Curled Leaves On Citrus Plant: What To Do For Curling Citrus Leaves

citrus-leafminer-leaf-curling-358x600

Citrus plants are bright, fun additions to the patio or landscape (and even indoors), providing a gardener with a steady supply of sweet and tart fruits with little regular care. As far as fruit trees go, citrus tend to be the low-fuss member of the team; but when curling citrus leaves appear, you’ll need to intervene. Curled leaves on citrus plants may indicate a significant pest problem or can point to an environmental issue.

What Causes Citrus Leaf Curl?

Citrus leaf curl is caused by many different things, making positive identification of your problem important before you can determine how to treat leaf curling on citrus. Below are the most common causes of curling citrus, along with ways to manage them.

Pests

Sap-sucking pests like aphids, mites and psyllids feed on citrus leaves by extracting the juices directly from transport tissues. As populations grow, they can cause deformations including curling and cupping in leaves, as well as discoloration. When you notice your citrus leaves are curling, check their undersides carefully for tiny pests feeding in clusters. If you spot them, spray your citrus tree with insecticidal soap or neem oil, making sure to coat areas where pests were spotted. Repeat this treatment weekly until your citrus plant begins to recover and all signs of insects are gone.

Citrus leaf miners are another insect pest of citrus, but instead of sucking on leaf juices, the moth larvae tunnel through leaf tissues as they grow. These tunnels are highly visible on leaf surfaces, appearing as undulating white or yellow lines on the green leaf surfaces. Citrus leaf miners are difficult to treat successfully; it’s generally recommended that you allow them to run their course since most citrus trees can tolerate a significant leaf miner load.

Environmental issues

Drought stress is the most common cause of leaf curl in citrus, but also the easiest to remedy. If leaves begin to curl inward while retaining their green coloration and the soil around your tree feels dry to the touch, you’re not watering enough. Stepping up watering efforts and applying 2 to 4 inches of an organic mulch to the ground around your citrus plant will help it recover. Wait to fertilize until the tree resumes normal, healthy leaf production. Potassium deficiencies show up in citrus as leaves with a yellow cast that are bent downward at the tip. Check the soil pH and nutrient levels before fertilizing these trees to ensure there aren’t bigger problems. If everything checks out, supplement with an extra dose of fertilizer and monitor your tree for improvement. Make sure to provide the tree with enough water to move potassium throughout its system.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com

 

Advertisements

Tips For Thinning Avocado Fruit: Is Avocado Fruit Thinning Necessary

If you have an avocado tree that is so rife with fruit, the limbs are in danger of breaking. This may lead you to wonder, “Should I thin my avocado fruit?” Avocado fruit thinning is similar to thinning other fruiting trees, such as apples. Removing avocado fruit may or may not be a good idea, it all depends on how and when you go about thinning the avocado fruit. So how do you thin avocado fruit? Read on to learn more.

About Avocado Fruit Thinning.

Columnar cultivars of avocado are pinched at an early age to attain a more rounded habit, but most other types of avocado require no training and little pruning. Any pruning of avocado that may be done is done so judiciously since avocado trees are susceptible to sunscald, which results in defoliation. Avocado fruit is also self-thinning, so thinning avocado fruit is generally not required.

Should I Thin My Avocadoes?

While thinning isn’t normally required, several cultivars of avocado are in the habit of bearing fruit in alternate years. That is, in a particular year, the tree produces a staggering amount of fruit, so much that the energy from the tree either cannot support the enormous quantity or the resulting yield is high but fruit is small. In the following year, the tree’s energy is so depleted that it barely fruits, if at all. In this case, it may be advisable to lightly thin the fruit. Also, thinning is advisable when multiple trees begin to grow together such that their canopies begin to lose light.

How to Thin Avocado Fruit When trees are bearing overly heavily, they often drop a lot of fruit before it reaches maturity and any fruit that is left behind is often of a small size. Removing some avocado fruit will allow the tree to expend energy on the remaining avocadoes, resulting in larger fruit. Avocado fruit is borne in clusters, sometimes just a few and sometimes many fruit are growing together. Take a good look at the grouping of immature fruit and identify any that are misshapen, diseased or pest damaged, and the smallest fruit. These are the fruit you will remove, leaving just the largest, healthiest looking avocado in the cluster. Using sharp bypass pruners, snip off the immature fruit at the stem. I know it’s hard, but continue in this way until you have evenly spaced fruit on the tree. Space fruit about 6 inches (15 cm.) apart on the tree. If you have a cluster of fruit very close to the one that has just been thinned, it is best to remove it rather than thinning to one fruit.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com

Vegetable Pest and Disease Control & Prevention Part 1

The aim of any organic gardener is to create a healthy garden by making the soil fertile and by increasing biodiversity.

The most important task is to prevent an occurrence of pests and diseases in the first place rather than having to react to them.  In fact, once a pest or disease establishes itself on your crops there is often very little you can do to control it effectively.   Protecting your plants from pests and diseases begins long before the crops are sown or planted in your garden.

What keeps your plants healthy? 

Soil fertility –

A healthy soil produces healthy plants.  The care of your soil is the most important duty of every gardener.  It is the most effective method of preventing a pest or disease outbreak.  The ideal soil is a loose, moist humus rich soil full of worm and other soil life with a balanced nutrient content, including all the trace elements.  It may take a good few years to achieve this, but even the poorest soil can be made very fertile using organic methods.

Biodiversity-

A garden with good biodiversity is a lot less prone to sudden  attacks of pests and diseases as there is a balance of pests and predators. To increase the biodiversity in your garden is probably one of the most rewarding pleasures in gardening as you have the opportunity to create habitats and homes for many living creatures that have been pushed to the edge either through the  destruction of their habitats or chemical poisoning.

Beneficial habitats include: – Pond  – Log or branch pile – Dry stone wall or stone pile – Native hedgerow and include fruiting shrubs  – Native trees – Clump of nettles in the corner of your garden – Wildflower patch

Apart from creating specialist habitats you can also increase the biodiversity within your vegetable patch through:

– Crop rotations – where pests and diseases are eliminated by prolonged periods without their hosts.

– Polycultures by growing different crops next to each other (inter-cropping) or   undersowing with a green manure crop (under-cropping).

– Variety mixtures- by growing different varieties of the same vegetable in a plot.  This   technique has been very   successful with potatoes and lettuce and there is a lot of  scope for further experiments.

Hygiene

Hygiene in and around the vegetable garden is very important for pest and disease control.  This includes weed control and the removal of damaged or diseased leaves or plants from the garden.  If your vegetable garden is messy it is much easier for pests and diseases to spread much faster. Your wildlife areas should be positioned a fair distance away from your plot as the beneficial creatures usually travel further and faster than the pests.

Good seeds

You should always start with good and clean seeds.  They should always be stored in a cool, dry place and not for too many years.  I usually keep seeds for only two years and then buy new ones.  New seeds are a lot more vigorous.

Healthy transplants

The same applies to transplants.  It is very rare that all transplants in a tray are of the same quality and you should only plant the best.  There is no point of starting a plant hospital.

Right plant, right place

Plants that are not suited to your climate and soil conditions will never thrive and therefore will be the first ones to be attacked by pests and diseases.  In Ireland you can’t grow good cucumbers or tomatoes outside.  Some may survive and you may even get a few ripe tomatoes on it if you grow them on a south-facing wall in a sheltered garden somewhere in the south or east of the country.   However, the same plant may produce a hundred fruits if grown in a polytunnel.

Resistant varieties

If you find that every year your parsnips get canker and your potatoes blight you should consider using a variety that is  resistant or tolerant to the relevant pest or disease. Examples: Potato: Bionica, Sarpo Mira, Orla and Setanta are very resistant to blight Pea: Hurst Greenshaft is very  resistant to mildew Parsnip: Javelin F1 have some resistance to canker.

Timing of sowing

You can sometimes avoid outbreaks of pests and diseases by adjusting your sowing or planting dates.  The best example is to sow your carrots in late May or early June.  This avoids the first generation of carrot rootfly in May.  Another example is to sow your peas only in mid April to avoid foot rot disease.

Breaking the cycle

You could have brassicas (cabbage family) growing in your garden all year round.  This makes it very easy for all pests and diseases to survive and re-infect new crops.  I always clear my cabbage patch in mid January and only plant the first brassicas again in early May.  I’ll never get nice spring cabbage but at least I hope to get fewer problems.

Adjusting the spacing

If plants are spaced too closely they are a lot more susceptible to fungal diseases such as grey mould or mildew.  If you want to lessen any potential problem you can always space your crops a little bit further apart.  This increases the airflow through the crop and reduces the incidence of fungal diseases that thrive in more humid conditions.

Proper sowing and planting

Good care should be taken when sowing seeds and planting vegetables.  The better they start off the more likely they will do well.

Managing pests and disease

Whilst many pest and disease problems can be prevented, there are various occasions where pest or disease numbers increase to such high numbers that they can cause serious damage to your crops. It is crucial to properly identify the culprits.  It happens often that an innocent bystander who happens to be at the scene is accused of the act.  It may have been the one who has just eaten the culprit.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com