Always get the planting area ready beforehand, amending the soil if necessary. Choosing a suitable location is also important. For instance, when planting grapefruit tree, choosing an area on the southernmost side of the home not only offers the most sun but also provides optimal winter protection. Keep the tree at least 12 feet from buildings, walks, driveways, etc.
This will allow for adequate growth.
Dig the planting hole both wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots. After placing the tree in the hole, back-fill halfway with soil, firmly pressing down to squeeze out any air bubbles. Then water the soil and allow it to settle before back-filling with the remaining soil. Keep the soil level with the surrounding area or slightly mound it. Setting it any lower will lead to standing water and cause rotting. Also, be sure that the bud union remains above the soil.
Apply nitrogen fertilizer to the area around the tree after about a month. Follow the directions on the fertilizer based on the space you are spreading it over. Do not spread it too close to the tree base. Cover an area of at least 3 or 4 feet out from the tree to encourage roots to branch out.
Mound soil up about 1/2 foot at the base of the trunk during the winter to protect it from freezing weather. Cover the base of the tree with several inches of mulch as well. Remove this when spring arrives.
Generally, harvesting takes place in fall. Once the fruits have turned yellow or gold in color, they’re ready for picking. The longer the fruit remains on tree, however, the larger and sweeter it becomes. Over-ripened fruit, which may appear lumpy, should be discarded.
How to Care for Grapefruit Trees in Containers
Dwarf Grapefruit trees don’t tolerate being root bound, so you will need a very large pot. Drill extra large drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, and cover the holes with window screen to keep the soil from falling through. Raise the pot off the ground to improve the drainage and air circulation.
Dwarf Grapefruit trees in containers need extra protection during freezing weather because of the exposed roots. Cover them with a blanket when frost threatens.
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