What are the ideal conditions for growing a lemon tree?
For the best results, plant a lemon tree in a frost-free, hot spot in the garden where it will receive at least 8 hours a day of sunshine and day time temperatures that range between 15-30°C. Add a good mixture of compost to the hole when planting and sprinkle bone meal over the soil occasionally. A tip from experienced gardeners is to a few lumps of crushed charcoal to the hole when planting a lemon tree to sweeten the soil.
Water lemon trees regularly in the period when they are flowering and setting fruit, which is from July/ August, to about march. If there is no rain, drench the roots of a lemon tree every three weeks.
Young lemon trees do well with a dose of balanced fertilizer in July, December and March. Start by giving the tree about 1 kg over a year and then gradually increase the amount until the tree is getting 7 kg per salts 3 times a year. Spread a thick layer of mulch on the roots, but keep the mulch away from the stem of the tree.
Pruning is very important:
Aim to have 4 6 well orientated scaffold branches by the 1st year of bearing.
Use many lighter cuts, rather then a few heavy cuts.
Light should be able to penetrate the canopy of the tree, as high light levels increase sprouting improve fruit colour and sugar content.
Prune, by trimming branches after fruiting. Every year, remove extra scaffold branches, crossed branches and thorny water shoots, as well as any suckers.