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Characteristics of the lemon
The lemon is an evergreen plant, of varying height depending on the climate and cultivation. The leaves are oval, bright and very rich in various aromatic substances. Persist over two years on the plant. The flowers are white, very fragrant and have 5 petals. They are present at different times of the year, usually gathered in bunches. The fruits have a rough skin with the underside that is white and spongy and that envelops the juicy pulp. The plant is cultivated mainly by those who deal with fruit and vegetables, for the production of lemons. In this case the lemons are placed in a well cultivated orchard, but they can also be grown in the garden or in a vase. The lemon is usually cultivated in temperate zones and, due to its ornamental value, it is also cultivated in apartments or on the terrace. Cultivation does not cause major problems if it occurs in areas with a suitable climate: instead in temperate / cold areas it is good to cultivate the potted lemon by transferring the plant from the garden to a heated or protected area in winter. The important thing, for a good plant growth, is to prune the lemon correctly and at the right time.
How and when to prune lemons
The pruning of lemons is generally practiced during the summer, that is in that period of pause that is between two blooms, generally in July, since then the plant is in a moment of semi vegetative rest. The branches that produce the flowers and the fruits are those that were produced during the previous year and therefore must not be absolutely touched with pruning. Instead only the very small branches, the dry ones and the branches must be removed, whose development brought them to the center of the crown of the plant. Furthermore, those branches that have already borne fruit must be shortened. If, at the time of pruning, fruits are still present, we can prune the branches quietly, since lemons can ripen even if they are no longer on the branch to which they were attached. Instead, to be able to rejuvenate a lemon tree, it is advisable, every three / four years, to prune the lemon in a particular way: it is necessary to shorten the branches that are older and larger, to favor the development of the new shoots on the branch: these will produce , the following year, new branches that will bear their fruit.
How to cultivate and fertilize a lemon tree
The main condition for the cultivation of the lemon is the temperature that should never fall below 0 ° C, since the optimal one falls between 7 ° in winter and 28 ° in summer. In order to favor the development of both flowers and fruits, it is very important to water the lemon well in the event of a prolonged period of drought and to give it proper fertilization. Traditionally, the lemon is fertilized with a fertilizer made of broken lupins that is easily found in a nursery. This type of fertilizer releases mineral salts and amino acids into the earth, which are also useful for any other plants in the orchard. In addition to this, lupins also provide a soil improver, which helps to make it softer and improve the soil mix. Generally, a pound of ground lupine is used every square meter of earth and is lightly interred by a small hoe. Lupins, given once or twice a year, do not exclude other fertilizers, using fertilizers that dissolve in the water with which it is watered, or with slow release fertilizers, to be spread around the lemon every 4 or 5 months.
Prune lemon: The adversity of lemon
Lemons are subject to various environmental pathologies such as deficiencies of necessary substances. In ferric chlorosis, for example, the leaves gradually turn yellow from the tips to the base. In critical cases the plant does not bloom or has a poor flowering or loses its fruits prematurely. In these cases the plant should not be pruned, but suitable fertilizers specific for citrus fruits should be used. Other causes can be: - a lack of light, with poor flowering and nothing or poor fruiting, as well as minimal growth of the plant: it is advisable to place the plant in a place with 4 or 6 hours of sunlight; - pollution: it is not advisable to place lemons in street furniture in areas with intense traffic; - summer or winter thermal stress: in cold winters it is advisable to place the plant in protected places. In summer it is advisable to keep it in a shady place during the hottest hours; - excess salinity in water and soil, which leads to the debilitation of the plant: it is advisable to promptly use "energy" products, for the purpose of a fast recovery of vegetative efficiency and to favor a harmonious development.