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How to grow your own lemons

If you’re missing your fix of Mediterranean magic this year, make your patio feel like a Tuscan terrace with the drifting scent of citrus. In honour of today being Plant A Lemon Tree Day, here’s a guide to growing your own lemons:

Getting started

Lemon trees like direct sun, a sheltered position, watering that’s regular but avoids a waterlogged pot and protection from temperatures below 10°C. Choose a variety that’s relatively hardy – the Eureka lemon has a high tolerance for lower temperatures and produces lovely, juicy fruit. Ideally, opt for a terracotta pot to ensure your plant doesn’t sit in too much moisture, and use an equal mix of grit, loam and compost for effective drainage.

Care and maintenance

Position your pot where it can benefit from direct sunlight but is sheltered from the wind. Lemon trees are fine outside from mid-June and can stay on your patio until the end of August. Keep a close eye on night-time temperatures and have some horticultural fleece ready to cover your tree during any unseasonably cool nights. From September onwards, keep your lemon tree in a conservatory or close to a window, where it is in as much sunlight as possible. Lemon trees can take a year to fruit, so if your tree doesn’t fruit this summer, be patient.

Lemon trees don’t need extensive pruning. Simply thin out any overcrowded branches in late winter, and if your plant has become too leggy, cut back stems to ensure even growth. If you can, use rainwater to keep your lemon tree happy and only water once a week.

With your Norfolk Leisure LIFE garden furniture, sunshine and lemons, all you need is a glass of gin and tonic to complete your Mediterranean garden atmosphere.

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