Caring for Lemon Trees (Citrus Limon)
Citrus limon, or more commonly known as lemon, is a mainstay in many kitchens around the world. This versatile fruit is a primary ingredient in countless recipes. Its juice is used as flavoring and base for many beverages. To bring you closer to the many benefits of this fruit, here are some tips on how you can care for your own lemon tree.
Fertilizing your Citrus Limon
Lemon trees can absorb very high levels of nutrients from the soil. For this reason, you have to add more fertilizer regularly, especially during the months of May and April. You can use seaweed fertilizer to provide your trees with more of its required nutrients or trace elements. For 1 year old trees, you can use about 1 kilo of animal manure or compost per tree. For trees that are more than 8 years old, about 20 kilos of compost fertilizer should be good enough. To attain proper pH levels, you can also add dolomite or lime into your fertilizer mix during the months of November and December.
When applying fertilizer, make it a point to water the trees afterwards. This will help in evenly spreading the nutrients. Also, do not put fertilizer on or near the tree trunk. Apply the mix in the area near or around the drip line of each tree.
Watering your Citrus Limon
Lemon trees need plenty of water, especially during the summer months and when flower buds have started to form. Water helps in the good development of the fruits. Water lemon trees either early in the morning or in the evening so water does not evaporate quickly. Lemons have very shallow roots, so it would greatly help if they are exposed to moisture for a longer period.
Pruning your Citrus Limon
Pruning the trees allows you to remove dead or diseased branches. Through this process, you also take away low-lying or inward-growing branches that block airflow in the innermost parts of the trees.
If your trees are grafted cultivars, make it a point to cut away shoots that form below the graft line. Such formations can disrupt the efficient distribution of nutrients inside the trees. Also, low-lying shoots can potentially cause wounds that can trigger diseases in lemon trees. So, be careful when pruning along the graft line area.
For easy harvesting and disease control, try to prune your trees such that they will not be higher than 3 meters. Instead of focusing on height, shape the trees such that their branches are spread out. This will help your trees produce more fruits. Lastly, pruning is best done before springtime. But if you intend to shape your trees, do your pruning or shaping after the harvest season in early spring.
Truly, Citrus limon trees can become an attractive part of your home or garden if you can take care of them well. Not only will you have a steady supply of lemon fruit, but you will also have beautiful evergreen trees.