New & Enthusiastic Gardener Needs Assistance/Advice on Lemon Tree

b18brat(8)November 19, 2012

Hello GardenWeb!

I'd like to first thank you for clicking on this thread and taking the time to help a newbie. =)

We bought our home in 2007 and there was a mature lemon "tree" (it looks more like a large bush) right out front. Several neighbors and visitors have given me their opinion on what type it is, but I don't know for sure. I'd like to start by determining what variety it is! If I need to provide more pictures, please let me know. I wasn't sure what close ups might be needed to make an accurate assessment so I went with one of the whole thing.

I've got lots of questions and several stories of events the tree has had, but didn't want to go on and on in my first post. I suppose I'll see if anyone responds and go from there! =)

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

I'm beating John to this. A close up of the fruit would be helpful, but to me, clearly you've got a lovely Improved Meyer Lemon tree. A few clues for you: First, it's a bush :-) Meyer's like to form more of a bush-like shape, very common. And perfectly okay. Second clue is the shape and color of your lemons. Rounder, darker, richer yellow which will continue to ripen to yellow/orange, and their skin will be thinner and smoother than, say, a Eureka or Lisbon lemon. They are extremely juicy, less acidic and make the best lemonade ever. They are also fabulous to cook with, just Google "cooking with Meyer lemons" and you'll see all kinds of great recipes. Martha Stewart extolled the virtues of the Meyer lemon, and that has launched the Meyer lemon into culinary stardom. Your Meyer lemon will produce ripe lemons nearly year 'round, so be sure to pick them off as they ripen. I don't let mine get over-ripe (soft and more orangy in color). If you don't pick the ripe fruit, you can force your tree into an alternate bearing cycle, which you don't want. Also, you need to rip out all the grass from underneath the tree, out just beyond the edge of the canopy by about a foot (that's the drip line of your tree, and where the feeder roots exist.) Be sure your tree is on a drip and not being sprinkled by the lawn sprinklers. That will be eventual death of a citrus tree, they do not like to be constantly wet from a sprinkler, you can cause fungal infections on the trunk that way. Lastly, be sure you fertilize your Meyer regularly, at least 3 times a year (I fertilize my Meyer more frequently, 4 times a year, and with twice the amount of recommended fertilizer because they are SUCH prolific fruit bearers). Lastly, you may want to treat for Citrus Leafminer if this is an issue in your area. Just search our forum for Citrus Leafminer or CLM, tons of messages around that - I've probably posted over 30 times at least about CLM :-) And, you can add your USDA & Sunset Zone in your "Zone" section where you have "South Texas" (see my zone info). That helps us on the list know how to best advise you as well.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Patty is a most knowledgeable and a big fan about Meyer Lemons; do what she advises.
Here is a photo of one of my garden Meyers... true love of the family; but not my primary concern.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:26PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Oh, how funny! They look almost like the identical same photo! Enjoy your Meyer, b18. John and I share a love for this citrus variety. John loves them so much, he's growing 10's of thousands of them down in Guatemala, commercially. He is our undisputed Meyer Champion of the World :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Thanks, Patty.

At the moment we have 16,000 trees, right on track for our 5 year goal of 50,000 trees producing 15 million fruits.

We are also strategic planning to produce the first and largest certified screen house nursery and budwood grove with capacity of 50,000 trees per year.

A dream has become a reality; and now the vision is on track to become a reality. Guatemala will soon be the largest producer of Meyer lemons in the world; and with our revolutionary production system, we will also be the least cost producer.

Today the largest ice cream producer in Central America expressed an interest in producing Meyer lemon ice cream; we already have a small artesan producer of exotic ice cream producing Meyer Lemon Cardamom ice cream in Antigua, Guatemala... C'mon down.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:21PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Ooh, the ice creams sounds fabulous! And with Cardamom. One of my very, very favorite spices. I have a bag of it in my spice cabinet, and I sometimes just open up the cabinet to smell the Cardamom :-) Great combination of flavors. Too bad ice cream doesn't ship.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:45AM
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westgirl(8 WA)

Ohhh! I agree - the ice cream sounds fabulous, and I love cardomon! Patti, maybe you should consider making ice cream the next time you have bushels of lemons from your tree.

I'm so envious of those lovely trees in the photos, I once had one outside my door when I lived in the bay area, and it was a constant source of pleasure - and more lemons than I could deal with. John, I can only image the way the air smells when all the trees are blooming - incredible, I'm guessing! You lucky folks.... Westgirl

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:44PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

If anyone is interested in trying to make Lemon Cardamom ice cream, here is a great recipe.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: LA Times: Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 2:47PM
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