Saturday, March 20, 2010

Removing the Fruits For Increased Fruiting

Lemon (Citrus limon)

After giving away so many lemons, this tree still stands laden with large bright yellow fruits.  I like harvesting fresh lemons whenever I need one so I could just leave the fruits on.  However, today I saw purple flower buds pushing their way out ...which means that those fruits (at least most of them) will have to come off the tree.  

Citrus Limon 'Ponderosa'

Here are some important cultural and post-harvest practices to consider:

1.  Harvest fruits before the flowers come out will ensure a good crop for the next season.   
2.  Prune to remove unproductive branches, allow sunlight to penetrate the canopy, and train the branches to grow towards desired direction. 
3.  Apply fertilizer under the following conditions: the leaves are yellowish; or when the tree is planted in a pot.   My lemon tree is planted on good soil; no fertilization is required.  On the other hand, I have two orange trees planted in large pots which need regular application of nutrients.
4.  Juice and freeze for future consumption.   Lemonades in the summer will be appreciated.   
5.  Make lemon curd; they are good for pancakes and scones. 
6.  Share.  Give some of your lemons to friends. 

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