Your landscape is longing for a little lemon love. Pucker up — the Meyer lemon tree is a perfect partner.
A lot of people wonder whether we can grow citrus trees in central Texas and whether they’ll be fruitful. The answer: absolutely! While there are many varieties to choose from, I’ve had the most success with Meyer lemon. It’s hardy and a splendid producer — just ask my coworkers who enjoy the fruits of my labor (no pun intended!) when I bring the surplus to the office.
A cross between a lemon and an orange, Meyer lemons are quite a bit bigger than average lemons. And the juice is very sweet, making them ideal for lemonade and pies. I have even made Meyer lemon jelly with the juice. In my house, we wouldn’t even think about making toast without a dollop of that sweet jelly on it! Who needs butter when you have homemade Meyer lemon jelly?
Morning sun and afternoon shade is best for growing these in our blazing hot summers. Make sure the soil is evenly watered and completely dried out before watering again. A little high nitrogen fertilizer between April and September should keep the plant healthy and happy.
Depending on what part of central Texas you live in, they may require protection during hard freezes. If you are leery about planting them in the ground, you can always plant them in containers so they can be easily relocated into the house or garden shed during freezing weather.
By Donna Fossum, SAWS Conservation Planner