r Growing Lemons In Florida | Florida Organic Farming

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1 Growing Lemons In Florida

meyer lemon trees
Bees Pollinating A Meyer Lemon Tree

Lemons are a small evergreen citrus tree thought to be originally from Asia. Is commonly thought that they are a hybrid of citron and oranges. We have writing of that suggest cultivation in the Middle East as far back as 90BC. It made its way to Europe in the 1500’s than on to the America’s with Christopher Columbus shortly thereafter.  Today, India and Mexico are the largest growers of lemons in the world. Most people know the many uses of lemons; as the base of a drink, marinades, cooking, aroma therapy, as an antibacterial, and lemon oil is used as an insecticide.  As with all citrus it is very high in vitamin C, with 100 grams containing more than 60% of a daily recommend intake. As with most citrus it doesn't tolerate cold well at all, so only the warmer areas of the country grow them.

We have 2 lemon trees, one Eureka and one Meyer lemon tree. We also have a few other citrus but only two lemon trees. They both have very large thorns on them, something I was not really aware of before I got them. Not that they really get in the way but they are unusually large. It is not difficult to care for as long as it gets a supply of water and sun. It does best in sandy soils. Each mature tree can be expected to produce approximately 300 pounds of fruit per year. Some varieties are seasonal producers and others are ever bearing. Florida has all the right ingredients to grow a wide variety of citrus, which is well known by most. All told citrus has a 9 billion dollar per year impact on the Florida economy and employs 75000 people to cultivate it.

Lemon growing can be conducted using dry lemon seeds or from cuttings from a previous tree. Cuttings are faster than the use of seeds, which need time to produce seedlings. The seedlings may shoot after about 4 to 6 months and the growth of the seedling for a transplant taking between 3 to 6 months. You can select a method you find appealing to you for the lemon tree. Lemon trees are able to accommodate different soil types but prefer soil that drains well and that is slightly acidic. I set up irrigation to water them regularly. Frequent watering is needed to combat the moisture loss from the intense sun and obviously to produce plump fruit.  Winter pruning the plant will help it better survive the cold and actually improve fruit production. Our trees are not yet fully grown but yet have produced some lemons, though the transplanting did stunt them in this first year. Looking forward to the spring to get a full lemon harvest and some wonderful summertime lemonade.

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