Harvesting Lemon TreesHarvesting Lemon Trees

One of the most amazing things to a gardener is harvesting lemon trees fresh and ripe lemons from the tree.

Lemon trees produce delightful flowers and l fruits, and this happens all year long.

When they are fully ready,,you will have to check on them regularly and give them enough time to mature well enough and ripe.

After harvesting lemon trees, you are sure your ripe lemons are going to give you lemonade.

You will also get many health benefits such as maintaining heart health or reducing cancer risks when you eat the lemon fruit’s pulp.

When is the best time for harvesting Lemon trees?

Before harvesting lemon trees, you need to know the right time and the way ripe looks to avoid harvesting an under ready fruit. 

Harvesting lemons does not depend on any season, so it’s the fruit’s readiness that determines when to harvest lemon fruits. 

You will receive fruitful harvests from a lemon tree after three to five years from planting the young tree. If the tree produces fruits in the first years, remove them to help the tree focus its energy on growing its leaves.

Look out for this for a ripe lemon before harvesting;

1. Color before harvesting lemon trees

Lemons turning from dark green to yellow-green

When a lemon becomes yellow or yellow-green in appearance, it indicates readiness.

So look out when the color begins to change from the original pigment when the Lemon was young.

2. Size of the fruit before harvesting lemon trees

A ready and ripe lemon for harvest is usually 2 to 3 inches, so you need to be keen about this before planning to pick out your lemons from the tree.

Sometimes the Lemon might not change color but become heavy, so you will need to check whether it’s plump and juicy.

3. Glossy appearance to determine harvesting lemon trees

Lemons ready for picking will have a glossy look because you are giving them enough time before harvest.

You will notice how the Lemon looks’ skin, and it will be smooth when you touch it.

However, try not to wait for the lemons to become squishy and overripe because they won’t stay long after harvest. They might rot quickly.

How long does a lemon take to ripen before harvesting lemon trees?

Lemons take some time to ripen, and if you take good care of them and keep the tree healthy, it will produce lots of fruits at all times.

From the time a young lemon begins to appear, it will take several months to become ripe. The period will depend on the variety of the tree.

You usually will wait for six to nine months for the lemons to ripe after the tree blooms.

How to pick Lemons during harvesting lemon trees

1. Twist the fruit when harvesting lemon trees

Handpicking lemons ready for harvesting

When picking lemons from a tree, you can and carefully twist the fruits with your hand, and it will break the tree if it’s ready.

You will need to put on gloves to avoid getting hurt by the thorns since most lemon trees are thorny.

However, if the lemon fruit isn’t ripe, it will be hard while you twist it off the tree.

2. Sharp hand nippers that help in harvesting lemon trees

If you prefer using gardening tools to your hands, use clean, sharp nippers to cut off the lemons from the tree, and it might be faster for you.

Please make sure the equipment is strong enough, or it will be hard to remove the fruits. 

You don’t have to worry about how to harvest lemons. Once you know the signs of ripe Lemon and cultivate them, everything will be as simple for you.

If you pick your lemons from the tree before they ripen, there might not be much change in flavor and taste from the fruit.

When you keep them lemons on the shelves, you shouldn’t expect a lot of change from the time you save them.

Avoid keeping lemons in much heat after picking them from the tree even during the growing season. They prefer temperate climate areas to thrive.

When to pick lemons from a potted tree

Container lemon trees are a good option when you are growing fruits for home consumption.

A lemon tree in a pot is easy to maintain because you can move it indoors or out-doors whenever necessary.

When Pot lemons tree bloom, it indicates you will have fruit.

Meyer lemon is a dwarf tree grown in a usually more orange container when ready to pick.

The Eureka, a dwarf lemon tree for container growth, is more yellow when ready for picking and harvesting.

The Meyer container lemon looks bigger when ready for picking. When you remove the fruits, the tree will become re-energized, and prepare the tree for blooming again.

Place the out-door tree, cut the yellow or orange fruits off, or you can twist them off the tree.

You can cut one Lemon to check if they are juicy and flavorful, ready for picking. A juicy lemon fruit will still be plump because of the fluids’ presence, which indicates readiness. 

How to ripen green lemons

If you have removed your lemons off the trees before it’s ripe, chances will be high that these lemons can no longer become ripe.

Perhaps you have under-ripe lemons, and the only hope you have to make them ripe is by keeping them in a sunny location with warm temperatures.

The fruits will become mature, but you might not be able to change the taste.

1. Ripen your lemons on a shelf

You need to know that lemons will not become adequately ripe once you pick them from the tree.

But if you keep them a little more on a counter in a bright spot, they will become yellow but still taste sour.

Sometimes the color might not change, but a lemon becomes ready from the inside to check the juice.

2. Leave lemons on the tree to ripen

When you give lemons enough time on the tree to get mature enough, they will become ripe. Make sure you keep the tree healthy to enable it to bear the fruit and have it ripe. 

Ensure proper sunlight for the tree, adequate watering, well-draining soil, enough nutrients for the tree, and the lemons will be grown.

3. Check for diseases

When you want your lemons to become ripe, make sure you look out for any possible diseases and infections for the tree, and your fruits will be healthy and mature at the right time.

If there are any dead branches due to infections or fungus, cut them from the tree. A healthy tree will produce healthy fruits.

4. Know how a ripe lemon looks 

When you know what to look out for in a lemon to see if it’s grown, it will be easy for you. Look out for the color, which is yellowish, and the fruit’s skin will be smooth. A ripe lemon is also husky and juicy.

How to grow lemon tree faster

Lemon trees thrive well in tropical and subtropical weather conditions, so they do not need hot temperatures for proper and faster growth.

You do not need to make your lemons go abnormally fast, but you need to take your part and have them grow at an average pace, bloom, and fruit at the right time.

The most crucial point to note is that you need to give adequate care to a lemon tree to grow faster and healthy.

The most common issues for your tree stunt growth are;

  •  Poor drainage
  • Lack of enough sunlight
  • Improper watering
  • General lack of care for the tree

Here is what you can do to make a lemon tree grow faster;

1. Plant a 1year old nursery tree

If you want to grow a lemon tree faster, it’s best to purchase a tree from the nursery that already has established growth. Such a tree grows energetically and quicker than growing the lemon tree from seeds.

2. Place the lemon tree in a bright location

Lemons enjoy sunlight to grow well and bloom, so you need to put the tree in the right spot to get direct sunlight. At least 6hours of sunlight in a day will help the tree’s growth.

3. Mulch the soils

If there are any weeds under the lemon tree, you need to remove them or cover them.

Mulching helps to stop taking away the plant’s nutrients; the lemon tree needs to flourish and grow faster.

4. Fertilize the soils

For a lemon tree to grow faster, it needs a lot of energy and nutrients.

So you need to add fertilizers and organic composts to the tree each month during spring and summer for the first year.

When the tree has energy, you will be stimulating its growth.

5. Water the lemon trees

Irrigation for a lemon tree is useful because it keeps the soil moist.

So if it’s the dry season, you need to water the lemon tree more often to keep it alive and leaves from falling.

6. Avoid pruning for the young lemons.

If you want a lemon tree to grow faster, try not to prune it while it’s in its early stages.

Let the tree first grow the way it wants, and after the first year, you can remove any overgrown branches.

Lemon tree fertilizer

If you want to know how to feed your lemon tree and keep it healthy, no worries, there are fertilizers to sort your tree.

Lemon tree fertilizer needs to be richer in nitrogen, responsible for the growth of leaves, phosphorus, which is to develop roots, flowers, and fruits, and then potassium for the plant performance overall functions.

When can you apply fertilizers to lemon trees?

You need to apply fertilizers at the right time and ensure you do it not more than four times each year. Add fertilizers during cold seasons when the tree is not actively growing. 

How do you apply fertilizer to lemon trees?

If you want a lemon tree to produce many fruits, you need to add fertilizers to give the tree nutrients.

1.Apply the fertilizers circularly around the lemon tree but avoid putting them at the tree’s base. Make sure the fertilizers get to the root system of a lemon tree.

2. Apply the fertilizers 3 feet to the tree if it’s 3 foot tall and if it’s 20 feet tall, apply the fertilizers 20 feet around it.

When you understand how to grow a lemon tree, it will be easy to take care of it, and your harvest will be fruitful and rewarding.

Lemon tree care

1. Plant lemons in an ideal environment 

When growing lemons, you need to choose whether you are keeping the tree indoors or outdoors.

If you are increasing the tree out-door, keep it in a warm temperature, not below 41°F in a pot, but you can bring the young tree in-door to keep it safer.

Make sure the tree gets at least 6-8 hours under direct sunlight every day. If it’s cold weather, invest in a grow light for your tree.

Put your tree away from the radiator and heat sources as they will dry out the tree’s soil and leaves.

2. Ensure well-draining soils and that the pot has holes for the drainage to take place.

The soils have to be loamy, and the pH levels need to be at 5.5 and if the ground isn’t acidic enough, add compounds of limestone. 

Fertilize the soil but ensure not to disturb the root of a lemon tree. At least every 1 to 2 months during summer and spring, you can fertilize and if it’s in the fall, do it every 2 to 3 months.

3. Water your lemon tree

Watering is necessary every ten to fourteen days slowly and deeply. When you notice the water comes out of the container to the top and not draining anymore, halt the irrigation.

Stopping helps avoid having the soil very wet and soggy since the roots prefer moist to muddy grounds.

4. Harvesting

When lemon trees are ready, ensure to harvest at the right time when the fruit is 2 to 3 inches, yellower and juicy. In case the lemons are still green, it’s still okay so long as the skin is smooth and the size and juice is okay.

Carefully remove the lemons off the tree by twisting them or cutting them off, as we have shared above on Picking Lemons.

5. Prune the lemon trees

Pruning is best after harvesting since, at that, time the buds are not yet forming and blooming. Do prune in late winter and early spring to help the tree keep healthy and promote lemon non tree growth.

6. Lookout for diseases and pests

When growing and caring for lemon trees, make sure that you spray them immediately before they cause damage as soon as you see any signs of insects. Insects such as aphids, spider mites attack the lemon trees, so work on them sooner.

Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer lemon is a hybrid from the University of California in 1975. Earlier on, Meyer lemon was from China. When it became popular in the US, it was vulnerable to diseases, leading to its ban. It could spread the disease to all citrus healthy fruits.

However, later on, the Meyer lemon comes back to the US, and it is now the improved Meyer Lemon dwarf. It’s a fruit between Lemon and orange, that’s why it’s somewhat sweet. 

Meyer lemon has a thin skin and a sweet fruit and grows under the right conditions.

The Meyer lemon tree grows up to 6 to 10 feet tall, and if you prune it, the branches become manageable with a good appearance.

Meyer lemon tree is self-pollinating, so you only need to have a single tree, and it will bear you the sweet fruits.

Meyer lemon tree, just like other lemon trees, can grow in a pot and need sunlight for at least 6hours every day to have it grow.

Meyer lemon trees grow well under grafting onto another hardy rootstock, so you might not have to propagate through seeds since they take longer to produce fruits.

It would help if you kept Meyer lemons healthy, fertilize the tree, water it, and prune it. You will enjoy your fruits happily during the harvest season.

Bottom line 

Harvesting Lemon trees is easy so long as you learn when to do it and how to pick the fruits, as you have read in this article above.

Give proper care to the lemon tree, water the soils, fertilize, and prune to keep the tree healthy. You will have excellent fruit production.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long can you leave lemons on the tree?

Lemon fruits stay right on the tree until late winter when the temperatures become too cold for them. Once you harvest the fruits before your tree blooms again in the spring, then you are good to go. Make sure you collect all ripe lemons from the tree before they get over ready.

When can I pick Meyer lemons?

Meyer lemons are dwarf lemons and take around six months to mature after fruit production. So it would be best if you made sure you don’t harvest them until their skin changes from green to yellow. Meyer lemons are sweet when ready and juicier.

Will lemons ripen off the tree?

Lemons might not ripen while on a counter once you pick them off the tree. They might turn yellow and become softer, but the taste will not change or be juicier. The lemons you get off the tree will still taste sour.

What month do you pick lemons?

Lemons ripe at any time of the year, but Meyer lemons can get ready between November to March. “Bearss” lemons get ready through July and December.

Leave a Reply