Archive for January 18th, 2012

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Lemon Tree Facts and Growing Tips

January 18, 2012

Scientific Name:  Citrus limon

Description:  A sour fruited citrus used in fish, salad, cooking, juices, baking, desserts, drinks, and as a cleaning agent.

History:  The origin of the lemon tree is unknown but many believe it came from northwestern India and was introduced in southern Italy in 200 A.D. then in California around 1751. Heavy cultivation did not begin in the U.S. until 1870. Lemon trees are widely grown all over the world and grow in abundance in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mexico, and West Indies.

Nutritional Value:

Serving Size: 1 cup raw lemon sections, without peel (212g):

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 61
  • Calories from Fat 0
  • Total Fat 0
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 4mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 20g
  • Dietary Fiber 6g
  • Sugars 5g
  • Protein 2g
  • Vitamin A 1%
  • Vitamin C 187%
  • Calcium 6%
  • Iron 7%

Planting Tips:  Lemon trees can usually be planted any time of the year. However, it is best to plant according to your zone’s best timetable. Generally, early spring is best, as it will allow the root system to get established and acclimated before frost danger.

Harvest Tips: Available year-round (lemon is widely grown all over the world), with supplies peaking from April to July. In California’s Central Valley, where I live, harvest time is February to July. Unripe lemons are green. When matured, the color changes to yellow.

Recommended Varieties:

Eureka:  True North American-grown lemon trees. Medium size (10-20 feet), few thorns, everbearing but short-lived.

Lisbon:  True lemon tree grown in North America. Tall (30 feet), most productive, thorny.

Dorshapo:   True lemon tree that grows in Brazil and other Latin American countries. It produces a sweet, low-acid lemon, and it’s growing habit resembles the Eureka’s with a large open canopy.

Improved Meyer:  Not a true lemon tree. This hybrid is rounder and orange-colored. Small, ideal for containers, makes an excellent hedge, few thorns, no pruning needed.

Variegated Pink:  Eight feet, good container plant.

Check with your local nursery professional for the best varieties (these and others) for your zone, landscape, and care needs.

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