Growing lemon trees

Meyer lemon trees

Growing lemon trees are so beautiful and scented, never mind the fruit.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 21 December, 2018.

By Bernard Preston

I particularly like the Meyer because they go on bearing month after month after month. I chose this picture of a lemon tree, not the most dramatic, because you can see the mixed yellow and green fruit.

And the so called improved Meyer is even better; it flowers twice and just continues to bear fruit, almost year round.

I'll confess it up front; they bear incredibly well, if you care for them and plant it in a hole filled with compost, for about thirty years. Our two are 31 years old, a Meyer and a Eureka and are looking very tatty.

Update; the Eureka has now died of old age, and in fact is a very sour lemon. I'm going to replace it rather with a lime tree. Old faithful Meyer is growing right over our french drain from the septic tank, and continues to flourish.

Growing lemon trees

Growing lemon trees is such a boon to the family's all round health.

Google, the source of all knowledge!, tells me that Meyer lemon trees are a Chinese cross between a lemon and a mandarin, hence it is less tart that the Eureka. It was brought to the USA by one Frank Meyer in 1908 from China. Its bright yellow fruit and sublimely scented flowers makes it a great favourite as a indoor potted plant too. Ours is located outside our bedroom window, and the scent in the Spring... heaven.

"Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."

Amazing how wrong a guy can get it! Both with his girl and the lemon fruit "impossible to eat".

Planting Lemon tree

Planting lemon trees is such a plus to your salads and cooking.

If you want a heavy-bearing fruit tree, then break your back and dig a deep hole. It should be square, not round, so that the roots go outwards and not just down.

It took me three hours hard labour to dig this hole and fill it again with sticks, compost, subsoil, more compost, lime... replacing the topsoil.

First, dig a big square hole.

For more details about how big the hole should be, and what goes in the bottom of the crater, type tree planting help into the search engine in the navigation bar.

On top of your old half rotten sticks and the first layer of compost replace most of the subsoil. In my case it's this orange clay. Hard as rock, hence the importance of digging a deep hole to give your Meyer lemon tree a good start. Then, provided you have good root stock, you can grow a lemon tree that will provide bountiful fruit for thirty years and more.

Walnuts and pears, you plant for your heirs; lemon trees too. At 62, I wonder how many years of lemon juice I'll get to enjoy?

Does a lemon a day prolong life? We don't know, but they certainly rich any salad; I'm now in my 67th orbit of the sun. I can well imagine that until as recently as three hundred years ago, many still believed the sun circled the Earth.

Although the German Copernicus is generally given credit for the discovery of the helio centred universe, Ptolemy wrote about it in ancient times.

Growing lemon trees usually require LIME.

Particularly in high rainfall regions the soil is too acid, so a good dusting of agricultural lime is a good idea. I can't tell you just how essential, but I believe it's helpful to your growing lemon trees.

Now the order isn't too important. I don't put the lime in contact with the compost, as I fear the earthworms may turn up their toes, so I'll cover the lime with the first layer of topsoil.

Grow a lemon tree - now replace the topsoil

The subsoil should have gone deeper in the crater - but there will inevitably some over, which I use to seal the compost pile - and then the topsoil goes back where it belongs. At the top!

Compact compost tumbler

Growing lemon trees need compost.

If you have a small garden that's highly visible to the neighbours, then I recommend a COMPACT COMPOST TUMBLER but I'm privileged to have a very large and secluded fruit and veggie patch, so we have four different piles of humus in various stages; actually it's now seven, with the added benefit of two worm farms to provide liquid manure for our plants and creepy crawlies for the hens. 

It's best to put the waste from the kitchen into a worm farm first, rather than into the compost pile where they attract rodents.

Of course the compact compost tumbler can be sealed to keep them out too.

One for old sticks, one for the prime garden waste like grass cuttings and kitchen refuse, one for large stalks (like from growing corn, or mealies as we call them), another for rough stuff that might well contain weed seeds and other suspect garden waste that you might not want to spread back into the garden.

This is the third, or the fourth layer of compost?, I can't remember even though I started planting lemon tree yesterday. Bit of senile decay setting in? I'll have to eat more fatty fish! Did you know that Omega-3 has a very beneficial effect your grey matter? That's the part of the brain where all the data is stored. The hard-drive... starve yourself of the right fatty acids and Alzheimers and senile decay is inevitable. Fish oil, salmon, flax seeds and walnuts.

Searching for something specific? Say, "Fish oil health benefits or flax seed nutrition information". Just copy and paste in here...

Just type in whatever you are searching for.

Now replace the rest of the topsoil. Heap it up slightly as it will settle with time as that organic matter decays back into sublime earth for your growing lemon trees.

Birthday gift idea; Meyer lemon trees

Actually I got sneaky. The good wife had to buy her own Meyer lemon tree. My birthday gift was to dig the pit; three hours' hard labour from start to finish. She can plant the tree, with the help of our grandchildren. Tomorrow, hopefully I'll have a picture of the finished growing lemon trees product.

Oh, by the way, if you are growing lemon trees commercially, and have unlimited space then they should be 25 feet apart. For the home garden 15 to 20 is probably adequate. Our 30 year old Meyer lemon has grown to about 3 metres tall.

Now we sit back and wait for a couple years. Then I'll probably pull the old lemon trees out. I might be tempted to plant another Eureka, but I don't find it as juicy, and it doesn't bear as long in the season. They also seem to be susceptible to drought, when the fruit may have almost no juice.

Instead I've just put in the first lime tree.

Here's an update at our growing lemon trees page. Just occasionally it pays to procrastinate.

She who must be obeyed had other things on her mind yesterday, and the lemon tree, still very pretty, remained in protection. We had a terrible hail storm last night; I wonder how the other young plants coped?

Here it is, nearly a year old. Next year will probably see the first flowers, but I'll pull them off.

Beehives in the background so there's no fear the flowers won't be well pollinated. How to start beekeeping ...

White oil

White oil is a safe, easy to make fluid to protect your growing lemon trees; all citrus in fact. 

Sap sucking insects on your citrus trees can be catastrophic; that might be aphids, black or green, or white fly and probably a host of others.

There's a very simple, non toxic solution for the organic gardener; you really don't need to expose yourself to the dangerous chemicals that certainly will kill the bugs, but might well destroy you too.

The title white oil manufacturers is something of a misnomer; you will do it yourself. Can you mix together sunflower oil and washing up liquid?

Lemon drop drink recipe

Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summers day than this lemon drop drink recipe; make it today if you have a lemon tree. I'm convinced that carbonated colas are one of the main causes of obesity. Start your child out on the right track from the first years as a toddler and save him the ravages of a too-heavy body.

Ever since I gave up beer - it was threatening to become master of the house, rather than the nave - I have this orange grapefruit, half a lemon drink every evening. Fifty percent diluted with water.

Lemon and honey

Lemon and honey has been a traditional sore throat and flu medication for centuries. I can't comment on the scientific validation of that practice, but it is certainly a delicious drink. But what about the honey glycemic index? Does it produce a sugar rush in the blood stream which must be countered by an outpouring of insulin by the pancreas?

Lemon juice

There's an expensive and nasty alternative to fresh lemon juice; a processed product for those too lazy to press their own fruit. To preserve it, chemicals are added that are detrimental to our health, and taste terrible. Consider growing lemon trees, or at least purchasing them weekly.

"There were no lemons, so I made do with a little squirt of plasticky juice in my G&T from the Jif lemon in the fridge. When I picked up my glass, the ice cubes rattled uncontrollably. The G&T tasted vile but it gave me courage."

- Little Bee by Chris Cleave

An exceptional book by the way, if you're a reader. 

Lime nutrition

Lemon and lime nutrition abound in healthy substances; vitamin C, limonin and phytogens to name a few. We call it our "viral guard".

It all starts with growing lemon trees.

There are suggestions that citrus peels shouldn't be put in your compost bins gardening. Certainly I haven't compared two similar piles, one with and the other without, but after a few months there is no sign of them, but a gentle orangery scent in the humus if you love your oranges and limes.

Limonin is the active ingredient that them the citrus family gives to our health.

Compost bins gardening

Useful links

» » Growing lemon trees

Searching for something specific? Say, "ALZHEIMERS AND EXERCISE ... digging holes fends off the inevitable mental decay! For a season or ten! ". Just type it in here...

Just type in whatever you are searching for.

Bernard Preston

Building websites of course like anything else costs money. If you've enjoyed Bernard Preston and growing lemon trees, then perhaps you can say thank you by downloading one of his six books onto your Kindle or tablet. They're dirt cheap, and I promise you, you won't be sorry.

A Family Affair

A Family Affair is a trilogy of intrigue and deception by Bernard Preston.

~ 99c each.

A family affair showing the Bostonians cover
A family affair introducing Peter's children
A family affair and the return Kleinjan

Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie. Or, better still, Face Book or Twitter it. 


56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa