Changing Times Call for A Change in Habits

"TKO" Phosphite 0-29-26, Nitro 22 SRN
December 2015

As the New Year creeps ever closer, citrus growers should schedule a late December / early January dormant spray to increase their 2016 crop yield and crop quality. The right spray at the right time makes all the difference.

Changing Times Call for A Change in Habits

In the past, growers would severely stress citrus trees each winter to encourage more flowers, fewer leaves, and ultimately a larger harvest. They would withhold water, give the trees a "shock spray" of straight urea, or literally beat their trees with sticks to cause the release of a stress hormone known as traumatin. With really healthy trees, those options would still be viable. But with trees that have already been traumatized and weakened by today's greening disease (HLB), such measures would do more harm than good.

Instead of relying on chancy old practices for good bud induction on citrus, the team at Growth Products has developed a spray program that stimulates fruit budding without any downside or potential damage.

Starting in late December or in the first week of January, after approximately 800 chill hours, apply a tank-mixed foliar spray of 1/2 gallon of TKO Phosphite 0-29-26 and 1 - 2 gallons of Nitro-22 SRN per acre. These products can be sprayed in low volume, in solutions of five to ten gallons per acre.

"TKO" Phosphite 0-29-26. Phosphite is a water-soluble form of phosphorus, and when sprayed on dormant plants it is quickly absorbed by twigs and branches. Once in a plant, it is extremely mobile, moving in both xylem and phloem. In addition to its inherent nutrient properties, phosphite has noticeable and proven biostimulant properties that work to not only increase bud formation, but also to increase blossom set, increase fruit set, and increase yield and crop quality. A clear liquid solution, Growth Product's "TKO" Phosphite is easy to use and agronomically effective.
Nitro-22 SRN. Growth Products' proprietary Nitro-22 is a good choice for safe, sustainable growing, improved crop yield, and fruit size. It contains nitrogen in the form of a highly efficient low-salt methylene urea nitrogen molecule. When used as a foliar spray, this special molecule delivers a small dose of quick-release nitrogen followed by up to four weeks of slow-release nitrogen, making this key macronutrient available at different stages of plant development.

The combo spray of "TKO" Phosphite and Nitro-22 SRN will provide just the right amount of stress to induce good budding plus the additional beneficial properties such as better rooting and improved disease resistance.

Adding Some Extra Disease Protection

Another key aspect of winter dormant sprays is disease control. That's never been more important than now.

Tank-mixing or otherwise combining the TKO Phosphite and Nitro-22 spray with an organophosphate or pyrethroid insecticide will help suppress Asian citrus psyllid and other insect levels all year long. Coordinated efforts among growers are the most effective method of control, and benefit all citrus professionals in the state. The University of Florida's Citrus Health Management Areas's (CHMA's) website provides excellent information on both coordination and timing of sprays.

We would be glad to talk with you and to help tailor a spray program that is best for your particular grove. Just give us a call at 800-648-7626 or email us at

Best regards for a happy New Year!