Citrus fruit pests

Letsgokate

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I know this has been covered before but this is a last ditch attempt for a solution before I remove citrus trees.

I have been growing citrus for several years and over that time I have a continual problem with aphids, mealy bugs and citrus leaf miner. As well as other pests I haven’t identified as yet.

I have done all the usual things, hosed them off, sprayed, ant baits, ant sand, sticky collar around the tree trunk etc etc. Citrus leaf miner traps on all citrus.

At times I’ve had a lot of lace wings on the plants doing their bit but even they are not enough to control the bad pests.

I have been diligent about trying to stop and kill of the pests but literally it is an ongoing continuous problem that I have not been able to stop. I end up having to cut off new growth with aphids, citrus leaf miner, mealy bugs etc and throw them in the bin. It’s all disappointing and disheartening and been a lot of work for little results or produce.

So I don’t really get any fruit off the trees. I don’t want fruit trees that all they seem to do is attract pests into the orchard area.

It must be a great micro climate here for these pests. So as heart breaking as it is I am at the point of pulling out most of my citrus and concentrate of fruit trees that are doing well and producing.

Looking at the life cycle of aphids can see why they are hard to control.

So I guess any last ditch advice?

If the citrus were move into coco coir and perlite so no soil would that make a difference? A remainder that all my fruit trees are in verY large root pouches/pots.
 

ClissAT

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Kate I feel your pain!

That's how I feel most years with everything I grow here. The soil is crappy and the bugs and wildlife never seem to go to anyone else's garden!

The best I have been able to do is make my trees and plants as healthy as possible using foliar sprayed trace elements and heaps of fertilizer.

Every year in early spring I spray everything with copper and potassium 2wks apart because you can't put them on together. At this time of year, I apply double the fertilizer. First application contains extra trace elements then watered in while the soil is still a bit moist from rain. Second application is when the next lot of rain occurs and is a pelleted chook manure based fruit tree fertilizer which I water in if there wasn't enough rain. If I leave it on the ground the ants hoover it up!

So the plants get double everything. That way at least some gets through to the plants. Then I just have to worry about the critters and wildlife.

Most of the issues you described, I would attribute to trace element deficiencies.

I wrote an article for Mark to publish end of April about restoring citrus trees but he is having trouble with computers or something so won't be publishing anything on his SSM blog site for a while. I've tried contacting him but he is obviously busy. I would make it into a post for the forum so people can see the photos and decide for themselves if their issues are related. Time is slipping away to fix fruit trees before winter.
 

Letsgokate

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Thanks Clissat I appreciate your reply. I know that they say pests won’t bother a healthy tree as much. I do spray with different trace minerals every now and then and if I notice anything. Trouble is learning what deficiencies is what can be hard to work out.

I know before summer I was being very diligent and had everything looking great, lots of new growth then summer hit and so did the bugs in mass. Have to say this years seems worst. I know others are complaining about caterpillars with veggies.

I remember one of my first posts on this site when I joined in 2014 was what is this on my citrus leaf, so it’s been a long time battling them.

Actually considering a different way of fertilising with more of a liquid based rather than pellets as I do wonder if they break down enough for the trees to get the nutrients. Like you I fertilise when it’s about to rain or water in if not.

Your article sounds interesting and I think you could easily post in here and on his blog, not everyone would read both platforms.
 

Vicky

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Have you tried planting things like garlic, chives and/or onions under the trees to help deter any soil based bugs? I'm trying it with all my fruit trees, you could put in things that you don't intend to harvest so as to minimize disruption to fine surface roots? Don't know if it would make a difference but might be worth s try?
 
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