For some, growing a lemon tree is not always any easy task. Like most plants citrus trees have their own special requirements and without applying these, you may not succeed. Follow these steps and you will soon have a flourishing, bountiful citrus tree to make you proud.
The variety you choose may be dependent upon the area in which you live. If you live in a cool to temperate climate where regular frosts occur, you may need a cool climate variety such as Meyer. The selection process is just as important as the growing process. Make sure the tree is already healthy, disease and pest free, is grafted, and has at least three leading branches. The higher the graft the better. It is always a good idea to have a new tree properly pruned before planting, so just ask your local nursery person for assistance on this.
Apart from acting as a stabilizer for trees, the roots of any plant have a function to search for nutrients and water. If they find a good source of both these, roots can stop developing. This can cause the tree to grow slowly. In the case of lemon trees and citrus in general, this rule applies. Encouraging roots to grow and strengthen requires dry periods between waterings.
So locating a spot that drains well is essential. If you cannot provide this, there is an alternative solution.
If your soil is generally muddy or clay-like, adding about 6 inches of crushed rock, river sand, or even gravel in the hole before planting will help. Place some good soil or rich compost above the rocks and then plant your tree. Adding garden lime and gypsum is also a good idea.
Other than water, a crucial part of growing fruit trees is feeding. Citrus trees should be fertilized at least twice a year. Once at the beginning of autumn (fall) and once at the beginning of spring. You need to encourage root growth and foliage health during the cooler months of the year, so nitrogen rich fertilizers are required. This can be found in most manures and organic based fertilizers. During the warmer, growing periods when the tree is flowering and fruiting, potassium and phosphorous are required. Pre-manufactured fertilizers such as citrus food should be applied.
That’s about it and Happy Gardening!