch around the base of the tree to protect it from the cold. However, make sure that there is a gap of one-foot between the tree trunk and the much. This will ensure that water does not stagnate and cause root rot. You can also wrap bubble wrap or burlap sack around the trunk to protect it from the cold.
Your tree will take around 3 years to produce good and juicy grapefruits. Do not allow fruits in the first and second years to ripen, as it will have an adverse effect on the growth of the tree. In the third year, when your grapefruit tree produces fruits, they should be ready for picking in fall. If the fruits appear golden yellow, they are perfect for harvesting. If the fruits look lumpy, do not keep them.
Harvest the bigger fruits first from the tree. If they are not sweet enough, leave the next lot for another couple of weeks before you harvest them. The longer the fruits stay on the tree, the sweeter they get.
If you want to plant grapefruit tree in your garden, opt for Rio Red or Flame for red colored flesh. However, if you are a lover of white colored flesh, then go for Oroblanco or Marsh.
Now that you know how to grow grapefruit, you can plant your own tree and enjoy this juicy and succulent fruit. Remember, growing grapefruit requires patience, while ensuring that you provide the tree with optimal growing conditions.
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