For everyone who loves gardening
The best thing about winter is a lovely lemon tree, full of butter-yellow fruit – a reassuring sight that always tells me that no matter how cold and miserable it is, all is still well in the garden ... Or is it?
At our recent The Gardener Live show in Pretoria, the most questions that Gerald and I were asked by gardeners visiting our stand for advice – were about badly-performing lemon trees. Some of the tales of woe we heard were sad enough to make me want to burst into tears!
Here is a brief description of how to treat a lemon tree (Because no matter the battle you might have, you simply have to plant one of your own!): Full sun and protection against cold winds is a must. Make large holes and backfill them with copious amounts of compost and bonemeal, before planting the tree at the same depth it is growing in its nursery bag. Bad drainage kills! Check that your planting hole drains freely before planting the tree.
Otherwise you can plant the tree in a large pot filled with quality potting soil, and enriched with compost. Water frequently in summer, but hold back a bit in autumn and winter. Feed four times a year – in April, July, September and January – with a granular fertiliser containing nitrogen and potash. Trees in pots will need more watering and also a regular foliar feed containing macro and micro elements – apart from the four annual, granular fertilising sessions that are recommended.
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