December 23, 2009

Lemon harvest 2009

lemon, La Ceiba, HondurasLa Gringa's lemon

lemon, La Ceiba, HondurasThat is lemon, singular. The above photo is of my first spring harvest, March 28 − one lemon!

It looked perfect but I was hiding the part where it split open. Hahaha. I'm thinking that maybe a deluge of rain caused it to expand too fast, but I don't know. It was really delicious anyway and very juicy. But it didn't make too much of a dent in our lemon purchasing needs since we use about a dozen a week, mostly for ice tea.

I need to do some reading about lemon trees but I've had no time for anything for the past few months. I have no idea how long it should take for the lemons to get ripe or how you can tell whether they are ripe or not.

larvae on lemon treeDoes anyone know what these nasty things are? We discovered them devouring the lemon leaves about 6 weeks before the first harvest. There were so many and they had done such damage that I just cut off the ends of the branches where they were and drowned them in a bucket of water.

This poor tree has been through a lot. First, right after it was planted, some other flowering plants grew up around it. I wanted to leave those plants for awhile and eventually I forgot the lemon tree (about 18 inches tall - 46 cm.) was there, so it grew sideways trying to find some sun.

lemon tree branchThen a worker trimmed it for us in the most god-awful way, cutting off the main trunk about 12 inches from the ground (30 cm.). You can see in this photo that the branches are growing about a foot above the grass. Then because it was growing sideways with branches on only one side, the rootstock (probably sour orange) began to grow from the trunk. Luckily I noticed that part of the tree was completely different. It grew stiff and straight up with thick leaves and heavy thorns, so I cut all that off.

lemon, La Ceiba, HondurasThis is a photo of my winter harvest, December 10 − again, one lemon! Oh, well, there are four or five small ones still on the tree. I guess that isn't too bad for a young, badly neglected and deformed tree. It is barely five feet tall and scrawny.

I'm hoping that as the tree grows, we can do something about the shape, although I'm not sure how.

So these are my two lemon harvests, not because of what I've done, but despite what I have and haven't done.

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