Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grow Your Own Lemon Tree and Make Lemonade

Getting started
Don't know where to get lemon seeds? Buy a lemon, silly. Make some homemade lemonade using this recipe:

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1 cup hot water
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 gallon cold water

Directions
In a one gallon container, mix the sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and cold water. Garnish with whichever fruits you wish.

Planting and Pollinating
  So now you should have many squished lemons, and consequently many lemon seeds. Carefully remove the seeds you want to plant and let them dry for several days. There is no need to rinse them. Next, plant the seeds about an inch deep in potting soil (acidic soil is better for the plants) and keep the soil damp. I only recommend one seed per pot. Put the pot with your seed in a very sunny, warm area of your home. The plants will do well as long as they are in a 70 degree environment.
   Soon the seeds should germinate and tiny oval-shaped leaves will be visible. Keep the soil moist and mist the leaves weekly, or more often if the humidity in your home is low. Lemon trees are perfect indoor plants, reaching only 3-4 feet in height in most cases. During the winter, white flowers will grow, which smell quite pleasant. During the summer, be sure to let your lemon tree live outdoors if possible, so that insects can pollinate it for you.
  If you cannot leave your lemon tree outdoors for whatever reason, there is a simple way to do it yourself. One option is to lightly shake the tree so that pollen will fall onto the stigmas. After three years of growth, the plant should be mature enough to produce fruit. Citrus plants are self pollinating, so you do not necessarily need to move pollen from tree to tree. However, if you wish to do this, simply use a cotton swab to pick up some pollen from within a flower and rub the pollen you picked up on the tip of another flower. If the plant has not produced blossoms ever, shake it kind of hard and hit the trunk lightly. In theory the plant will respond to being "attacked" by producing blossoms as a last chance to produce more lemon plants.
  Lemon plants are beautiful, whether they are kept indoors or outside. They have glossy leaves and a classic citrus smell. I hope you enjoy your new plant companion.
  My lemonade recipe came from the lovely Paula Deen, and you can find it here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/lemonade-recipe/index.html
  Thanks for reading!
    Holly

 

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