How long for a lemon to ripen?

 When to Harvest Lemons

Overripe fruit is sweeter - So if you want a sweeter lemon go ahead and leave it on the tree
Glossy - Look for a smoother “glossy” appearance
Ripening off the tree - Lemons that are yellow with a tinge of green they will most likely ripen on the counter.
Feel -  Feeling the firmness of the lemon is a great way to tell. If the fruit is soft it will mean that the fruit is ripe and ready to harvest.  The harder the fruit the longer it needs to stay on the tree

Lemons take months to mature and ripen. From the inception of fruit (Bloom and fruit set) it will take months for the tree to produce a fruit that is harvestable. What this means is that you will have to wait and estimated 7-9 months for the lemon fruit to fully mature. Just like a human, the tree needs time to produce a fully mature fruit.  Hang ion there and have patience as the growth of the fruit is what you are looking for.

Being in a home setting is quite unique as you are able to remove some fruit and allow for the ones you select on the tree to get larger. By removing, or thinning fruit you are allowing the tree to put its energy into the fruit that is there… One thing to consider though is the amount of sunlight the tree and fruit gets. Citrus need lots of light in order to do what they do… Less light could effect the fruit and prolong the color change in fruit.  Heavy light is important of you are looking for the lemon to turn that yellow color we see in the stores. Also know that a yellowish green color is going to sometimes be the case for how the fruit looks when ripe.

Another thing to consider is helping your tree out with micronutrients. What micronutrients do is help the tree with minor and secondary elements that the tree needs to be at peak performance to produce the fruit it has.  For example, calcium and boron are important for cell wall development and cuticle strengthening.  What this means, like mentioned in the human terms earlier, is that when you apply micronutrients (in addition to fertilizer) you are getting the tree the “prenatal” vitamins that it needs to produce.


USEFUL LINKS:


The Neighborhood Gardener – Growing Citrus in Your Backyard
Lemon Growing in the Florida Home Landscape

Meyer Lemon (Citrus x meyeri)
Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape
Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide

 

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Use a fertilizer specifically for citrus plants, fruit or nut producing plants. These fertilizers have elements required for fruit production. It is also recommended to use foliar applied micronutrient nutritionals that citrus trees crave—they provide additional "vitamins" your trees will love.

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Be Proactive Not Reactive

Healthy Plants Equal Healthy Fruits and Vegetables.

Gardening can be very rewarding especially when receiving compliments on how well you are handling your garden’s problems with preventative measures and effective remedies. I believe the following issues are the keys to proactive growing and gardening.

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Water and Weather

Many might wonder what the title has to do with plant nutrition... Well, quit simply put it means everything!!!  Water is not only something that you give your plants when they look parched or “wilty” or even tired. Water is the very essence of a plant’s being. Plants are 90% water which is used in the formation of food.* So it should be no surprise when I say that water is a very critical part to nourishing your plants. You can use fertilizer at the ground, a nutritional on the leaves of the plant, but water is still needed to provide the most optimal nutritional uptake.

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Working Inside a Plant...

systemic

Have you ever noticed that your sickly plants are the most affected by disease and insects? In part this is because the plant is vulnerable and not able to fend for itself against these added stresses. I think we can all agree that when stress is held to a minimum that the plant is better able to stay healthy and survive. This is where the pathology of systemic really comes into play.

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Systemic

Systemic. What a word! To some it may sound sticky; others may deem it too scientific and then gloss right over it. I urge you to do just the opposite and explore the benefits of this powerful concept.

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Why Go Foliar?

Urban sprawl poses a never ending challenge when it comes to home gardening. With housing developments sprouting up all over the country, the typical new homeowner has no way of knowing the soil quality of the land  their house now sits on. Contracting, excavating and re-inventing land that was once rich with nutrients, more often than not, reduces the soil’s ability to provide proper plant nutrition.

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