Thanks to Lowndes County Agent Jake Price who did a good job coordinating Monday’s Satsuma Meeting. We talked about citrus greening, fungal disease, and fertility programs.
We’re actually a few weeks past beginning bloom here, and with a warmer winter, we are seeing lots of terminal growth this year already. These trees are in their 2nd and 3rd year, and the fruit will not quite be tasty yet. Many of these blooms will actually be removed. Limbs of Owari grow outward, and many of the fruit can touch the ground with a younger tree. All of the varieties are self-fruitful, so no pollinizer trees are required. Bees may also help, but are not required.
Our pH needs to around 6.0. A wider range is between 5.5 and 7.0. We need to lime if we are 5.5 or lower. In this range, nutrients are most available for uptake for Satsuma.
When we fertilize, much of our rates are based on N, since they are considered ‘heavy feeders.’ We start fertilizing at
- First sign of budbreak in the Spring (late Feb/early March)
- Fruit swell (May)
- Fruit are 1 inch in diameter (June)
We don’t want to use fertilizer with N from September to mid-February since this could comprismise cold hardiness.
We can use either a complete fertilizer (8-8-8) or a straight N fertilizer (34-0-0), or a combination. We only use a straight fertilizer if soil tests and leaf analysis show other elements are not necessary. Here is a general baseline N recommendation for Satsumas of different ages from research in Alabama:
Some planting this year will use poultry litter. The fertilizer value of poultry litter depends on many factors like moisture, temperature, feed rations, storage, and handling. It is best to check analysis of poultry litter. Poultry liter has an approximate analysis of 3-3-2 (60lbN – 60lb p2O5 – 40lbK2O). Here is some poultry liter rates from UGA Extension Fruit Scientist Dr. Erick Smith: