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Inspired by Georges' recently grown apple tree, I have decided to try my luck at growing an lemon tree from seed. I will keep it indoors until the really warm weather, and bring it back indoors during the winter.
Lemon trees grown from seed will take nearly 10 years to bear fruit. Similar to apples, commercial lemon trees are grown on a rootstock which means they fruit much earlier. When growing lemon fro seed remember that the seed will not be true to the parent. It is best to align this germination period with winter so that the seedlings can emerge into their first spring and make the most of the growing season.
Firstly, to grow an lemon tree from seed I need to get the pips from lemon. Easy peasy (Lemon squeezy lol) with lemons used for pancakes. Use a knife to cut your lemon in half and remove the seeds. Rinse them in water to remove any sugar and pulp. Place in a bowl filled with water and leave overnight. If you are not planting them straight away you can air dry them overnight then place in a sealed plastic bag and leave in the fridge.
Lemons like a well drained soil. Fill a 9 cm pot with John Innes seed & potting compost and vermiculite. Water well. Spread the seeds over the surface of the pot whilst they are still moist and sprinkle a 1 cm layer of the potting compost over the top of them. Mist with water and cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to retain moisture.
Place in a sunny and warm position (around 70 degrees). After 3-6 weeks the seeds will germinate. Remove the plastic cover and move to a sunny windowsill. Mist regularly to ensure the compost does not dry out.
When the seedling is large enough to transport, around 10 cm high, place it outside or in a cold frame to harden off for several weeks. Plant your lemon seedling into a large pot and place in a sunny, sheltered site well away from any frost pockets. Water regularly.
Lemons are tender so protect from frost and bring indoors during the winter.
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