If there is anything better than fresh squeezed lemonade, it has to be fresh squeezed lemonade from home-grown lemons Growing your own lemon tree can be a fun and rewarding activity that can bring hours of delight, not to mention bushels of yummy lemons, to any family. By following a few relatively easy steps, you can start growing a lemon tree of your very own in no time.
Eat a lemon or two. When you are done, save the seeds that are found inside the lemons. Wash them thoroughly and then towel them dry. Place them in a warm, dry place for a few days until they dry out completely.
Cover the dried seeds with a damp towel and place them in the refrigerator for approximately a week. Look for small sprouts to begin appearing on the seeds.
Place the sprouting seeds into small cups filled with potting soil. Water the seedlings everyday to prevent the soil from drying out. The soil needs to be slightly damp to the touch to encourage the best growth.
Wait for the new seedling to grow to approximately two inches tall and then transplant it, soil and all, into a larger tree pot that has been prepared with potting soil and some form of fertilizer--either store-bought or homemade mulch or compost. It is best to allow your new lemon sprout to stay in this type of pot until it has grown into a small tree - approximately two to three feet tall. Don't forget to water often, keeping the soil slightly moist to the touch.
Select an appropriate location for your new lemon tree. Choose a spot that gets lots of sunlight and offers the tree ample space to grow. Realize that with proper care, the lemon tree will easily reach twenty foot in height and its canopy will have a diameter to match.
Prepare the location for the lemon tree. Clear the area of other unwanted plants and weeds and then dig a hole large enough to accommodate the contents of the pot the tree currently resides in, with a little extra space on the sides to allow for easy initial root growth.
Transplant the sapling, soil and all, from the tree planting pot to the prepared hole. It is generally best to transplant the sapling in the spring, after the last hard frost of the year. This way your sapling will have all spring, summer, and fall to grow and take root before having to endure its first winter.
Fill the hole around the roots with soil and water it down thoroughly in order to eliminate any air pockets that might have formed. Spread mulch around the base of the sapling in roughly a three foot circle. The mulch will assist with moisture retention, which can be vital during drought season, and help keep other plants from growing in that area and competing with the lemon tree for water and nutrients.
Water regularly and thoroughly for the first year and then during the dry seasons thereafter.