Eureka Lemon Tree: How to Raise & Care | A Step By Step Expert Guide
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Among fruit trees, the Eureka lemon tree is a favorite to decorate patios and gardens. Thanks to their orange blossom, they provide an irresistible aroma, as well as offering us shade and fruits. They can live up to 70 years and reach up to 7 meters, but Eureka lemon trees do not withstand weather conditions. Here we give you some tips for its cultivation and maintenance.
The Eureka lemon tree is a perennial citrus plant with a woody tree trunk. The flowers, pink before opening and white when fully open, have five petals. They are highly scented and are known as orange blossom. The Eureka lemon tree can have several blooms a year to present flowers and fruits simultaneously. Its fruit, the Eureka lemon, has both medicinal and culinary applications.
The Eureka lemon tree can measure from 2 to 7 meters high and 1.5 to 3 meters wide. During the first two decades of its life, it grows very rapidly, reaching 6 m. Tall. It may take between one and three years for it to start to bear fruit.
Eureka Lemon Tree: How to Raise
The Eureka Lemon Tree can reproduce by seeds, although the most used form of multiplication is grafting. It is planted during the winter when the tree is at rest. The first thing is to know if the area where you live is suitable for Eureka lemon trees since they do not tolerate very low temperatures or strong winds. In winter, it can endure a temperature of 3ºC, but its main enemies are dryness and cold.
The lemon tree is covered with a specific material that ensures warmth while allowing the tree to flow as a method of avoiding the cold. The ideal habitat has high moisture content and a thermal gradient of 17–28 °C. Additionally, citrus plants thrive in environments with a moisture of at least 50%. In addition, a lemon tree needs a particular amount of moisture to survive if it’s being grown inside; 50 percent is optimum.
Then it would help if you chose a sector of the garden to plant it, where it gets plenty of hours of sunlight. The ideal soil is semi-light, rich in organic matter, pH neutral, and permeable. Clay soils with drainage problems should be avoided. It can be planted directly in the ground or in a large pot with holes in the base that allow drainage.
Eureka Lemon Tree: How to Plant wherever you live
Having a Eureka lemon tree at home means being able to enjoy the benefits of the lemon and its leaves all year round! With care and affection, it is possible to grow a Eureka lemon tree even in pots.
Before planting the Eureka lemon tree, organic lemons must be found. Organic lemons guarantee good seeds since transgenics or cultivars can be developed with sterile seeds and still need pesticides and artificial inputs for their development. If you can’t find an organic Eureka lemon tree, look for organic seeds for sale.
Separate six pots (or reuse disposable plastic pots) perforated underneath about eight centimeters high and five centimeters in diameter. Fill them with black soil (humus) and open small holes two inches deep and two in diameter.
Open three Eureka lemons and remove the two largest seeds from each one. Put the seeds in your mouth and leave for about five seconds. If you don’t want to put them in your mouth, moisten them with a wet cotton pad. When the seeds are still moist, please place them in the small holes opened in the pots, and cover them with soil and water until the soil is thoroughly moist.
Cover each vase with plastic film pierced with a toothpick and leave them in a place that gets sun during the middle of the day. If the soil gets too dry (test with your finger daily), you will need to water the seedlings every day. If not, at least two or three times a week. But be careful not to leave the soil too soggy, as the seeds will rot.
After a few weeks, when the seedlings start to show their roots through the holes under the pot, it will be time to choose the largest and strongest to transplant to the largest pot.
Separate a vase (with holes underneath) about 60 cm deep and 30 in diameter and, at the bottom, make a layer of mineral stones from five to ten centimeters. Mix two kilos of humus with a kilo of sand and a kilo of red earth, and pour it into the pot.
Make a hole in the pot that is a suitable size for the roots of your seedling. Also, choose a pot that is 25% bigger than the root ball of the plant.
Transplant the seedling and water the soil well. Try to water the new pot at least three times a week. On very hot days, check the soil daily with your finger to see if it is too dry; if so, water it.
As your Eureka lemon grows, you can make tea from its leaves to consume or to flavor the house. To enjoy the Eureka lemon tree’s fruits, it will be necessary to wait three to five years. If you want to obtain fruits fast, graft an older lemon tree that already bears fruit.
Eureka Lemon Tree: How to Care
Eureka lemon trees need a lot of water and must be watered regularly throughout the year. In winter, they will need a little less, but never let them dry out. The ideal is to apply a lot of compost rich in macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, and micronutrients. It must be paid taking into account two factors: The height of the tree and Eureka lemons’ production. One hundred fifty grams of fertilizer must be added for growth for every meter of tree height and 200 grams of fertilizer for production for every 10 kilos of lemons.
To Care for the Eureka lemon, fertilization is important. The Eureka lemon cultivation is very demanding in terms of fertilizer (macro and micronutrients), which represents a large part of its care costs. The Eureka lemon tree often suffers from deficiencies, especially the lack of magnesium, which is closely related to the excess of potassium and calcium, which is solved with foliar applications. Another frequent deficiency is zinc, which is solved by the application of zinc sulfate. Eureka lemon trees are recommended to define 2-3 passes with copper oxychloride after flowering.
The iron deficit is linked to limestone soils, giving rise to ferric chlorosis, very characteristic in lemon plantations. In this type of cultivation, its life cycle is shortened. The production phase is less than normal, both in the number of fruits and in their quality. Thus, it is very important to control and correct ferric chlorosis in Eureka lemon cultivation. The correction of ferric chlorosis can be carried out with genetic improvement and the addition of fertilizers.
Among the different fertilizers that can be applied, synthetic iron chelates offer the best results, although they have a high price. To reduce its cost, it is possible to reduce the dose of chelates and increase the dose of humic acids and amino acids.
If possible, fertilize with each irrigation. Be careful not to exceed 2 kilos of fertilizer per m3 of irrigation water to avoid excess salinity.
The use of nitrification inhibitors can help regulate the supply of nitrogen and minimize its losses due to the nitrate ion’s washing.
Iron chelates must be supplied in 2 or 3 applications, especially during spring sprouting. It is advisable to provide them with humic acids and amino acids.
Fertilizer is indicated for the first four years, since, afterward, specialized technical advice is recommended, taking into account several factors, such as size, expected production, varieties, foot, etc.
Pruning of adult Eureka lemon trees is done in the spring, after harvesting, as long as there is no danger of low temperatures. Dead, weak, or diseased branches should be removed and the rest of the vegetation reinvigorated. Eureka lemon trees that are not pruned bloom abundantly but then become ungovernable. Pruning is manual and must be performed annually, eliminating the branches that cross in the interior portion while leaving the center open to facilitate the tree’s lighting. If you plan to paint it, use tree paint or dilute household paint with 50% water.
Harvesting the Eureka lemon must occur when the minimum juice content per volume is 28 to 30%, depending on the degree of classification. Eureka lemons harvested in the dark green stage have the most extended postharvest life, while those harvested completely yellow should be marketed more quickly.
Harvesting in Eureka lemon cultivation is manual and must be done with pliers. It must be done in the absence of dew or mist too. The containers used in the harvest are baskets or plastic boxes with 18-20 Kg capacity, with rubber protections being desirable. Once in the final boxes, they can be transported in ventilated trucks and moved to the warehouse.
In conclusion, the Eureka lemon tree is a persistent leaf tree that has been cultivated and used for centuries, mainly to make use of its fruits and the wonderful properties of the juice that its fruits have. Thanks to its good care, as highlighted above, you will benefit significantly from its generous Eureka lemons quantity.