Lemon is an essential part of our daily food and having your own lemon tree is a blessing in disguise. It is easy to grow even in a balcony. Here’s how,
Container – Take a big container which allows for good drainage. You can drill extra holes in the container and then cover it up with a thick net to prevent oil from draining out. Place the container at a slight elevation from the ground for better ventilation. As the plant grows in size, repot it to another pot every 2-3 years, for its roots get bounded in the pot. And increase the size of the pot in proportion to the plant. Terracotta pots are good as they keep the soil cool.
Soil – Mix the soil with a good amount of cow dung and add some sand (bajri) to it. Bajri ensures the soil is loose, not sticky, and the water drains well. Place the bare root in the container and gently pack the soil around it. The root should not be too deep in the pot.
Water – Plants placed in containers require frequent watering. Daily watering is essential, especially during hot, dry and windy weather. Inadequate watering causes the leaves to become yellow, but one needs to be careful not to over-water either, as that kills the plant.
Nutrients – The lemon plant needs to be fed with nutrients every once a month – zinc, manganese, iron and nitrogen. They are heavy feeders. While synthetic fertilisers are a no, you can add spinach, pumpkin seeds, wheat grains, soyabean seeds, beans and black brewed tea in your compost to supplement zinc, manganese and iron.
Pest Control – Spray small quantities of diluted neem oil or slightly soapy water every once in a while to keep away flies, insects and bugs.
Sunlight – Sunlight is very essential for lemon trees. If planted indoors, ensure the space receives adequate sunlight. The tree needs to be kept warm.