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Growing Lemon Trees

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Growing Lemon Trees

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Overview

Lemon trees are grown for their delicious fruit that is used to flavor food and drinks. Once the tree is established, no pruning or mulch is needed, and the tree is relatively easy to care for. However, getting the tree established can be somewhat difficult, especially since the tree is intolerable to any weather below 30 degrees. The first two years of the tree's life are the most crucial. The tree is extremely susceptible to disease and frost damage. But an established tree is a joy to behold.

Planting

Step 1

Obtain a young lemon tree from a local nursery. They are usually grown in a container. Measure the width of the container and from the bottom of the container to where the stem emerges from the soil.

Step 2

Locate a generally warm area in full sun. The soil should be well-draining or sandy. Do not place the tree in any soil with clay qualities. Dig a hole to match your previous measurements exactly.

Step 3

Remove your tree from the container and sprinkle the roots with a gentle stream of water. Separate them from each other so that the outer roots are free.

Step 4

Place the tree in the hole, and fill the hole halfway with the original soil. Lemon trees do not need their soil to be mixed with compost or fertilizer before planting.

Step 5

Soak the soil in the hole with water, and wait for the soil to completely settle. Backfill the rest of the hole, ensuring that the roots are completely covered.

Step 6

Construct a watering ring by piling soil 4 to 6 inches high and thick in a circle around the tree. The ring should be 2 feet away from the tree on all sides.

Step 7

Fill the water ring with water immediately after planting, taking care to fill any holes that may emerge once the soil settles.

Maintenance

Step 1

Soak the area inside the water ring every two to three days for the first couple of weeks. Gradually extend the watering time to once every seven to 10 days.

Step 2

Protect the tree from frost by covering the entire tree with a warm blanket or sack anytime the temperature falls below 35 degrees.

Step 3

Apply 1 cup of ammonium sulfate throughout the first year in three to four applications. As the tree matures, add 1 cup for each year; for example, by the fifth year, five cups of ammonium sulfate should be added to the soil over three to four applications.

Step 4

Harvest the lemons when they turn a vibrant yellow or, for more juicy fruit, harvest directly before the yellow color deepens.

Tips and Warnings

  • Lemon trees have few pests, but if you see any on your tree, resist spraying insecticides to combat them. Instead, apply a citrus spray oil as new growth develops to discourage pests from the tree.

References

  • Aggie Horticulture
  • Growing Lemons
Keywords: growing lemons, lemon trees, planting lemons trees

About this Author

Lily Obeck is a copywriter based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She writes for print, online, outdoor and broadcast marketing, with expertise in health, education and lifestyle topics. Obeck holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas and works as a part-time children's library assistant.