Lots of limes

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The first real harvest of citrus: 45 limes!

We’ve been pretty quiet about our citrus growing on this blog so far, despite having a lemon, lime, two oranges and a grapefruit in the ground. Why? Let’s just say, they didn’t prosper in their first 18 months.

What turned things around was some reading about their hungry nature. We’d been giving them regular handfuls of citrus fertiliser, but they were still struggling, barely growing, and not fruiting.

Then I read the following from two different sources:

Citrus trees need 0.5kg of fertiliser for each year of age … per year.

Eeek! That’s a lot of fertiliser, certainly a lot more than the handfuls I was applying.

Ramping up the feeding quickly showed the value of this advice, however. All the trees starting growing strongly, with the yellow vanishing from the leaves, and flowers sprouting. They’re now well on their way, and I’m expecting good things from them over the next few years.

The photo above shows our first real harvest of citrus. Noting that the lime tree was weighed down by fruit, I harvested a bucket’s worth. This turned out to be 45 limes, from a tree not as high as my shoulder. That’s more like it 🙂


5 thoughts on “Lots of limes

    Carolyn said:
    June 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Hi James. It’s all looking wonderful and I’ve been following your progress at Lewisham House with interest…… renovations, gardens etc. Looking great. Can you tell me what you do with citrus skins, as I understand they’re not good to put in with general compost? Any ideas you could share?


      James responded:
      June 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Worms certainly don’t like citrus (or onions for that matter), so worm farms are definitely out for these scraps.

      As far as I’m aware, however, there aren’t any real limits on what you can put into a compost bin, assuming you get a reasonable mix of “green” and “brown” material.

      I hope I’m right on this!

    Darren (Green Change) said:
    July 20, 2012 at 8:44 am

    We’ve got a mature lime tree (plus a lemon, mandarin, and two oranges!) and we get inundated every year! Luckily lemons and limes can be left on the tree for a long time, giving us fruit for much of the year.

    When we need to use a lot of limes at once (e.g. after strong wind knocks them out of the tree), we make up batches of lime cordial. It’s basically 1 part juice, 1 part water, and 2 parts sugar – heat on a stove until the sugar dissolves, then cool and pour into bottles.


      James responded:
      August 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Yes, loving home-made cordial! We’ve made both lime and lemon cordial, and we find the lime really great.

    […] throughout the year. Without this, they remain stunted and fruit-less. (For example, for us to get lots of limes, we greatly ramped up our feeding […]

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