When I was a kid in a small rural community, almost everyone had a lemon tree in their backyard.
And today it should not be different, their ate many varieties that grow well even in containers in a urban garden.
Although it is not known where lemons originated. We might think they came from the Mediterranean and Moroccan origin as they are so well associated with that cuisine, but it is thought they come from Northern India. They came to Southern Europe during the time of the ancient Romans ( around the second century, and 500 years later to the Middle East. By the end of the first millennium, they were cultivated widely in those areas. Columbus took seeds to America and the Caribbean.
Lemons are always availiable in shops but it best to get local and organic produce. Be aware that they are usually covered in Canuba Wax to improve their shine.
Lemon trees like full sun and we’ll drained soil. They are thirsty and hungry trees, so plant by digging in lots of organic matter like compost or manure. They also grow will in tubs or pots.
They are shallow rooting, so need mulching and grow well given regular fertilizer with an organic citrus fertilizer in spring.
Remember to water in well while establishing and forming fruit.
Prune to remove dead wood and to create a lower bushier tree.
Lemons are easy to grow but do attract some pests. Leaf miner can be treated with an organic pest oil after remover badly damaged leaves. Scale and sooty mould can be controlled with a soap spray. Stink bugs should be carefully removed with paper towel.
Lemons are prone to collar rot if planted to deep or mulched near trunk. Leave space around the trunk when mulching or composting.
This year I’m preserving lemons. They are ready to use after a month.
8 to 10 lemons
Sea salt. (Not table salt w,which has been iodized )
Lemon juice extra.
Sterilized mason jar.
Place two tablespoons of salt in bottom of jar.
Scrub lemons clean and cut off 6mm of their tip.
Chop each lemon in half length ways but do not cut all the way through. Cut again so it is in quarters but attached at base still.
Gently pull open quarters and full lemon with salt inside and out.
Place lemons in jar and press down so juice spills out.
Pack them in tightly then add more lemon juice to cover.
The lemons will be ready in a month and will last two years.
Tip: add spices like bay and clove, cinnamon, pepper corns coriander seeds or even while olives. I have added bay leaves and cloves to mine.