Lemons

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I don’t profess to be much of a gardener (yet) although I’vbe had some success over the years when I’ve managed to plant a crop, My kipfler potatoes from 3 years ago are probably my most noteworthy crop, not so much for the bumper crop but more for the fact that one of the tenacious things has grown in the very middle of my lawn again this year. I have however, had incredible success with my lemon tree (probably because I have left it well alone). A few

years ago we had a go with composting our cats litter (separate to any compost intended for the garden) and when we went to use it we found it wasn’t quite composted so we tipped it under the tree. Lemon trees thrive on nitrogen, and urine (and hence cat litter) is full of it. The tree also gets grass clippings tipped under it (also rich in nitrogen), chicken manure from our girls (incredibly rich in nitrogen) and the occasional watering from the boys 😉 This sounds like an awful lot of fertiliser, and it is, but given that it hadn’t been pruned since we’d moved in (4 years) and was covered in lumps and bumps which are actually the nests of the citrus gall wasp, I think the super doses of nitrogen is what kept it so prolifically fruiting as this usually impacts on the productiveness and health of the tree.

Today I gave it a big hard pruning, removing a good portion of the galls on the tree as well as picking all the lemons

as they are all just about ripe. I picked 30 yesterday to freeze the juice and zest. I have 400g of zest and around 1.5L of juice in the deep freeze. This morning I harvested probably around 4kg of lemons for a friend and this afternoon, 18 more kilos for another friend to share around the town where she lives. The tree STILL has several more kilos of lemons to go!

I’m at a loss of what to make next. I will probably make some lemon curd/lemon butter, maybe a lemon cake or 2 (all my boys are Leo’s so we are just about to have a run of birthdays) but I still have lemon marmalade left over so there’s no need to make more. Lemon cordial?

Just very sad we can’t take this tree with us when we move but I think it’s a little big to uproot and take with us. Whoever leases our house will have a major surprise next winter I think when they find themselves drowning in lemons.

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