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Pampering program for small citrus trees

Pampering program for small citrus trees

Rooihoogte in South Africa in February 2019
The sun laughs, the sky is deep blue, the temperatures are mild. “There just can’t be better planting weather”, laughs our quality expert Eusebio and looks at the many small mandarin and lemon trees that are to be planted today on the 58 hectare plantation (about 81 football fields) of our Farm Rooihoogte. “They’re our teenagers! We pamper them on the plantation with everything they need to grow big and strong. After three years the small trees bear the first, few fruits. And it takes another two years until it really gets going with the harvest”, explains Eusebio. But before the growth begins, the “teenagers” first have to go into the earth and that’s quite laborious, because plants are pure, sweat-inducing manual work. The soil has to be loosened, planting holes dug and trees planted tree by tree in the ferruginous, red coloured soil. But even after planting the work is not done, because then the “pampering phase” starts: the young trees receive a balanced drip irrigation and well-dosed fertilizer, which supports root growth. In addition, the soil is kept free of weeds. After one year, the trees are pruned for the first time. The rest is done by the optimal South African climate for mandarins and lemons: lots of sunshine, enough rainfall. And when, after 3 years, the first fruits hang from the tree, the temperature differences between day

and night have a sugar-sweet effect on the mandarins. Heavenly, when a pampering program bears such fruit!

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