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Plant of the Month May - LEMONS & LIMES

Lemons & Limes

When life gives you lemons…..

Regain that zest for life and ensure that it gives you some lemons. They are easy to grow and, by picking the right varieties, you can get an almost constant supply of citrousy goodness.  

Choosing your tree

When choosing your tree it is worth paying attention to the flavour, the harvesting time, and what size tree you want. If you’re planting multiple trees, plant varieties that fruit at different times to stagger your harvest. 

Cutting vs Grafted

Cutting grown citrus tend to be slightly cheaper, while grafted lemons tend to cost slightly more but are generally hardier and more disease resistant. Most grafted varieties  are available on both Dwarf (1.5 – 2m) and full size rootstocks  (2.5-3m). 

Growing in pots or short of space?

Select a variety on a dwarf rootstock. 

 

Growing Tips

POSITION

Full Sun (requires at least 6 hours sunlight a day). Prefers free-draining soil rich in organic matter.

PLANTING

Dig a hole that is at least twice as deep and twice as wide as the pot that your tree came in. In heavier soils digging a slightly deeper hole is recommended.
 
Backfill your hole with a mix of your existing soil plus compost and sheep pellets.
 
In heavier soils break up the sides of your hole as you backfill as smooth sides can cause it to act like a bucket and fill up with water.

Plant to the same height that your citrus tree was in its pot. In heavier soils, add gypsum and plant into a slight mound to help improve drainage. 

FEEDING

Citrus trees are gross feeders, and do best when fed regularly.
 
Feed with Kings Slow Release Fruit and Citrus Fertiliser or for a natural option, add a large handful of sheep pellets every 2 months and feed monthly with Ocean Grow.

CARE

Mulch to improve the soil and help suppress the weeds. 
 
For best results use Living Earth More than Mulch.
 
If leaves become striped and yellow it tends to denote a magnesium deficiency. Solve by applying Epsom salts.
 

 

Our top 6 varieties

Lemon Meyer

Hardy, frost-tolerant variety that produces sweet, juicy thin-skinned lemons.

Fruits all year round once trees are well established.

 

Lime Tahiti

Delicious lime that’s perfect in drinks and cocktails. This fruit is found in bars the world over.

Tends to fruit in April through to September.

Kaffir lime

Leaves and rind can be used in curries, soups and salad dressings. Great for Thai cooking!

Perfect for container growing.

 

Yen Ben Lemon

Produces very juicy, sharp and tangy fruit with a smooth skin that’s great for zesting. Excellent for cooking and adding to drinks.

Tends to fruit heavily in winter, with a lighter crop in summer. 

Lime Kusaie

Small, slightly rounded with an intense sharp, tangy flavour. Harvest the fruit when it’s green, or allow  to ripen fully and eat once yellow.

Fruits nearly all year round once established.

 

Lemonade

This cross between a lemon and an orange produces a heavy crop of delightfully sweet, juicy fruit that tastes refreshingly like a high-end lemonade.

Fruits autumn through till spring.