Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lemon Renaissance

The little potted Meyer lemon tree is finally coming into its own. There is a noticeable difference this season in size and abundance.

We acquired it by mail order in February 2009. It arrived in a cardboard box with the largest quantity of Styrofoam pellets I've ever encountered. It seemed to take forever to scoop them out and slowly uncover the tiny tree with two huge yellow lemons dangling like gaudy oversize earrings from twigs that could barely support them.

We gathered about five lemons the first year which I picked too soon in my eagerness, and none the second year because they kept falling off while still dark green and the size of a fingernail.

Whence this bumper crop? Maybe the time is right; it does take fruit trees a while to get going. Or perhaps it's the effects of compost tea and rock powder.

Each winter it needs protection from the frost. I've been watching the weather carefully and covering it sometimes when the forecasts skirt too close to 32 degrees. We've had no freezes yet. Will the lemons keep ripening even when frost-kissed? The label says it produces flowers and fruit year round in USDA Zones 9 and 10. We are Zone 10 so here's hoping for a Christmas harvest. B. says just to be safe we should bring it inside and make it into our Christmas tree. For one thing, it's already decorated!


Sri Ranjani said...

your lemons looks gorgeous. I had never seen such a small plant bear so many fruits.

BB said...

Thank you! I do believe the secret is compost tea, which I only started applying regularly last fall. The difference is noticeable -- if that's what makes the difference. There are always so many variables in gardening that it's hard to tell. At any rate, it's the best crop of lemons yet.