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Plant of the Month May - LEMONS

Lemon-Banner

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

Before selecting a fruit tree, it’s worth considering when different varities fruit, what space you have (do you want a dwarf or full size tree) and whether you want a dwarf, full size or cutting-grown tree.

Cutting Grown Trees

Grow full size (3-4m) and tend to be cheaper than grafted trees. However, they are less disease resistant and not likely to do as well in heavier soils as trees grown on a rootstock.

Dwarf Rootstock

Most varieties grow around 1.5-2m tall. Resistant to some pests and diseases (phytophthora and some nematodes) and is the best option if you want to grow in a container.

Full Size Rootstock

Grow full size (3-4m). Resistant to various diseases and pests and will tend to grow better in marginal soil (though like all citrus they still prefer free-draining soil rich in organic matter).

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.

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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.

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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.

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Click here to see some of our citrus range