Planting under citrus

Planting under citrusWhat, if anything, is suitable for planting underneath citrus trees? Do coffee grounds help vegetables grow? How can I keep brush turkeys out of the garden? These are just three of the queries answered this month in a bumper Q&A section.

What, if anything, is suitable for planting underneath citrus trees?

A Phil Dudman says: You can do this, but keep it to plants with shallow roots. I suggest annual alyssum, or perennial alyssum ‘Snow Princess’, which both flower over a long period and attract bees and beneficial insects. Small flowering annuals such as pansies or lobelia are suitable, as are shallow-rooted herbs. Try marjoram, oregano or thyme. All of these will do best on the outer edges of the canopy, where they can catch some sunshine. In the shadier spots, try some colourful impatiens. Just be sure to maintain a clear area at least 30cm in all directions from the trunk, so you can keep an eye on the graft union and ensure it remains healthy, while avoiding moisture build-up on the bark, which may encourage collar rot. To prevent damaging the citrus roots when planting, just pile compost on the surface and plant seedlings into that.

For more answers to reader questions, pick up the May issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine.