Lemons are one of the most popular fruits due to their sour flavor and fresh aroma. Every day there are more people who dare to plant their own lemon tree to be able to enjoy its fruits at home and in a totally ecological way. However, you may not have the space to plant a lemon tree on its own, or you may want to speed up its fruit production. In these cases, grafting onto another plant is a great option.
Join us in this EcologíaVerde article if you want to learn when and how to graft a lemon tree to enjoy these delicious fruits.
When to graft a lemon tree
Grafting is a rather traumatic process for both the supporting plant and the cutting. For this reason, the graft must always be carried out in the season in which the tree is in better condition and with its defensive system in better shape, which is at the beginning of spring, which is when the plant will recover better from the aggression.
Depending on when the graft is made, it is known as a graft to living yolkYes that early springor to sleeping yolk if it is done in autumn.
How to graft a lemon tree
The first thing is to take into account in which tree you are going to graft the lemon tree. Ideally, use a tree as similar as possible, such as an orange or other citrus from a close family. If you use an orange tree, do it before autumn, so that the bark is looser and with the sap circulating more easily. The most common is to graft of a lemon tree with T-shaped incision:
- Prepare a knife or tool as sharp as possible and disinfect it with alcohol.
- Once the tool is clean, make a T-shaped cut in the rootstock, and separate the bark very carefully, trying not to break it.
- The green layer under the bark must be left uncovered, which is where the lemon graft should be applied, which you will have to have previously prepared and cut around the bud.
- The graft is fitted as close as possible to the rootstock and covered with plastic or some other protection above and below the bud to prevent insects from entering the wound or becoming infected with harmful microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi.
In this other EcologíaVerde article we talk more about how to graft fruit trees.
Caring for a grafted lemon tree
As usual in grafts, when applying care what rules will be the needs of the rootstock, which is the plant that is going to support the lemon tree graft. However, as the ideal is to make the graft on an orange tree or other nearby citrus, the rootstock usually has needs very similar to those of a lemon tree, so we are going to list them so that you know the basic care of a grafted lemon tree.
Caring for the graft wound
The first thing is to take special care with the graft and the wound area, especially until it heals completely. Keep the area covered so that insects or any other type of pest cannot sneak in, and try to clean it of any sap that may have leaked or escaped.
temperature and light
Since most citrus fruits are of the tropical type, almost all of them need warm temperatures and a good number of hours of sun per day. Many of them can survive for short periods at temperatures of 0ºC, but prolonged exposure for several hours or very intense cold will cause serious damage and even death. Also, if where you live is used to strong winds, it’s a good idea to protect your citrus with windbreaks.
Soil for grafted citrus tree
Regarding the soil, citrus fruits are not plants with great demands. They have enough with a depth of just over a meter, and although they can grow in clay soils, the sandy type will make the plant bear better quality and flavor fruits. Yes, it is good, however, that they have good drainage to avoid rot and other problems. Regarding the pH of the soil, they tend to appreciate slightly acidic soils, between 6 and 6.5.
In addition, we recommend you consult these other articles on How to plant a lemon tree in a pot, its care and diseases and How to grow an orange tree in a pot, so you will better understand the needs of each citrus tree. Also, as a vital part of the care of any tree, pruning must be taken into account. To do this, we advise you to read this other post about when and how to prune a lemon tree.
When to harvest lemons
The lemon must be harvested when the fruit turns yellow. As long as the lemons are green, it means that they are still in an early stage of ripening and, therefore, their flavor will not be adequate. Usually, the harvest takes place between the months of March and Junewhich is when lemons tend to show that deep yellow color that indicates it’s time to pick them.
Also, if you like these citrus fruits, you can take advantage of the seeds to create new trees. Here we tell you how to germinate lemon seeds and their care to get healthy and productive trees.
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