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Latest posts by Italophile

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Lemon Tree

Posted: 19/11/2015 at 09:55

42cm is about the maximum size a potted lemon would ever need. I've got a tree about 7 years old, taller than yours, in a 40cm pot and it's more than big enough. I think I've potted it up three times in its life as it grew. 

Given that yours is still young, I'd wait till Spring and pot it down a couple of sizes. The roots will appreciate it. Its relative youth also probably explains the loss of fruit. They can take a few years to get going.

Lemon Tree

Posted: 19/11/2015 at 09:27

So the tree is 4' high? From the soil? Still on the young side. What are the dimensions of the pot?

Lemon Tree

Posted: 19/11/2015 at 09:17

How big is the tree relative to the pot? Lemons (well, their root structure) can get lost in pots that are too big for them and will suffer for it. I don't mean they should be pot-bound, just that the root structure is restricted to an extent. As the tree grows, and the root structure develops, they can be potted up, but always with an eye to restricting the roots.

It's common for leaves to yellow and fall off. Sometimes it just happens, or it could be overwatering.


Posted: 18/11/2015 at 08:55

I stopped feeding mine (in containers) more than month ago. They're heading into dormancy and don't need stimulation. I enclose the pergola on the terrace with heavy-duty plastic sides to create a large greenhouse. They live happily inside. All I do is monitor the moisture levels. 

Lemon Tree

Posted: 10/11/2015 at 12:41

pansyface's last point is important. Young trees can't support anything like the amount of fruit as more mature ones. I have three trees of varying ages in containers. When young, I took off most of the baby lemons, leaving only three or four, letting the plant nourish those few. 

The kaki tree

Posted: 08/11/2015 at 12:55

Depends on the variety. Our one, the one commonly grown here, needs to ripen almost to the point of over-ripe, verging on a bit mushy. Prior to that, it's bitter to the point of gruesome. 

The kaki tree

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 19:25

It was actually all my wife's idea. She loved seeing them here in Winter, orange globes shining through the wintery mist and fog. They do look quite extraordinary. And she saw our friends' "Christmas tree" spotlit in the mist and fog. I was told to organise one. I did as I was told. She's an artist and has painted them several times.

I thought I'd try to find a culinary use - before the birds destroy them - and discovered they're the basis of a nice ice cream.


The kaki tree

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 11:55

I've got one on the second terrace. It's actually its third home. It started on the top terrace which backs onto a 40' high stone wall. I planted it too far back - too close to the wall - and it never saw sun. After about 6 months I moved it further forward. Sun, but it was going to face competition from a couple of figs.

Three months later I moved it down onto the second terrace where its only competition would be vegies. It's now about 3 years old.

You see a lot of them here. Often they're grown purely for decorative purposes, the fruit left on the trees throughout winter to provide colour in the garden. A friend here uses theirs as an outdoor Christmas tree, spotlighting it. It looks stunning.

I use the fruit for ice cream.

Olive tree

Posted: 03/11/2015 at 17:00

Exactly right! A bit more poetic than the way I put it, but anyway.

Olive tree

Posted: 03/11/2015 at 14:59

I prune late in Spring. Don't over-prune. The main aim, apart from getting rid of dead, dying or crossing branches, is to let in plenty of light. Don't let the heart of the tree turn into a clump.

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