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mulching citrus trees

Zephyrhills, FL

We recently planted a small key lime tree and a small kumquat tree. I have been told not to use organic mulch around the trees but I do want to make the area look a little more pleasing to the eye (hate that bare dirt look!). Is it ok to use decorative stones around the trees?

Spring Hill, FL(Zone 9a)

Why aren't you supposed to use organic mulch? I mulch my citrus (Kumquat,Grapefruit) with leaves, pine straw and grass cuttings and they do just fine.

Zephyrhills, FL

We've been told by several garden/nurserys not to use organic mulch. I am assuming it's due to pest control. All of them say if you use any kind of mulch at all, keep it a 6 inch radious from the trunk. I finally found someone the other day who told me it was ok to use the stones, but again, keep it a 6 inch radious from the trunk. I just wanted something to cover the bare dirt to make it look a little nicer. Thanks for your reply. :)

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

It is usually recommended that any mulch is kept away from the trunk of a tree, whether citrus or otherwise. (Usually a mulch that close to the trunk will offer a great home for ants, underground rodents, and a hide-away/cover for rabbits/mice to be able to knaw away the bark.)

To me, even the stones that you mention are "organic mulch". Tampasal, perhaps you should try a "living mulch" such as rye, clover, or even a garlic patch (for it's repellent properties) around your trees. (I had left over gladiolus bulbs one yr...they now pop up yearly around many of our fruit trees!)

Best of All to you! Have fun!

East Barre, VT(Zone 4a)

Cool idea Horseshoe. Maybe I'll try that around my new apple trees.

Zephyrhills, FL

Great ideas!! What else low growing can I plant around these small trees to hide the bare dirt that won't take too much away from the delicate roots of these newly planted trees?

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Tansy would be good, tampasal. It can be "spreading" but if you mow around your trees to keep it in check it won't take over. Not only does it repell many insects but produces great flowers for drying or using fresh (often called "button bush").

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