Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweet! or is it Sour?

Hi there and welcome back. It's been quiet here I know! and its been quiet on the gardening front despite it being summer here in Oz. I haven't had much time for myself recently and while things have been changing on my balcony garden, most of that hasn't been noteworthy -or positive if I'll admit it. We lost some good men out there. Including my precious strawberries. Sob. But you live you learn, and we grow from our mistakes. I hope.

But.. one thing that is noteworthy, I bought a meyer lemon tree! Its a wee thing in terms of trees but that's a good thing because frankly, I don't have much space. I'd been pondering on a dwarf/ fruit tree for a while and reading up on it, was considering citrus as my best bet for the balcony climate. Then right before Christmas, shopping in Bunnings, there she was.. I was like a kid in a candy store begging my husband "Can I have it?? Oh pleeeeeease!?" his sensible reply was "We live in a unit. What are you going to do with a tree?". Drawing from my extensive citrus growing experience, ahem, I promised she would grow slow and would bear lots of sweet fruit which I would bake into all sorts of treats. Its at this point I will mention my husband's Greek heritage and for those of you in the know, you realise I didn't have to press my point any further. Lemons, can be used for everything and my meyer came home.



My faithful Umbrella Trees got replanted in the common garden area and hey presto, plenty of space. I was nervous potting my meyer, I've never grown a tree before! I've not really transplanted anything before either and certainly not as big, as most of my plants have been grown from seeds. I kept a loving eye over her corner, making sure everything was just so and....

...surprise!



I take it she's settling in just fine.

11 comments:

  1. Oh, Dot...she's beautiful! I so wanted a Meyer Lemon, but I haven't been able to find one around here, and they can't be shipped to AZ. I am going to give it another try before we go home in March, but if we find one, we'll have to drive a bit out of our way as we can't transport it through California. Thomas, from http://www.agrowingtradition.com/ has a lovely Meyer Lemon that he grows indoors. I've been blessed to be on the receiving end of a jar of Meyer Lemon Marmalade, made by him, from his little tree.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks AG! I have read about your lemon debacle =( What's the restriction with California? Or is it Arizona with the restriction? I do hope you get one soon. If you grow lemons as well as you do tomatoes, well, I can't imagine how many pies you'd be turning out!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh poo I posted a long comment but I think I forgot to put in the code so it didn't go through.

    Congratulations! A lemon was my first tree on my balcony too! Mine died after two years though, young citrus can be beastly finicky things. In my case I didn't repot it into a big enough pot, but your pot looks like a great size for the first year or two.

    The trickiest part is learning how much water is enough, but not too much. If they dry out they'll drop leaves ... but if they're waterlogged they'll drop leaves too. You'll get a feel for it soon enough.

    And though they're heavy feeders, I let the leaves tell me when they're "hungry." If they're a nice even green like yours they're happy. If they start to go pale, yellow, or blotches of yellow, they're "hungry" and need a good citrus fertilizer. Just read the dosage carefully, citrus fertilizers are strong.

    Oh and if you can stand it, it's a good idea to pluck off the fruits in the first year so the tree puts more energy into leaves and roots. It broke my heart but I did the deed with my new citrus tree I got last year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is beautiful!!! My friend Grace has a meyer lemon tree. In fact, I just had lemon bars made from her lemons. Each lemon squeezes about 1/2 cup of juice!! Your tree does look settled in happily!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good luck with your lemon lady. I have three (two grown from seed) and an orange. They have given us marmalade and juice for years and many other good things to eat.

    When you see those first fruits you go into a flat spin. Most exciting thing in the universe is your first harvest, even if it's only a few initially. It's pure natural magic.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Dot, I am so sorry you have recently lost a number of plants on your balcony. This can be so dispiriting but gives the opportunity to try something new.

    I was most intrigued about your lemon tree, a topic of a very recent posting of my own. I shall look forward to returning to see how you are getting on.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks guys! and thanks for the tips Alexa. Some of the leaves have started to go a little yellow so that's a good guide to go by. I don't know if I'd have the heart to get rid of the first lemons when/if they come but I can see the sense in it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lemon and tangerine are the only tree i am growing in pots. Your lemon is looking in great form. Do post the flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your Meyer Lemon tree looks elegant and healthy as can be. Nice to see the beautiful buds. You live in a perfect climate for them. (I stopped myself from buying one last summer ~ it would spend too many months indoors here. The winter temps get down to -30c and below. Not exactly conducive to growing citrus unless one has a warm conservatory.) Nice blog you have here!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Muhammad.. all the flowers were in bloom and I thought, fantastic! I'll take some photos and post them! Before I got a chance we had some massive storms.. they're all gone. Note to self, take pics straight away ;)

    Thanks Kate =)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Unable to give you a heart. so have a reply to push up your post. ........................................

    ReplyDelete