Position – Plant your lemon tree in full sun, if possible. If not, partial shade will do.
Soil Type – Opt for soil with a pH of between 5.5 and 6.5 and ensure that it drains well.
If you plan to grow your lemon tree in a 50 x 50 x 50 centimetre pot, use a whole bag of our volcanic rock dust with a mixture of compost and potting soil. Place stones on the bottom of your pot to make for good drainage. If you’re planting your tree in the ground, dig a hole that is at least 50 centimetres wide and 50 centimetres deep. If the soil is loamy (not clay), mix your soil with a bag of our volcanic rock dust. Volcanic rock dust re-mineralises your soil for better growth and fruit production.
Watering – Water your tree regularly.
Mulch – Mulch around the lemon tree with pine needles or pine bark (stocked by Just Berry Plants). Mulch will maintain soil moisture and keep the soil slightly acidic. It helps to keep pests away as well. Do not let the mulch touch the stem of the plant, as it may cause infection or rot.
Fertiliser – Lemon trees need a fertiliser that is high in nitrogen added through the winter to spring. You will find this at hardware stores and most nurseries. Sprinkle a handful of Epsom salts around the stem every 3 months. In fact, all your fruit trees will benefit from these salts.
Pests – Mealybugs, spider mites, aphids and scales occasionally attack lemon trees. Most lemon trees get bumps on the leaves at some point. Remove them and treat them with an organic pesticide. If this doesn’t work, a systemic pesticide is often recommended to get rid of the insects.
Pruning – A good time to prune your lemon tree is once it has stopped fruiting. Remove branches in the middle of the tree to thin it out as this will aid in pest and disease control. Prune the tree to your desired height to enable easier harvest.
During the year, cut away branches that cross over one another and remove any tangled leaves, twigs and branches, this will enable vertical growth.
Harvesting – Your lemons are ready to be picked when their skin has turned from green to yellow (or mostly yellow) and they come off the tree when lifted and twisted.