Growing lemons

Beautiful lemon trees in the garden or on the balcony not only create a relaxing atmosphere, but are also very useful. These evergreen trees bloom up to twice a year, and can grow between 3 and 6 meters in height. It produces fruits almost all winter, when they are most needed by the human body. Lemon is an extremely healthy fruit. In addition to being great as a diet, lemon is also used as an essential part of natural cosmetics. Vitamin C from it stimulates the production of collagen, so it is an important part of anti-wrinkle creams. Other nutrients nourish the skin as well as the hair, so it is also used as part of hair and scalp masks.

The most famous types of lemons we can grow are:

  • Meyer (lower tree, suitable for growing in a bowl and sweeter fruit)
  • Eureka (Harder crust and more acidic fruit)
  • Lisbon (smooth bark and sour fruit)

Lemon planting

Ground


Experts advise planting lemons in permeable soil. To increase the permeability of the soil, you must also add sharp sand to the solid soil. This kind of soil is important because lemon is not suited to too much water, which can stifle the root. Too little water, on the other hand, can cause the leaves to fade. It is best to plant the seeds that have previously dried. Put them in a bowl or even a glass of yogurt, a few inches deep. The soil to germinate must be constantly moist, but not too wet, so that the seeds do not rot.

fertilization

At the standstill stage, which occurs for the lemon during the winter, we can transplant the lemon into a larger jar or out into the ground. From April to August is the time when lemon should be fertilized. This is done once a week, the best fertilizer specifically made for citrus fruits. You will not have to treat the tree or the soil with artificial fungicides.


Temperature

For starters, keep in mind that lemon does not tolerate low temperatures. It grows best in the Mediterranean, subtropical and tropical climates. In continental areas, winter temperatures are a big problem for citrus trees, so if you want to grow it there, it should be well protected during the cold months. For the same reason, many choose to plant lemons in containers that are brought indoors for cold. Lemon does not tolerate temperatures below - 5 degrees Celsius. If you grow it outside, you will need to protect the fruit during the winter with foil.

Water


Although lemons grow in warmer areas, they still require large amounts of water, especially during their growing season, which runs from April to late September. During the summer, lemon must be watered more often, and after September, moderate, only after the soil has dried.

Growing lemons in a bowl

Lemon can also be grown in a pot for personal use or as an ornamental plant. Citrus lemon or lime is the best kind for this. These plants can be moved to warmer rooms, so they are suitable for cultivation and in areas with inadequate climate for citrus fruits. The lemon pot we planted should be kept in the light, preferably on the south side of the house, with a maximum daily temperature of up to 20 ° C. With enough light and small changes in temperature, you can expect to bloom all year long.

In summer, the plant must be in the fresh air and in winter in a closed, bright room. If you cannot provide the required temperature, above 10 degrees, it is important to place the plant in a room where there is not much light so that the tree can enter the resting phase.

Indoor citrus fruits should be vaccinated to bear fruit. We make it fertile shoots. This is best done from mid-August to mid-September. Indoor plants should be transplanted every 2 to 3 years, into soil that is a mixture of heavy soil, compost, rough sand and leaf.

Plantation maintenance

pruning

We maintain the lemon tree by pruning and removing the whole branches. It is done at least once a year, preferably in the spring, in March or April, when we will be able to remove any possible damage from the winter. Competitive branches are cut so that the saplings receive more nutrients and grow better. The pruning can be sharp and produce more vegetative branches and fewer buds, or weaker ones, which make the fruit less flowering but bear more fruit.

Disease protection

Lemon tree, like any other, can be infected with various fungal, viral or bacterial diseases. They are also threatened by various parasites, most notably the lemon worm, aphids, aphids and moths, mites and many others. Chemicals can be used to protect the tree, although they are not recommended if you have few trees and if you grow them for consumption, precisely because then they will not be allowed to use lemon peel.

Instead of chemical agents, you can use natural preparations to protect lemons from diseases and parasites. The most effective plants for this are:

  • nettle
  • elder
  • wormwood
  • chamomile
  • gates
  • oak leaf
  • lovage

You must first dry each of these plants and soak them in rainwater for a few days.Then place the water in a spray bottle and spray the tree regularly - both in diseased and healthy places. Do not leave plants in this area for more than a few days so that the solution does not start fermenting.

Lemon harvest

Lemon only gets fruit three to four years after planting. Later, the tree gives birth once to twice a year, especially in a suitable climate. The best fruits grow from spring flowering. It lasts for two months. So long ripe fruits can wait for picking, which means that lemons can be harvested almost all winter, from November, until April or May.

The second flowering, occurring exclusively in a suitable environment, is actually forced and begins in August and lasts until the end of September. The fruits can begin to be harvested in May, just after the last harvest of winter fruits.

An adult tree that we properly care for can yield up to 800 fruits a year. This is enough to enjoy this medicinal fruit all year long, not only with consumption but also with natural cosmetic preparations.

Lemon storage

After picking, lemon can be stored in the fridge for one month after harvesting or at room temperature for about a week. This is why it is great to have a lemon tree in your home or garden, as you can harvest the fruit just before use to prevent the fruit from rotting. Harvest always ripe, yellow fruits, because they are sweeter and juicier than greenish ones.

If you want to extend the durability of the lemon in the refrigerator, store it in hermetically sealed plastic jars or closure bags. You can also store frozen lemon juice in the freezer for a long time, and if necessary, thaw and consume it.

Medicinal properties of lemons

It contains a full range of vitamins, most vitamins C, A, B1 and B6. It is also full of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and folic acid. Because of all this, it perfectly protects the immune system, stimulates the liver, circulatory system and nerves. It stimulates the work of the intestine and is good for the stomach, so it is beneficial for overall digestion. Precisely because it is acidic itself, it reduces the secretion of acid, thereby promoting the alkalinity of cells, preventing cancer and tumor formation.

Consumption of lemons prevents many diseases, from infectious, viral and bacterial ones, such as influenza, colds, sore throat, sinus and bronchitis, to arthritis, high blood pressure, gallbladder and kidney stones, all the way to cancer.

Lemon in cooking

The use of lemons in culinary arts is widespread. It is mostly used in addition to sweets, juices and alcoholic beverages, but also in the preparation of salad dressings, sauces, smoothies and the like. The most important thing is to consume fresh and shortly after squeezing, because the more heat is processed, the more its nutritional properties and vitamin action are lost. However, it can be baked in cakes, cakes, creams and retain its characteristic sour taste.

Lemon is also used a lot as part of diets, because of its antioxidant and digestive properties, so it affects weight loss. For this purpose the drink is freshly squeezed and diluted with water, without the addition of sweetener. Drinking is usually fasting and later in the day.

Freshly squeezed lemon is an indispensable addition to teas, especially in the treatment of sore throats, colds or the flu, when consumed with honey. Lemon can be used on a daily basis, not only in culinary arts, but also as part of cosmetics, cleaning products and the like, so it is also more than useful to have it as your own tree.

Interesting facts about lemon

Although lemon is so healthy, lately we have been listening to warnings about how and how best to use it, because of the heavy pesticide it treats. That is why it is more than advisable to plant your own lemon tree. So we can control the use of all harmful chemicals (or not use them at all) and later fear the fruits, even the lemon peel, to be consumed with caution if purchased from a third party.

Author: V.B., Photo: charliemou / Sxc

How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed (July 2020)