Well this is the first harvest of my two Meyer Lemon trees since they moved from the S wall of the living room to the new greenhouse. About 40 pounds of lemons. Considerably more fruit than they gave when they lived in the house with us.
I’m still working out the kinks in this system, had quite a bout of mold earlier this spring during our wet period, but the trees seem to have recovered (although they did loose the next spring crop of new lemons). And quite a few of these lemons still have some spots on them (but fortunately it does not seem to effect them otherwise).
Now just have to figure out how to use/save all these lemons.
Ive grown oranges and pumelos inside but never felt great at it. Clearly by looking at your lemon harvest I can see how indoor citrus is supposed to look! Great job very nice crop. BTW I’m working on getting trifoliate oranges acclimated to zone 5. I know they are not quality but what if zone 5 could raise some form of citrus outside? I have two trifoliata oranges that are on their 3rd winter outside in the ground. Here are a few pictures of my pet citrus project I keep inside
Thanks for the great idea. My sister in law just returned from visiting her daughter in Arizona.
They have lemon trees and she brought us a pile of lemons. I was wondering how to save them for the future since we have so many. Freezing the juice did not occur to me. Good tip.
My wife slices the lemon with a mandolin, peels and all but picks out the seeds. She layers the lemon slices alternately with honey in a big jar until it fill to the neck. Then she caps it off and put in the fridge.
After about 2 weeks, the lemons slices are ready for whatever you like to make. Honey Lemonade is the most easy and delicious way to quench any thirst. Best of all, the whole lemon slice is edible after marinating long in the jar of honey, sweet, fragrant and just a tad of edgy…
Steve, that is a fantastic, amazing amount Meyers to harvest from 2 trees at one time in your zone! You should be very proud of that accomplishment. I’d love to see pics of the trees to see what they look like in your greenhouse. What size are they now? Do all of your lemons ripen as one crop in the fall and spring, or do they keep fruit of various stages hanging and ripening throughout the year?
Forty lbs of lemons is more than most people will use in a year. I really liked some of the suggestions you got for using them. We enjoy lemon curd and lime curd here, but @tomIL suggestion of aging them in honey really made my mouth water. It also reminded me of the cough syrup we used to have when I was a kid - honey, lemon, and bourbon.
As someone who grows all their citrus in containers to overwinter in the house, even though it’s not as bitterly cold here, your delightful dilemna is not one I ever expect to have. As it is, I’m thrilled when my lemons and limes are trickling in on an as needed basis. Congratulations again on such a bountiful harvest.
Mine have been coming in for awhile as well. I squeeze the juice into ice cube trays and freeze them, then bag up the cubes for later use. They hold well enough on the tree that I don’t harvest very many at one time. Meyer lemons have enough sweetness for me that I don’t need to add any sugar. Fresh lemon juice makes for a great salad dressing.
As I recall from years ago on some indoor citrus forums, the loss of leaves when you bring the plant inside is usually due to soil temp imbalance leading to water deprivation of the leaves. The theory goes that most indoor citrus get placed by a window indoors and that often means the pot/roots are not in the sun (unless you have floor level windows), yet the leaves are getting sun. Citrus roots do not function much at all under 50F and not really well until higher soil temps. And even though your house temps aren’t 50F, the soil temp may be around that if it is near an outside wall in winter in a northern climate. So the leaves need water but the roots can’t supply it, or not enough until later in the day after the leaves in the sun need it. The plant responds by shedding leaves until things are in balance.
There are several ways of remedying this. One is to put Xmas lites around the pots to warm the soil. If your pots are in sun, some paint one side of the pot black, and face that to the sun in winter to again warm the soil. Putting it on a heat mat or the like might also work. You basically want to keep the pot soil temp up at 60F or a bit more.
Also it seems to help if you make the move indoors slowly, first to a more shaded area then finally inside, rather than all at once just before a cold front comes thru. FWIW, it seems from my haphazard experiments, that citrus like to keep their orientation to the sun, they respond poorly to being rotated, so you might want to mark S on the pots before the move(s) and keep that orientation inside.
Not sure I agree with the rotation theory. I found turntables that “spin” my citrus at 1 rotation per week and they seem to like it. Not as much as being outside, but that is just not an option. Keep bugging my wife to let me get a greenhouse, but no luck yet! I had problems with leaf drop until I started spraying them with Murphy’s oil soap before bringing them in. Even a small aphid infestation is a huge stressor when they are indoors.
That may be true if you keep rotating the trees on a regular basis. My “experiments” were when moving trees and not putting them in the same orientation to the sun as they were in previously. They definitely did not like that.