Lemons are some of the healthiest foods you can eat or, as people often do, drink. While they’re grown in many parts of the world, they aren’t the kind of thing many people grow in their own backyards. But you can change that with a well-kept lemon tree.
It takes about two years for a tree to grow and another seven months for the first fruits to appear.
After that, you can pick lemons year-round for your next batch of fresh lemonade – as long as you follow these tips for growing them.
Before planting your lemon tree, either indoors or out, remember you’ll get the best results if you start with the right ingredients:
Fresh Seeds: If you decide to grow your tree from scratch, take a seed right from a lemon you’ve just eaten. If the seed is too dry, it won’t grow as successfully. Also, rinse the sugar off the seed before planting to prevent future fungal infections.
A Warm Spot: Like other citrus fruits, lemons grow better in warm weather and ample sunlight. Plant your tree in the warmest, sunniest area of your yard, and keep it warm to avoid frost in the winter months.
Slightly Acidic Soil: While lemon trees can grow in even the poorest soils, you’ll get the biggest yield from this type of soil, not to mention the largest fruits.
Also, lemons tend to grow better when the tree is planted in high ground, so dig a shallow hole before planting.
How to Make Your Lemon Tree Grow
Lemon trees require less maintenance than other plants of their kind, but that doesn’t mean they’ll just grow fruit by themselves. To yield the most lemons possible, follow these maintenance tips:
Water Frequently: Lemon trees need a lot of moisture to thrive, so make sure they’re always hydrated. Give your tree plenty of water, and plant it in mulch, which contains more moisture than ordinary soil.
Provide Light: Even when you plant the tree in the sunniest area of your yard, it still needs some help from you. If you’re growing a tree outdoors, turn on a floodlight on cloudy days. If growing indoors, use a fluorescent grow light, especially during cold periods.
Keep It Healthy: Since warm weather is a must for lemon trees, they tend to be more vulnerable to fungi, mosquito infestation and other threats. Keep an eye on the leaves and bark to look for signs of sickness and take the necessary steps to cure or prevent problems.
Lemon trees can be fun to maintain, and you’ll certainly love the fruits of your labor (pun intended). Start with the right tools to grow your tree and you can enjoy fresh-squeezed lemonade anytime.