Lemons grow on average sized trees. These trees have deep green leaves and fragrant flowers. Lemon trees grow quickly and can bear fruit at a very young age. Lemon trees come in dwarf sizes for container gardens and standard sizes up to 10 feet tall. There are true lemons and lemon hybrids. The lemon hybrids are usually lemons mixed with another fruit like a lime.
Purchasing & Planting
When purchasing a lemon tree chose a potted lemon tree about 1
1\2 times taller than the pot. Do not purchase tall lemon trees and any lemon trees showing signs of disease. Before planting cut back any broken stems. Dig a hole a little bigger and deeper than the rootball. Use a spade to churn up the sides and bottom of the hole. Mix compost into the soil. Remove the lemon tree from its container and loosen the roots gently. Cut any roots that completely circle the rootball. Place the lemon tree in the hole so the top of the rootball sits 2 inches above ground level. You may need to add soil to the middle of the hole achieve this height. Fill in space between the rootball and the hole. Create a ring 2-3 feet in diameter and around 3 inches hight to hold in water.
Lemon trees like full sun or light shade. Lemon trees prefer well drained soil. Lemon trees need regular watering to produce juicy lemons. If you would like to have lemons year round bring a potted lemon tree indoors. Keep this potted lemon tree in a cool sunny room.
The lemon tree may develop deformed fruit if exposed to unusual weather, especially cold spells. If this happens do not worry. Your lemon tree will probably be back to producing normal shaped lemons the following year. If your lemon tree seems to be too large or is not producing enough lemons prune it drastically. Saw the limbs back to stubs 2 inches in diameter. Shoots will from shortly. Protect young lemon trees from cold by piling wood chips about 1 foot deep around the lemon tree base. Be sure to remove these chips from the lemon tree in the spring.
To prepare lemon trees seasonally begin in winter. This is the best time to fertilize your lemon tree. Fertilize with nitrogen and potassium around the base of the tree. Spread the fertilizer out as far as the spread of the lemon tree branches. Check with your local nursery to determine how much fertilizer you will need for your lemon tree. In summer water well once a week. Do not let your lemon tree dry out of your lemon fruits will suffer. Harvest lemons throughout the seasons. Clip fruit with sharp pruning shears.
Beware of raised, brown, corky areas on lemons. This is citrus scab and is most common in humid climates. These scabs can also show up on lemon tree leaves. Citrus scab can be controled by planting lemon trees in breezy areas and pruning so air circulates quickly to dry lemons and leaves.
Varieties of Lemons
If you wish to have a crop of true lemons consider planting one of the following lemon trees: Armstrong, Eureka, Femminello Ovale, Genoa, Lisbon, or Villa Franca. Armstrong lemons are medium and very tart. These lemon trees bear ripe fruit year round. Armstrong lemon trees do not have thorns and will grow to about 20 feet tall. Eureka lemon trees produce small lemons of the kind most often seen in your supermarket. These lemons are tart and the branches have few thorns. The Eureka lemon tree will grow up to 20 feet tall and is short-lived. The Femminello Ovale lemon tree also produces very tart lemons of a medium size. This lemon tree is thornless and grows up to 25 feet tall. Genoa lemons are medium-sized. The Genoa lemon tree has a lot of thorns and is resistant to cold. This lemon tree will grow about 15 feet tall. The Lisbon lemon tree is also full of thorn. Its lemons are medium sized and juicy and the lemon tree grows 20-25 feet tall. The Villa Franca lemon trees grows to 25 feet tall too. The lemons on this tree are mostly harvested in the winter.
Hybrid lemons are another options when purchasing a lemon tree. The Improved Meyer lemon is mild with ripened fruit available year round. This lemon tree hybrid is the hardiest variety and grows up to 12 feet tall. Monachello lemons are not too tart or juicy. This lemon tree is thornless and grows up to 20 feet tall. Perrine lemons are very tart and juicy with some lime flavoring. This lemon-lime hybrid is very sensitive to cold and can grow up to 25 feet tall. Another lemon tree that does not like the cold is the Ponderosa lemon. These lemon fruits are very large and tart and harvest mostly in the winter. The Ponderosa lemon tree only grows 10 feet tall. Rough Lemon lemons are slightly tart. The Rough Lemon tree is very drought tolerant and sensitive to cold. It will grow up to 25 feet tall. Sungold lemon trees are also slightly tart with green striped, yellow fruits. They are very lovely with variegated leaves and will grow up to 14 feet tall.
Lemon trees can grow up to 30 feet wide and 30 feet tall. The lemon trees prefers zones 9-10 if grown outside. Lemons will grown best on trees in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. The lemon tree is easy to grow and will stay green year round. Lemons ripen throughout the year and a standard size tree will produce 300 lbs of lemons per year. Now that is a lot of lemonade!!
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