|C. × limon
|Citrus × limon
The lemon, citrus x Limon is a tiny evergreen hailing from the large Asian continent and the fruit of this tree is yellow and ellipsoidal in shape. People use this fruit for cooking and non-cooking purposes worldwide, particularly for its juice. However, the rind (zest) and pulp find use in baking as well as cooking. The juice of this lemon contains citric acid of 5 – 6 %, and this gives a sour taste to the lemon. This peculiar sour taste of the lemon juice gives it a prominent place as an ingredient in foods and drinks like lemonade.
The lemon tree grows to a height of 15 to 20 feet (4.5 – 6 m) it spreads its branch everywhere. Their oblong leaves grow to a length of 4 inches (10cm) and the flowers, though white, have red markings on them. Either the lemon fruit has a bright yellow color and has a nipple at both ends or at one end. It grows to a length of 3-5 inches (7.5 – 12.5 cm).
It was in the middle of the 15th century that Europe in Genoa initiated the maiden cultivation of lemon insignificantly. Later in 1493, Christopher Columbus carried lemon seeds on his voyage to Hispaniola and after this; he took the fruit to America. Further, Spanish conquests propagated lemon seeds to the new world. This plant was famous for its medicinal value and as a decorative plant. It was in the 19th century, when this lemon plant so its large induction to California and Florida.
Growing Lemon at Home
Photo by: Carsten Niehaus
Soil for Planting
Do not over wet the soil just keep up its moisture. An excess of water turns the leaves yellow and they fall. During summer and spring, provide the tree with enough water and reduce in winter and autumn. Lemon trees are adjustable to a variety of soils like poor soil, slightly acidic soil but they favor well-drained soil.
For planting your lemon tree, select a sunny area in your garden. Before planting them immerse them in a bucket of water, thereby the root balls remain unhurt. Then make a hole double its width, place the plant in level with the soil top soil and fill the hole.
Water properly and mulch the plant for storing moisture.
Temperature and Humidity
A general temperature of 70°F at daytime and 55°F at night is sufficient for a healthy growth of lemon trees.
- For the initial few years, give your tree a balanced diet of fertilizers rich in nitrogen.
- At frequent intervals of spread, 2 lbs of fertilizers in 2 or 3 doses.
- After a period of 4 or 5 years when it grows, give them double quantity of fertilizer.
For Sustaining the Moisture Supply
For the facile protection of the roots, mulch around the plant. Retain moisture and suppress the growth of weeds. In order to enrich the soil, make use organic mulch like sugar cane mulch, properly decayed and cow dung. Make sure the mulch is away from the stem and does not rot it.
Peeing on a lemon tree enhances its growth. Urine is an organic product composed of urea water and salt, it has fertilizer like nitrogen.
Pests and Pesticides
Insects need proper control if you notice them early. It is a task to get back spoiled lemon trees to normalcy. The best way to have control on the caterpillar, leafminer, scale and fungal rust is to use organic oil once a month. If you notice fresh damage, on the tree, use spray every fortnight.
Harvest Month and Storage
Photo by: André Karwath
Lemons, once ripe, do not remain healthy on the tree, thus pick them green. A minor bruise or scratch on the fruit will spoil the fruit. Thus, while picking the fruit wear your gloves and handle them with care just as you do with eggs. Every picker carries with them a ring of diameter 21/4 (5.7 cm) and discards a fruit that is bigger than the ring’s diameter.
Store your lemons in properly ventilated dark curing houses. The skin of the treated fruit is tough yellow and silky, it is possible to store them for many months.
‘Sun Gold’ and ‘Eureka’.
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.