Lemon tree care

I planted my Eureka lemon tree 30 years ago in my back yard. It’s not in the ideal position because of big gum trees being within 10 metres but it’s not doing too badly. Ideally they need full sun and well drained fertile soil, with with a good layer of mulch.

Something you should know before you plant a lemon is that you can’t just plant them and forget them. They need a lot of attention to do well. If you’re not prepared to do that, then don’t plant a lemon tree. They need to have compost and organic fertilisers added every year, a good covering of organic mulch, pruning and an occasional oil spray to keep pests at bay. Stink bugs love lemon trees, as do spined citrus bugs. One of the pests controlled by the oil spray is leaf miner, which make the leaves curl. This year I skeletonised my citrus trees to encourage the already fruiting branches, then I applied my oil spray two times so far early in spring. When pruning, I’ve always removed inward growing branches so that a wine glass shape is created. This makes the tree healthier because of better light penetration and air circulation. It also makes the tree easier to manage. You can see that it the photos. I also organically fertilised and mulched around it at the same time. Now I’m regularly inspecting it and squashing any stray stink bugs. I’m also making sure the soil doesn’t dry out in the summer. I think this will be my first year when the pests, especially the stink bugs, don’t become a problem. It’s been a lot of hard work.

When our lemons come on, we juice them and freeze the juice in ice block trays. That way we have juice all year long.

I’ve also planted a dwarf Meyer lemon in a huge plastic pot, along with other citrus in the same type of pots. This will mean I can micro manage a lemon tree without anywhere near as much work. This would be a good option for time challenged people or people without much space in their yard. When you plant one, you can’t get away with a smaller pot and expect it to work. You also have to find that golden position and monitor it. You have to be prepared to fiddle with it. But it’s easier than a bigger tree in the ground, if you do it correctly.

Here’s some pics