May 12, 2009

Lemon tree, very pretty

I hope the title of the post put the tune in your head... We planted a lemon tree last weekend! I am so excited!

We've been wanting to plant one ever since we bought this house 6 years ago, but there are always house projects (it was a fixer-upper) and this one was on the back burner. But I've been dipping my toe into some simple landscaping the past two years, and this spring I thought "Why not put in a lemon tree?"

I thought I'd have to do a tutorial about planting a tree, but the guy at the nursery told me everything I needed to know. It was easy, especially since I had help with the digging. And it has tiny green fruit and little flowers on it already. We'll have our own lemons soon.

Before we bought our house, we lived in an apartment with two old lemon trees. They gave so much fruit I always had plenty of lemons for cooking, and also made lemonade, lemon cookies and cakes, and gave lemons away. We were spoiled. When we moved here I couldn't bring myself to pay for lemons, so I never get more than one at a time just for cooking. We do have friends and neighbors with lemon trees, so we often get lemons from them.

But now we have our own! This one is a dwarf Eureka tree. I know most people seem to like Meyer, but I love Eureka. And since it's a dwarf tree, it will need less water and give fruit sooner. I can't wait for that lemonade!

This feels like a small victory for me. It's a far cry from raised vegetable beds, but with my herb garden and our lemon tree, I'm taking my baby steps approach toward growing some of our own stuff. What will be next?

Please tell me about your gardening triumphs and challenges in the Comments section.

7 comments:

April said...

You go, girl! I am planting a vegetable garden this summer for the first time, although I grew up with a lot of gardens. I write about my gardening attempts sometimes in my blog, smallmomentsofgreatreward.blogspot.com The seedlings are doing great; sometime in the next week or so I will dig and start a second bed in which the seeds will be sowed directly.

calimama @ compactbydesign said...

Please be sure to share some of those lemon recipes! We have a lemon tree behind our apartment building and could probably grab lemons from it whenever.

I have actually only grabbed one too clean out the garbage disposal! I never seem to remember they're there, or what to do with them or whatever else excuse wanders through my head when I remember it's there but haven't taken advantage of it.

I guess I'll have to take my baby for a few steps back there and see what we find.

Ellen said...

You can get free fruit trees in the spring through Tree People's giveaways. I have an apple, nectarine, and peach from them.

This year I'm growing eight varieties of tomatoes: Isis Candy, Pineapple Hawaiian, Green Zebra Stripe, Sun Cherry, SunGold Cherry, Striped Cavern, Cherokee Chocolate, and Roma.

Also have a small strawberry patch with blackberry and raspberry starts in it.

In the herb garden I have sage, rosemary, lavender, and a couple others....

I have one artichoke plant this year, and one cucumber seedling that has its first little cuke hanging from it!

The biggest task this year has been starting grass from seed in the yard.

Can't wait to hear what you use your lemons for, Angela! Keep us posted.

becheap said...

A lemon tree - a great benefit of living in California. Congrats on taking the gardening plunge. Many rewards ahead...

Angela said...

April- Good luck with your vegetables, and thanks for coming by and leaving a comment!

Calimama- Once you get used to picking those lemons, you'll find so much to do with them. You're a cook- you can use them in so many things. They're a good base for a marinade with chicken or fish. Chicken is good with lemon, olive oil, and capers. My favorite salad is what I call a "fake caesar"- romaine lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, pepper, parmesan, 1 or 2 cloves of crushed garlic, then pour olive oil and lots of freeze squeezed lemon and toss. It's perfect in the summer. I will post lemon recipes as our tree grows and we actually start getting our own lemons.

Ellen- Free fruit trees?! Is it too late to get some this year? I was looking into the free shade trees the gas company gives out, by my friend told me you have no choice of what they give you. We don't need any shade trees- the front is shaded by two trees and where we would plant in the back is way too far from the house to benefit from any shade they would create. Good luck with your garden- it sounds marvelous!

Be Cheap- Thanks, I'm excited about it. I don't feel like I've gotten in over my head or anything- all I have to do now is water it and hope it grows! They also said it's a good idea to fertilize it in late summer.

Anonymous said...

I am eating fresh mesclun lettuce - for $2.50 for two packets. You can't really have waste, b/c you pick it when you eat it.

It is SO easy to grow - I highly recommend it, especially if your lettuce goes bad b/c you don't eat it in time. All it takes is some secondhand pots, dirt, and seeds.

Angela said...

Anonymous- Your lettuce sounds great. I have just joined a CSA so no more bagged lettuce for me! I'll eat whatever they give us.
We're getting the first box on monday and I'll post a photo. I'm really excited.

Kudos to you for growing your own lettuce! And thanks for coming by and making a comment.