Citrus fruits are packed with vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium – the list goes on. Although they are not enough for a balanced meal on their own, they certainly offer a lot of benefits that can complement the rest of your nutrition.
Lemons are easier to grow than other citrus fruits, and you can do it right in your own yard. By growing them yourself, you will be able to taste and check their freshness and quality. At the same time you can eat healthy fruits and keep your body free from any chemical contamination associated with non-organic lemons.
How can you grow them?
You can buy a lemon tree from a flower shop
Yet, I recommend buying a baby lemon tree (it should be about 2-3 years old) to get the best results with your lemons. Pick out a clay or plastic pot (with a lot of holes at the bottom), and make sure that it is slightly larger than the actual root ball of your baby tree. Once the tree matures, it might need a planter that is about 12-15 inches deep, and 17-20 inches in diameter.
Put your baby lemon tree into the pot, and fill the drainage container with pebbles to improve air flow. Then, fill up your pot with good soil. Keep in mind that some soils are specifically prepared for growing citrus fruits, so they will likely produce better results.
That is basically all the preparation you need. Make sure your fragrant tree is receiving around 8-10 hours of sunlight a day, and is watered regularly (but be careful not to over-water it). Lemons usually take about 6-9 months to ripen, so when they have a full yellow color and a slight give to touch – they are ready for your dish or juice!
You can also grow your lemon tree right from the seed.
To grow your own organic lemon tree right from the start, you will need to supply the following:
- An organic lemon since non-organic lemons often contain non-germinating seeds
- Fertile potting soil, preferably containing peat, vermiculite, perlite, and natural fertilizers
- A planting pot that is six inches wide and six inches deep
- A seedling pot that is about 24 inches wide by 12 inches deep
- A sunny, indoor growing spot and possibly a suitable lamp for continued lighting
Follow these steps to grow your own lemon tree:
- Moisten the potting soil so that it is damp, but not soaked, all the way through.
- Fill the smaller pot with soil, all the way up to an inch below the rim.
- Cut open your lemon and remove the seed. Remove all of the pulp from its surface. A good way to do this is to simply suck on it until it is clean.
- Do not delay to plant. The seed must be still moist when it is lowered into the soil. Plant the seed about half an inch deep in the middle of the pot.
- Spray the soil that is directly above the seed gently with water from a spray bottle.
- Cover the pot with clear plastic wrap, seal the edges with a good rubber band, and poke small holes in the top with a pencil.
- Place the pot in a warm, sunlit location.
- Spray on more water occasionally, not allowing the soil to dry out. Do not cause water to puddle though. Just keep the soil somewhat moist.
- In about 2 weeks, when the sproutling emerges, take the plastic covering off. If you need additional light for your lemon plant, you can use a grow light to supplement the sun’s light.
- Take care of the young plant by keeping the soil damp, by making sure it gets at least 8 full hours of light per day, and by giving it moderate amounts of organic fertilizer.
- Watch over your plant to ensure it is not attacked by pests or diseases. Prune off brown, dead leaves when necessary. Use pesticides only if you have to. Protect your new lemon tree!
- When the plant outgrows its small pot, put it in the larger planter. You will go through much the same procedure when you re-plant it as when you first planted. Younger plants need more water than older plants, but they all do need adequate water. Don’t starve your poor plant after all that work of growing it!”
A tip on how you can make your lemon tree grow faster:
Allow young lemon trees to grow without pruning when possible, as removing green leaves slows growth of the tree. Avoid pruning in late summer or fall, as the pruning can cause new growth that is more susceptible to cold weather damage.