Growing your own lemon tree can be an incredibly satisfying experience, especially when you can do it without the need for synthetic fertilizers. Here we show you how.
Lemon trees, and citrus trees in general, are hardy and durable, but even these tough plants need a bit of tender care. Fertilizers are key to keeping your lemon tree healthy year-round and will ensure the tree bears lots of healthy, flavorsome fruit. Store-bought fertilizers are often synthetic and can sometimes do more harm than good.
It doesn’t matter how fertile your soil is, trees will need an extra supplement of minerals and nutrients. The good news is you can easily make your own natural lemon tree fertilizer at home, using ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
What Should You Use?
Fertilizers aimed at nurturing your lemon tree should be acidic and contain a generous amount of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus along with zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium. These all sound pretty heavy-duty, but you will find lots of these nutrients in discarded banana peels, eggshells, grass clippings, Epsom salts, and coffee grounds. This can give those seemingly useless kitchen and garden scraps a whole new second life as potent and natural lemon tree fertilizers.
Garden and kitchen waste such as leaves, grass trimming, and coffee grounds contain the nitrogen your lemon tree needs while egg shells and banana peels provide healthy amounts of phosphorus and potassium. You can consider adding kelp meal and bone meal to your natural lemon tree fertilizer for that added nutritional boost since these are also good sources of phosphorus and potassium.
Making Your Own Lemon Tree Ferilizer
Since every professional and amateur gardener will have their own preferences when it comes to homemade lemon tree fertilizer, there is no obvious answer as to which combination of ingredients will work best for your particular garden. The best way to approach it is to do your research and carefully watch the effects your homemade fertilizer has on your tree over time. You can then adjust your fertilizer mix to achieve the best results. One thing to note is that you cannot overdo it when it comes to natural lemon tree fertilizers, so it is highly unlikely that you will harm, let alone kill your tree if you are overly generous with fertilizer application.
The simplest and cheapest natural lemon tree fertilizer is a good starting point for those of us who are growing lemon trees for the fun of it.
All you need is:
- Grass trimmings
- Banana peels
For optimum results, these materials should be left to undergo a composting process over the course of a year, allowing them to break down and thus be more effective when the mix is applied to your lemon tree as a fertilizer.
- Coffee grounds, eggshells & banana peel
- Leaves, eggshells & kelp meal
- Grass clippings, bone meal & banana peel
All of these homemade variations are going to give your lemon tree just what it needs to thrive and bear healthy, well-formed fruits.
Tips On Fertilizing Your Lemon Tree
As mentioned before, natural homemade fertilizers for your lemon trees are far safer to use and there is no real risk of over-fertilizing since the ingredients will break down through natural processes over time. However, to get the best results, keep in mind the following tips:
- Remove any debris at the base of your lemon tree and scatter your fertilizer mix around its base before covering it lightly with soil and watering it. Lemon tree roots tend to grow close to the surface so this will see to it that nutrients are more efficiently absorbed.
- Apply your homemade fertilizer at least three times a year to keep them thriving.
- Lemon trees younger than two years usually don’t require fertilizer.
- Fertilize lemon trees just before the spring season which is the peak growing period for them.
- Do not fertilize lemon trees in winter. Lemon trees grow more slowly in the winter months so the fertilizer will be wasted.
How To Take Care Of Your Lemon Tree
- Grafted trees will produce fruit within three years, so for the first two years, remove any fruit that starts to form as it can over-stress the plant and the growing branches may not be sturdy enough to support the weight.
- Lemons love to be fed so ensure that you are regularly fertilizing your lemon tree at the recommended times throughout the year.
- Keep your lemon tree well mulched with a quality mulch that will break down rapidly, adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil as it does so.
- A lemon tree really does not need much pruning. Aim to prune only as needed to maintain the tree’s height and/or width. If you notice that the tree has become congested with fruit or has lots of crossing branches, these can be removed as needed.
- Lemon trees can suffer from pests and diseases so the best way to treat them is by identifying the issue immediately and talking to someone at your local nursery for advice on the best remedy.
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