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I live in the inner west of Sydney and try to grow as much food as I can in a tiny space. The garden is a wonderful little green space that changes with the seasons. This blog is about the garden but also plots my efforts to live simply - buy less, grow more, love lots, build community, tread lightly and eat good food.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Citrus pests and diseases

It has been a while since my last blog post. I have a pretty good excuse though. I am submitting my PhD thesis in under a month, and am trying to prioritise thesis writing over everything else. 

This post is mainly for me. I need a quick list of citrus pests and diseases and what I can do about them, so I can look back on it rather than looking up my big books. My mandarin, lemon, lime, ruby grapefruit and kaffir lime seem to have constant issues (despite getting the most attention)! Citrus seem to have so many pests and diseases. I have spent hours over the past month killing stink bugs, only to notice a myriad of other citrus issues. I am quietly wondering about whether they are going to be long term residents of the garden or not.  For now, let's pretend that they are here to stay.  I'd love some help with identifying diseases/deficiencies. And other tips for healthy citrus! Here is my list so far......
PEST: Bronze-orange bugs (stink bugs); CONTROL: big tub of boiling water with detergent, protect your eyes, double glove, then pick them off one by one and throw them in the boiling water.

PEST: mealy bug; CONTROL: if there aren't too many (there aren't) just chop off affected leaves and branches.
PEST: citrus gall wasp (with a stink bug in the background); CONTROL: cut off completely (and the book says 'burn by the end of August'). I put the cuttings in a plastic bag and put it in the ordinary bin.

DISEASE or DEFICIENCY: I don't know! Anyone have suggestions?
DEFICIENCY: Darker veins, yellowing surrounds = iron deficiency (I think) REMEDY: iron chelates used as directed on the box. Not sure what the spots are. Anyone???

PEST: citrus leaf miner; CONTROL: (1) avoid too much water in summer/autumn to avoid new leaf flush, (2) eco-oil or pest oil on affected leaves