Everything about lemons scream summer. That colour. The zestiness of lemonade and G&T’s, that cleansing hot drink first thing in the morning. One of the best degreasers, polishers and odour neutralisers around, they should be a household staple.
A potent source of Vitamin C, the trees are evergreen and produce fruit all year round. And best of all, growing them is easy, perfect for novice gardeners. What’s not to love?
To flourish, they just need the basics – sun, water and fertiliser. The last being free if you pee on your tree – the nitrogen in urine is said to be the best natural fertiliser (double bonus as you save on flushing the loo too). We’re trialling this at home and will report back on whether our lemon tree survives, thrives or dies.
- Lemon trees grow well in pots and look fabulous on balconies and terraces. And they transfer well if you want to plant them out.
- Like many fruit trees, they may take a while to get going, not producing any fruit for the first few years, so hang in there.
- They’re self-pollinating, which means you’ll only need one of them to bear fruit. Avos by contrast are cross-pollinators – you’ll need two or more trees for them to fertilise.
- Choose a sunny aspect – too much shade makes them susceptible to disease. You’ll know your lemon tree is sick if the leaves start curling or become bumpy. Check under the leaves for scale and sooty mould (which look like white mould). Neem oil or good old cloth and soapy water is supposed to help here, or you could ask your local nursery for an eco-friendly spray.