The Lemon Tree

In the citrus belt, trees can be planted any time of year. Spring is the best time to plant container-grown trees from a nursery. Set standard-size trees 12 to 25 feet apart, set dwarfs 6 to 10 feet apart. (Distance will depend on type and variety.) Set standard-size oranges 20 feet apart, standard-size grapefruit 25 feet apart.

Lemons require less space. Plant the trees no deeper than they grew in the nursery container.

To grow an Lemon tree successfully, fertilizing is a necessity.

 Dig the planting hole both wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots. After placing the tree in the hole, back-fill halfway with soil, firmly pressing down to squeeze out any air bubbles. Then water the soil and allow it to settle before back-filling with the remaining soil. Keep the soil level with the surrounding area or slightly mound it. Setting it any lower will lead to standing water and cause rotting. Also, be sure that the bud union remains above the soil.

Apply nitrogen fertilizer to the area around the tree after about a month. Follow the directions on the fertilizer based on the space you are spreading it over. Do not spread it too close to the tree base. Cover an area of at least 3 or 4 feet out from the tree 
to encourage roots to branch out.

Mound soil up about 1/2 foot at the base of the trunk during the winter to protect it from freezing weather. Cover the base of the tree with several inches of mulch as well. Remove this when spring arrives.
Lemons are the most sensitive to cold than all other citrus trees. Due to this cold sensitivity, lemon trees should be planted near the south side of the home. Lemon trees need protection from frost. Growing them near the house should help with this. Lemon trees also require full sunlight for adequate growth.

While lemon trees can tolerate a range of soils, including poor soil, most prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Lemon trees should be set slightly higher than ground. Therefore, dig a hole somewhat shallower than the length of the root ball. Place the tree in the hole and replace soil, tamping firmly as you go. Water sufficiently and add some mulch to help retain moisture. Lemon trees require deep watering once weekly. If necessary, pruning may be done to maintain their shape and height.
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