Grafted Lemon Cultivation
Lemon is one of the important fruit among citrus fruits. This is a popular and well known fruit among Kenyans hence can be useful to you as a valuable cash crop and as a source of important nutrients. Lemon cultivation can be profitable to home gardeners and small scale farmers who have minimal land. 2-10 lemon trees if well taken care of is sufficient for you to be able to sell fruit in small quantities direct to neighboring consumers or in wholesale quantities to fruit vendors.
Location plays an important role when setting up your orchard. This entails climatic conditions of your area, exposure to sunlight, your soil type and also nearness to the market. Here are some of the factors you should consider when cultivating lemons:
Tropic and subtropical regions are suitable for lemon cultivation. They are grown in both dry and humid atmospheres. Lemons thrive in arid and semi-arid areas as long as they receive sufficient water. Locations that are exposed to very low temperatures should be avoided because lemons are sensitive to cold. Temperature of 25-35°C is satisfactory for lemon growth. Excess temperature above 40°C might hamper growth.
Lemons as most citrus trees grow well in a variety of soils. Avoid planting lemons in wet soils that are susceptible to waterlogging. Deep fertile well drained soil is suitable for optimum production. Soil PH between 6-7 is sufficient for lemons to thrive
- Propagation & planting
The common propagation method is from seed. Lemons can grow to maturity from seed but they take more years to start fruiting and will produce fruits highly variable in quality. For proper production ensure you plant one year old grafted lemon seedlings. Plant your seedlings at the beginning of the rainy season. A spacing of3- 5 metres between plants is ideal. Size of the hole will depend on your soil type; dig deeper holes if your land has a hard pan beneath the soil.
Ensure you grow a variety that grows and fruits well locally. We have five main varieties that we grow and proven their viability for both subsistence and commercial use.
- Sour lemon
- Rough lemon
- Fertilization & tree care
After planting your grafted lemon seedlings, top dress using farm yard manure. It is important to test your soil that will inform you on the needed ratios of major nutrient elements. Note that fruit trees require different fertilizer application at different growth stages. Nutrient elements that cannot be obtained from the soil can be supplied by foliar sprays. Other practices like training and pruning are important to maintain trees shape and structure.
- Pest & diseases
Ensure to observe high hygiene standards and keep your plants healthy to minimize pest and disease attack. Prevention is better than cure; your plants will not benefit from a good pest control program if other management practices like proper fertilization, irrigation & tree care are neglected. You will not achieve full productive capability if you neglect pest and disease control measures.
Major diseases include:
Most injurious pests to note are:
- Fruit flies
- Mealy bugs
You will start harvesting your lemon fruits from the third year, grafted seedlings take 2-3 years to start fruiting. Once harvested lemons have a long shelf life and with proper storage can last up to a month increasing the percentage of juice content. Lemons varieties with green peel keep longer than those with yellow peel. Yield and quality vary widely depending on the management practices. Max out your farming! Bless
Posted on May 12, 2023, in Environment and tagged Agribusiness, climate, environment, farming, fruit, fruit farming, kenya, nairobi. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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