Phil Busey Agronomy
Consulting Inc.


Fruit Crops


Citrus in Central Florida

Subtropical soils for fruit production are often highly leached and, depending on substrate, exhibit wide variations in mineral content, soil reaction, and nutrient availability. Calcareous areas, for example, the rockland soils of Miami-Dade County, are alkaline (pH > 7.0) and are prone to micronutrient deficiencies in iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) in several crops such as carambola, avocado, citrus, and other fruit crops. Micronutrient deficiencies can be worsened by high rates of nitrogen (N) fertilization.

For this reason, and to prevent excessive vegetative growth which will limit flowering and fruit yield, it is best to fertilize trees frequently in small amounts. Most subtropical fruit trees are not tolerant to flooding and should be irrigated sparingly or not at all. Advanced irrigation methods such as low volume irrigation can reduce the negative effects of spray water on trunk bases, and target the fertilizer to the root system.

Tree spacing must be done appropriately for the species.