The Best Tools for Citrus Trees

my moisture, ph, and light meter for my Meyer lemon tree

Over the past few years, I’ve used many tools to both break the ground and grow our citrus trees. While some worked great, others didn’t. I chose not to include the ones that didn’t work on this list.

The following list includes the products that are most ideal for growing citrus trees. Of course, you don’t need all of them, so simply pick and choose which ones work best for you.

I will say that the bamboo stakes were a lifesaver not only for our potted citrus trees but also for our tomatoes and cucumbers (see the image below).

tomato and cucumber bamboo trellises

We built them into simple trellises and they didn’t waver at all, even in strong winds. I’d suggest getting the 6-8′ bamboo poles and bury them 2′ deep if you’re looking at staking your younger citrus trees.

Now, here’s the full list of my recommended products for citrus trees.

Tools for Potted Citrus Trees

Tools for Planted Citrus Trees

There are some items on this list that are far more helpful than others. My top 3 picks would have to be the soil tester, branch cutter, and pine mulch.

My Top 3 Tools

1. Soil Tester

I recently purchased a soil tester for my garden, and wow—it’s helped me analyze the soil so easily. Within a couple of seconds, I can test the pH and the moisture of the soil, instead of guessing. It can also show light levels, but it’s not as helpful as the other two measurements since light levels can be fairly obvious (however, I can see how this would be helpful to test for sufficient light indoors).

This tool also doesn’t require batteries or electricity, so you simply push it into the soil and make sure the switch is set to whichever measurement you’d like to take (moisture, pH, or light).

The moisture reading is helpful because overwatering citrus trees can easily happen and can lead to issues such as root rot, which first affects the roots and eventually leads to yellow leaves and killing the tree.

Additionally, the pH of the soil is important not just for citrus trees, but for all plants.

Citrus trees prefer a pH of 6.0-7.0, and without the proper pH, citrus trees have a hard time absorbing nutrients.

So, it’s pretty essential to get the soil’s pH right. Although you can buy kits or do homemade tests to determine your soil’s pH, having a soil tester will make it incredibly easy.

2. Branch Cutter

Getting a branch cutter is a pretty obvious purchase. Pruning is a great practice to develop as you can train your young citrus trees to focus on growth, and your more mature citrus trees to focus on fruiting.

To help your young citrus tree focus on growth and expanding its foliage, pinch off the budding flowers so the tree can redirect its energy elsewhere.

To help your mature citrus tree focus on fruiting, prune some of the extra foliage, reducing the energy load it needs to maintain those branches and redirecting it to more fruit.

As with anything, there’s a balance. Don’t prune too much to where the tree can’t photosynthesis, and don’t prune too little where the tree is overbearing and unable to keep up with excessive foliage or fruit.

The goal of pruning is to prune just enough to train the tree and allow for some light to pierce the canopy. This will also increase airflow and reduce the risk of fungal diseases developing.

Of course, if you have a potted citrus tree, then you won’t need something as heavy-duty as this. I’ve linked a set of pruning shears in the list above that’s better suited for the potted citrus tree’s smaller branches.

3. Pine Mulch

Although not a tool, pine mulch does A LOT for your citrus trees.

Mulching the base of citrus trees helps retain moisture in the soil, prevents weeds from growing, and slowly breaks down to provide nutrients for the tree. Both planted and potted citrus trees can benefit from mulching, but make sure to not let the mulch touch the tree directly.

If you’re growing citrus trees outdoors, then odds are you’re in a hotter climate. Mulching your soil will go a long way in keeping the water in and preventing the sun from baking the soil into dead dirt. Plus, if you can water less, then why not?

However, you don’t need pine mulch specifically. In fact, you can use leaves, clippings, or other vegetation scraps as mulch. This way you can keep the nutrients in your garden instead of the landfill.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this list helps inspire you or solve some issue that you were dealing with. There are many issues that citrus trees can develop, so taking the proper precautions and getting creative with solutions can take you far. We’ll be updating the list as we go, so make sure to stay tuned!

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