5 Best Mulch For Lemon Tree: How To Apply & Benefits

Lemon trees require a proper mulch layer to ensure water movement through its structure while preventing major evaporation of soil moisture. A 2 to 4-inch mulch layer is enough to reduce the growth of weeds and retain a moist environment around a lemon tree.

Generally speaking, the application of mulch to lemon trees has many benefits. Lemon trees grow best when soil is fertile and consistently moist and when weed competition is low. These conditions can be improved with the use of mulch. Using too much mulch or the wrong kind of mulch can create less-than-desirable outcomes. Here are the ideal mulching materials to use on lemon trees:

#1. Wood Mulch

Wood chips and bark are good organic mulch for a lemon tree. Their slow decomposition process permits the soil to benefit from a constant supply of nutrients. Normally, bark and chips are sold in large fragments, like nugget sizes, so they do not require to be replaced as often as finer mulches, such as sawdust, which easily gets blown away in high winds.

#2. Lawn Clippings

Lawn clippings can be used as mulch for a lemon tree. Fallen leaves raked from the ground which is shredded with a lawnmower also work well as mulch. All these types of natural mulches will decompose over time, adding more nutrients to the soil.

#3. Compost

A layer of compost around lemon trees does everything mulch should do from preserving soil moisture to increasing the soil temperature and blocking weeds from growing. A layer of compost also adds nutrients to the soil.  Compost from the backyard can be used or it can be purchased.

#4. Use Plants Debris

Plant debris are derived from dead plant materials may be better than using plastic, rubber, or rock, depending on the soil and climate. Plant debris degrades to improve the nutrition and texture of the soil as well as encourage beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

#5. Use Acidic-Forming Mulch

Unless the native soil is already quite acidic (pH below 7.0), using acid-forming organic mulches such as pine bark and straw, coffee grounds, and oak leaf mold is recommended. These mulches decomposes and lowers pH, thus, reducing nutrient deficiencies that cause chlorosis, or yellowing of leaves.

Acidic soils tend to allow freer root absorption of iron, magnesium, and manganese. In neutral to alkaline soils these micronutrients are not readily absorbed and sickly yellow-green to pale yellow foliage develops.

How To Apply Lemon Tree Mulch

Irrespecive of the type of mulch chosen, it should be spread evenly at a depth of 2 to 4 inches. This depth is deep enough to shade the soil, slow down weed germination, and reduce soil moisture evaporation. The mulch depth must not be so deep to avoid the reduction in the level of oxygen in the topsoil or keep soil moisture levels too wet and encourage fungal issues.

Mulch should not stack up against the lemon tree base and trunk. This can cause root rot, encourage pests, and initiate certain lemon tree diseases. For this reason, the base of the trunk must be ensured free of mulch to a distance of at least one foot all the way around.  Any stacked materials, such as fallen leaves or fruit, from the tree base, as well must always be removed.

By following these simple guides, under citrus trees can be mulched without causing root or trunk damage. Proper lemon tree mulching will help to retain moisture, prevent weeds, reduce weeding and hoeing, and help citrus trees become healthy and productive.

Benefits of Mulching Lemon Tree

  • Proper and adequate mulching under the lemon tree can help retain soil moisture
  • With mulching, the soil temperature around the lemon tree base is regulated
  • Mulching prevents the onset of weeds or grass, thereby allowing the feeder roots to do their job.
  • Mulch decomposes over time. This adds to the organic matter in the soil.
  • Mulch protects the topsoil around the lemon tree from drying out.
  • The soil structure is heavily impacted as mulch helps prevent the soil from compacting.
  • Mulch encourages the activities of the soil microorganisms. This leads to the expansion and diversity of soil biology.

Related: Six (6) Best Fertilizer For Lemon Tree In Pot

Mulching is an essential cultural practice in lemon orchards. Grass clippings, leaves, and composted vegetation can be used as mulch. Commercially produced mulch from tree materials is suitable, but products that have been dyed or treated with systemic pesticides, which can find their way into fruits should be avoided.

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