Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lemons and Limes Revisited

You may recall that in July of 2015 I invested in some lemon and lime trees that were on sale at the Nursery.  My idea was a sort of French Greenhouse thing, moving the trees in when Winter came and moving them out after the cold.

My idea never really worked in practice.  Citrus trees it turns out, are incredibly sensitive creatures and I would end up losing leaves twice a year;  when I moved them in and when I moved them out.  As you can imagine, this cut down on the yield of any fruit.

Finally this year, in a fit of desperation, I took on of my lime trees that literally had four leaves left on it and planted it outdoors.  What did I have to lose, I thought?

Guess what happened?


No-one is more shocked than I. Really.  I really thought it was done.  It even gave me blossoms:

I swiftly moved to get the others in:

And this is my true experiment.  No leaves at all.  I am anxious to see if anything happens here as well:

This does not obviate the problem of winter, of course.  I will still have to figure out a way to protect them for true cold snaps.  But already the results are enough to convince me this is what I should have done in the first place.

4 comments:

Rain said...

Wow, that's a nice surprise!!! I hope they produce lots of lemons for you, what kind of lemons are they? Mine is a Meyer lemon tree...it did have a key lime plant that came with it, but it died really quickly. If I have success, I want to get more in the future...but yes, the winter problem...so far a sunny warm window has worked for me.

PeteForester1 said...

I'm not sure where you live, but lemons and limes can be cantankerous even when planted in places where they're known to do well.

Limes need full sun. Plant a lime in the shade, and it'll grown and blossom, but its fruit will drop off soon after the blossom. Lemons can handle some shade.

Oranges could probably produce fruit on Mars. If they get too much rain, the fruit will have thin, greenish orange skins. They're not much to look at, but they're juicy as hell. If they're grown in a dry climate, they tend to have a really nice, orange skin that's easier to peel. That's why your orange juice comes from Florida, and the oranges you eat from California.

Citrus likes soil with good drainage. Water them too much, and their leaves will yellow. If they don't get enough water, the leaves will get rumpled and curly.

If you want a delicious lemon, and a tree that will throw fruit at you even at an early age, go for a Meyers lemon; big, juicy, just sour enough, and just sweet enough.

Good luck with your endeavors...

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Mine are Meyers as well Rain. I am hopeful if these really take off that I can experiment with some other varieties. There are actual several. The limes are Key Limes (I think) - not so much for pies but for margaritas! I would like to try a mandarin orange tree and a grapefruit tree as well (as you can tell, I have a bit of a love of the citrus).

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Pete! We are on the edge of the southeastern US (Zone 9, I believe) so with a little management they should be okay. Unfortunately, regular oranges are the one citrus fruit I do not really care for (except as juice). Mandarins, grapefruits, lemons and limes - good with them all.

I am spoiled by my Father in Law's Lemon tree, which was tall and always fragrant and bore a lot of fruit. There is something about the delicate smell of lemon or lime blossom that defies description.