5 luscious lemons to grow at home
The humble lemon is one of the most productive backyard fruit trees. Choose the right variety for your area and you can soon enjoy fresh home grown lemons. The important requirements for lemons (and most citrus trees) are well-drained soil, a full sun position, regular water and regular applications of Yates Dynamic Lifter Plus Fruit Food.
Grafted trees are best in gardens as the strong root system resists root rot diseases (e.g. Phytophthora) and promotes healthy growth and abundant fruiting. Dwarf citrus trees, grafted onto Flying Dragon root stock, which restricts the size of the tree but not the fruit, are ideal for smaller gardens and in large pots. Cutting grown trees, such as “Lots-a-Lemons” are best suited to large pots, which provide adequate drainage for these dwarf, multi-stemmed plants.
The best home garden lemon varieties include:
- Eureka Lemon – very productive, fruits nearly all year round, with large medium to thick skinned lemons that are juicy, very acidic and have few seeds. It’s a large, upright, cold-sensitive tree.
- Meyer – a thin skinned, super juicy lemon with a mild acid content, cropping several times a year. The fruit has a deep golden colour when ripe. It’s a wide spreading tree, and is very cold tolerant.
- Lisbon – a very cold tolerant variety, large thick skinned fruit, very juicy and acidic with few seeds. A vigorous upright tree that mostly crops in mid to late winter.
- Lemonade – a less acidic lemon with a sweeter, milder flavour, delicious eaten fresh or juiced. It’s a vigorous tree and thrives in warm climates.
- Villa Franca – ideal lemon fro growing in the tropics and sub-tropics. It crops in winter and during summer. Similar to a Eureka in flavour.
There’s still time to boost hungry trees (and all fruiting plants) with an application of Yates Dynamic Lifter Plus Fruit Food. This complete fertiliser combines organics with additional nutrients to boost growth and produce more abundant fruit.
Citrus leaf miner
Begin preventative sprays to stop citrus leaf miner damaging new citrus foliage. Pest oil is effective prevention for citrus leaf miner, which lays its eggs on citrus trees. The larvae tunnel under the surface of the leaf, leaving silvery trails and distorted growth. This can weaken and spoil the look of the tree. For best results, keep pest oil spray well agitated and thoroughly wet the leaves on both sides until drips occur. Spray every five to 14 days during flushes of growth.
Tie up long canes of raspberries as they grow, and net crops of these, blueberries and strawberries as the fruit develops to protect it from birds. Blueberry Burst from plantnet.com.au is an Australian bred, dwarf blueberry that reaches about one metre high.
This low chilling variety can be grown anywhere in Australia, is high yielding, with very large fruit. White bell-shaped flowers form in late winter and early spring, followed by clusters of green fruit that gradually ripen to deep, rich blue. Crops are produced over three to four months.
Blueberries prefer an acidic, well-drained soil, so growing them in large pots filled with quality potting mix makes good sense. To lower soil pH, treat it with Yates Soil Acidifier Liquid Sulphur every four weeks until the correct pH is achieved and fertilise in spring using Yates Acticote Fruit, Citrus, Trees and Shrubs, which feeds continually for up to 12 months.
It’s not too late to tidy up ornamental grasses, which flower profusely or turn bronze in winter, such as purple pennisetum, miscanthus and carex. These can be pruned back any time from early winter to early spring. The simplest method here is the bunch the grass into a “pony tail” using some stretchy tape pulled in tightly around the base, then lop the tops off almost to ground level using shears a sharp knife or even a chain saw. Sprinkle a couple of handfuls of Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food around the base and water thoroughly. The grass responds well, reshooting from the cut leaf blades, and new shoots arise from the base of the plant. The tops can be shredded with the lawn mower and added to the compost or spread on the ground as hay mulch.
More information: www.yates.com.au
More inspiration: pinterest.com/HomeloansLtd