Monday, October 21, 2013

Our New Lemon Tree

Yesterday was our 3rd wedding anniversary, and to celebrate we finally planted a lemon tree! We decided to get a dwarf Eureka because they have good fruit that you can harvest almost all year round. The dwarf variety will grow up to 2 metres, if we didn't get the dwarf it would have been 4 or 5m! We had to search for our chosen lemon variety at 3 different nurseries before we found it, they had a lot of meyer and some lisbon trees which we decided we didn't want because of the fruit, we want an acidic fruit that you can use in cooking. We ended up getting the tree from Turner's Nursery in Rochdale.
dwarf eureka lemon tree planted out with mulch
digging the hole was quite a difficult task that took 2 weekends
David worked on digging the hole for a couple of weeks, he also removed the last of the callistemon that was growing near where we decided the lemon tree needed to go. We chose a sunny position with a slight slope so the water should run off well. Lemon trees don't like to be in soggy ground. The ground had a lot of clay in it so we dug a large hole, which turns out that might not have been the right thing to do. We filled the bottom of the hole with some gravel and we put some of the local soil back in, we also put some dynamic lifter in the bottom.
mixing soil and compost in the hole
removing the lemon tree from its bag
We put a bag of rich compost and a bag of potting mix in the bottom mixed with some local soil. We mixed some blood and bone into that. Then it was high enough to put the lemon tree in, we tried to mound it up a bit but the mound turned out not to be very pronounced. We filled the holes around the tree with more potting mix and compost. We watered the tree and covered it with a thick layer of mulch.
adding more soil to build up a small mound
Here's to hoping we didn't waste the $46 it cost to buy the tree, not mention the cost of potting mix and compost. We did a lot of research, like this site that had diagrams on how to plant citrus in heavy clay soils. But the lady at Turner's nursery suggested it wasn't necessary to fuss and to just 'dig and hole and stick it in' while mounding it up. Let's hope we've done it right and lots of home grown lemons are in our future!
nearly 3 year old Thomas beside the new lemon tree

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