Make room for delicious mandarins
MANDARINS are little packages of juicy and nutritious deliciousness. They're so handy to pop in a lunch box and varieties like Emperor are extra easy to peel.
Mandarins will grow in all but the coldest areas and prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil. Growing a range of varieties can provide fruit from late autumn through to early spring.
Dwarf mandarins grow no taller than around two metres. They are perfect for backyards and can also be grown in a large container filled with good quality potting mix. When planting a new mandarin tree, mix some Dynamic Lifter into the bottom of the planting hole. Dynamic Lifter improves the quality of the soil and supplies the newly planted mandarin with gentle, organic nutrients as it establishes.
Mandarins, like other citrus, are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to support all the foliage, flowers and developing fruit. From spring until the mandarins are harvested, feed each week with a citrus liquid plant food.
Mandarin tip: Sometimes mandarins will produce fruit only every second year (called biennial or alternate bearing). To help minimise this, remove some of the fruit when it's still small and green, which reduces the drain on the tree's energy reserves. And don't forget to feed, feed feed
Angie Thomas is a horticulturist from Yates