Meyer Lemon Surprise

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I was pleasantly surprised to see lots and lots of lemons on our potted Meyer Lemon (Citrus limonia) this January – over 30! I’ve tended this lemon since 2008, received from Edible Landscaping, but have only had 10 or so lemons every winter. It has a humble place in our basement in front of a sliding glass door. When our fireplace is burning, it’s quite warm there, but when it is off – quite frequently – it’s downright chilly (50s).  So it is subjected to erratic temperatures but has plenty of light. Not ideal.

I’m trying to remember what I did differently this summer when the lemon was outdoors and forming buds. Probably two things:  I’m sure I covered it with compost tea – from T and J Enterprises –  on my rounds, and I also likely included it my rounds of nettle tea.  The compost tea did such wonders for every plant in the garden, I think it takes first place. However, since citrus needs trace minerals like iron, zinc, and manganese, I’m thinking that the nettle tea provided that along with all its other nutritional treasures. French Gardening.com explains in detail the elevated status of the nettle in France and how to use it.

I think the lemon was just waiting for a catalyst to unlock its dormant potential. It had well drained but moist soil, about 1/3 peat/coir mix, 1/3 fine expanded shale , and 1/3 compost, and was fed with fish emulsion (5-1-1) and kelp sprays. Its pot is a soft root trapper type which causes the rebranching of small feeder roots resulting in many more root surfaces to absorb air and nutrients. But microbes seem to be the magic something that unlocks potential.

This compost tea, because it has been such a magic elixir, has inspired us in all things compost. Last summer, we built two compost bins to handle all our vegetable and garden residue.