Welcome to the bright, tangy, zesty world of lemons!
Lemon trees are a study in contrast: they’re evergreens that love to live in the subtropics—not the way we usually envision an evergreen. And lemon trees are a joy to grow—especially when they start to bear fruit. Lemon trees originated in Asia and they made their migration to the Americas as seeds in the 15th century. We’ve been in love with them ever since!
Lemon trees can grow in open land, in raised beds, and frequently in containers in regions prone to frost. It’s not uncommon to see a lemon tree blooming in a container on someone’s deck. If you’d like to join the ranks of home lemon growers, this is the time to start!
First is the collection’s Introduction, where you’ll learn some of the basics about lemons and how to choose the right variety to grow. You’ll also get the history of this tangy fruit!
Next, in the Feature Articles, you’ll get specifics about lemon growing—from the four types of lemon trees to the best way to start growing (seed? seedling? cutting? young tree?) to watering, fertilizing, and winterizing your trees so they stay healthy and productive year after year.
There’s a lot to know about lemon growing, so even if you’re a veteran, you might learn something new. We aim to gather everything there is to know about lemon growing into this single collection!
We have seven fun Plant Profiles with the more popular varieties listed, including options for gardeners around the country and those who want to grow lemon trees in containers.
While there are dozens of varieties of lemons throughout the world, not all of them are available in the United States, and some are more ornamental than culinary. We’ve chosen these seven lemon tree profiles because these are some of the most commonly grown, including full size trees and dwarf varieties. If you’d like us to include another lemon variety that appeals to you, please let me know by commenting below.
After all, this is Food Gardening Network, and we want to include the knowledge of all our gardening readers in everything we do. Your input is just as important to us as anything we come up with on our own!
We do think you’ll love the lemon Recipes we’ve compiled for enjoying the fruits of your labor. They cover many traditional uses of lemons, plus some variations on traditional lemon recipes you might want to try.
Make a savory soup flavored with the tangy zing of your own homegrown lemons. Or serve up a dessert that’s traditionally a pie, only easier to make. Friends and family will love the wide variety of ways you can put your lemons to use—ways that go way beyond basic garnishes.
After that, you’ll be interested to learn how lemons can benefit your health in Nutrition Facts about Lemons. The little lemon is an antioxidant superhero!
Then there are the Home Remedies & Health Benefits of Lemons where you’ll learn how lemons are thought to help heart health, prevent cancer, and contribute to better digestive health. We’ll also share some warnings about the potential hazards of lemon juice, and how to harness the power of lemons to clean up stubborn messes.
Because we want you to have everything there is to know about lemons at your fingertips, we’ve included a Resources section that’s complementary to this collection. Learn more about tools specific to lemon growing, and kitchen tools that will come in handy after you’ve harvested your lemons.
As always, we’ve included a brief Glossary in case you need a deeper explanation of any key terms. Be sure to let us know if there’s something else you need explained!
I’m off to make some Candied Meyer Lemons right now, but I hope you’re ready to dive in and become a master lemon grower!