Growing Lemons/Limes

These citrus fruits are not frost hardy so need to be grown in a greenhouse or conservatory. All are grown as bush trees.

Recommended varieties:-

Lemons - Meyer, Lisbon, Eureka.

Limes - Mexican, Tahitian.

Soil Conditions and Siting

Citrus hate bad drainage so they should be planted in a medium sandy loam, enriched with plenty of organic matter. The pH of the soil should be between 6.0 and 6.5. The site should be sheltered and sunny.

Planting

Plants are available container grown or balled, both of which can be planted at any time of the year. They are usually grafted onto a rootstock. When transplanting ensure that the join to the rootstock is at least 4" (10cm) above the soil level.

Maintenance

Feeding

Apply a dressing of blood, fish and bone in spring and autumn. The young roots of citrus are very tender so care should be taken when applying fertilisers. They should be applied sparingly and watered in well. Apply a mulch of well-rotted compost or manure to help conserve moisture.

Ensure that the plant is kept well watered. This is particularly important in the first couple of years of growth.

Pruning

Thin out overcrowded branches and remove any weak, sappy growth in the early spring.

Harvesting

Citrus fruits should be cut from the tree when they are ripe. Store in paper lined boxes or wooden crates, with each fruit covered in a layer of sand. Kept in a cool place, the fruits will store for 2 months.

Pests and Diseases

Gall Wasps, Red Spider mites, Aphids, Scale insects and Lemon Scab are possible problems. (See pests and diseases section for prevention's and cures. This is accessed via the Main Index Page).

 

Last updated 14 December, 2003
© copyright 1999, P. A. Owen