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Tasmania, Australia Au

how do i grow a lemon tree



Welcome, Vicki!

If your winter lows remain above -2 deg. C, it's easy. Plant it in at least 6 hours of sun a day, in well drained neutral to slightly acid soil, and feed it regularly with a high nitrogen food--a 4-2-1 ratio with added iron, zinc, and manganese is ideal. Lemons and other citrus like to dry out between waterings--we give ours a deep soak every 2 weeks here in the desert, but yours will need it less often if your summers aren't as ferocious as ours! From -2 to -5 C, you will need to put more thought into frost protection, such as planting it on the south or west side of buildings, walls, evergreen trees, etc. Below -5 C, it would be best to keep it in a big container, and bring it indoors every winter. Container growing means more frequent watering and feeding, and a little more sensitivity of the fruit to stress of any kind. While indoors, it also needs a sunny spot, so the average garage won't cut it: it needs a big window, a conservatory, or a heated or passive solar greenhouse.

Harvest will depend on the variety. A few kinds are effectively everbearing, blooming and ripening at odd intervals. Most put on a fragrant show of blooms in early spring, and the fruit will be ready to pick in the mid to late fall--probably while it is still green. The chillier the nights are, the yellower the fruit gets, but by then it may be getting overripe, and dryish. Hope all this helps!

26 Sep, 2010

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