A Meyer lemon is a citrus hybrid from China – a delicious cross between an orange or mandarin and a lemon. As a result, it is sweeter than a regular lemon, but finishes with a tart tang. It also has a thinner skin and is smaller than regular lemons. They are relatively easy to grow in your garden or in pots and are self-pollinating, so they don’t need to have another tree nearby to thrive.
This lemon is high in vitamin C and antioxidants; so, it helps to fight diseases like cancer, purifies the gut and contributes to a youthful skin.
Position – Plant your Meyer lemon in a spot that enjoys full sun, but protection from strong winds. They should be planted at least 4 metres away from other trees and large shrubs.
Size – The Meyer lemon may grow to between 3 and 4.5 metres in height. They may flower all year round, but will usually bloom during the spring. Then, the delicious fruits appear and are ready to enjoy during winter. They should bear their first fruits when the tree is between 3 and 5 years old.
Soil Type – This lemon tree thrives in soil that is usually quite moist and never becomes particularly dry. To plant your seedling, dig a hole that is at least a metre squared to allow plenty of space. Keep the superior topsoil to one side and the subsoil to another. Add plenty of healthful compost to each pile and mix each up well with the compost. Then, put the topsoil into the hole, plant your tree at the same height as it was in the bag, and top it with subsoil. Use a bit of the subsoil to create a dam wall around the base of the tree so that water has the best opportunity to sink down to its roots.
Mulch – As with most fruit trees, Meyer lemons thrive with some good mulch, which can be bark chips, pine needles or coarse compost. Keep the layer of mulch refreshed regularly for best results.
Watering – During the summer months, water your tree in the garden twice a week. Trees in pots will need to be watered more regularly (possibly even daily if it’s been particularly hot and dry).
Fertilising – Fertilise your Meyer lemon at least once every three months, but particularly over summer and spring. Choose a fertiliser that is rich in nitrogen and potassium ie: Talbourne 3-1-5 (we do stock this for your convenience) You can also add a sprinkle of Epson Salts around the roots every couple of months.
Pruning – To keep your tree tidy and manageable, prune it every now and then. When the fruits are about the size of marbles, you can also prune their clusters to one or two buds per cluster. This usually ensures larger fruits.
Harvesting – The lemons mature and become delicious during the winter. They will only ripen as long as they are on the tree, so be sure to leave them intact until they are a vibrant yellow colour and slightly soft to the touch.