Sunday, February 15, 2009

Eureka!

This weekend my gardening achievement was planting a lemon tree. I've been meaning to plant one ever since a lemon fell / was thrown over our fence and I used it in a slice I was making. Lots of recipes need lemons ( both sweet and savoury ) and it suits the Mediterranean feel of our garden.

Step One : Choose a healthy specimen

I chose this one because it didn't have any signs of disease, was nice and green with a well balanced shape.This particular variety is 'Eureka'. It will grow to around 6m with fruit at various times of the year without many thorns. I bought mine from a local retail nursery.



Step Two : Keep well watered before planting

This is especially important in summer as pots tend to dry out very rapidly. The smaller the pot the faster it will dry. My nephew helped me with the watering can I bought for him ( I don't condone child labour - he was willing! )




Step Three : Choose a suitable position

Didn't have a lot of choice here as this is the only remaining area with any space for a tree. They need a sunny position with free draining soil. This position may be a bit on the shady side in the afternoon but gets plenty of morning and mid-day sun.

Step Four : Dig a big enough hole

Try not to bury your dog in the process! Ours likes to stick his nose in to sniff the soil as I'm digging. According to the label the hole should be the same depth as the pot and at least three times as wide.

Step Five : Fertilise

Next I added some 'Trees,Shrubs and Citrus' fertiliser to the hole and mixed it with the planting soil as directed. The label said 10 x tablespoons per tree.

Step Five : Water

I filled the hole up with water a few times and it soaked in quite rapidly indicating that it's definitely free draining. Our dog was trying to have a drink but it disappeared before his eyes!



Step Six : Back fill and Mulch

I planted the tree on a small raised mound to avoid over watering the roots. Mulching might have to be a job for next weekend as I didn't have any handy.


Step Seven : Water in well

Always a good idea. I plan on watering my Lemon everyday for the first few weeks until it gets more established. Then I'll monitor it to see how much it requires on a weekly basis. Hopefully I'll be one of those people handing out free lemons to friends and family in no time!

This online fruit tree supplier has a really good website http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/ Has anyone got any good lemon growing tips for me? If so please leave a comment.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Claire - I love lemons as well, both in my own garden and for clients'. My favorite cultivar by far is 'Meyer Improved' - typically a dwarf variety. They are exceptionally sweet and juicy and because the skin is so thin, can't really be grown commercially, although they occasionally show up at farmer's markets. That's one of the things that makes them special.

    Yours sounds like its off to a good start. Other than good drainage and occasional deep water, they really don't need much to produce, but if you have winters that vary and sometimes hit freezing, then you will want to protect them with by wrapping, or creating a shelter or even wrapping with Christmas Tree lights. I've had mine for 8 years and have only bothered to protect it twice.

    Nice work enlisting the help of toddlers and dogs - two groups that are always up for digging in the dirt!

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  2. Thanks Susan,
    I actually wanted to buy a 'Meyer' but there wasn't any at the nursery.Should have been more patient.I'll be recommending 'Meyer' to my sister for planting in a pot. We don't get frosts here although the deep watering will definitely be required!

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  3. What wonderful helpers you have there!

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