Thursday, 15 April 2010

New Arrival - Lemon Tree...

You may have noticed that I haven't cooked anything yet. This is because (a) nothing has grown yet and (b) the kitchen is currently being knocked out and rebuilt. The cooker is half dead and was on its last legs long before this week so there will be no cooking until everything has calmed down and a new cooker arrives. Thanks to some odd wiring (the whole place was rewired last year) it seems that it is no longer possible to isolate the kitchen circuit and so the house is undergoing extended periods without power - as someone who works from home surrounded by computers and with a deadline looming this is not fun.

On the plus side I received an early (very early) birthday present this morning courtesy of my Gran. A Lemon tree (Eureka) arrived from Reads Nursery, this is the second small tree I've had from them and they have both arrived fantastically well packed. This one is nearly as tall as me and came in a decent plastic pot, so no need to re-pot. It will divide its time between the front porch/'conservatory' and the garden, but is stuck in the greenhouse for the time being due to the house being full of building hassle.

No photos until things have calmed down around here a bit, but I’m sitting at my desk with a handful of crushed lemon leaves and can’t get over the smell of them – smells like…victory (or something).

Eureka is supposed to be ever bearing and this is a big and healthy looking specimen but no signs of any fruits on it so far. The plan was to be drinking G+Ts with lemon whilst eating something involving strawberries on my Birthday (July) but I suspect this may not manage to squeeze out a lemon by then. Come to think of it the strawberries haven’t arrived yet so it so this year's post-birthday sulk may well begin in June.

Everything seems to be surviving in the poly tunnel and the radishes that I sowed only a couple of days ago, directly into the raised bed, have all come up so I’ll have to start looking for recipe ideas that revolve around radishes. The sweet corn (F1 Incredible) has germinated on my windowsill, although one moron managed to emerge arse about face and stuck its roots in the air before turning around and finally poking its nose out this morning. No signs of the squashes or dwarf French beans yet.


  1. Don't lose heart, just hang out for G&T for next year's birthday - a lemon tree is really exciting and I'm dead envious.

  2. Quite right, maybe I'll try Pimms this year :) I have wanted a lemon tree since I was a kid, often used to plant pips but never got that far. There were a couple of lime trees in our compound in Nepal, which I started to harvest when I began to to worry about scurvy - nothing like a fresh citrus straight from the tree.

  3. I've never grown any citrus, how exciting. Sounds like a good size too.

  4. I will post a pic of the tree soon, just need to wait for a lull in the kitchen related destruction.

  5. Will you have to keep the lemon tree in the poly tunnel? I can't believe it will fruit outside, but then I probably live a lot further north than you do! I can't put out any plants till nearly the end of May, there was ice on my windscreen this morning.

  6. The ‘poly tunnel’ is only about 2ft high over the raised bed. Lemon tree is about 4ft high including the pot - ok so not 'nearly as tall as me' but the box it came in was. Lemon tree is spending most of the day outside in the sun and the night in the front porch - which is west facing and has been glazed over and as it attached to the house never gets below about 8 degrees C even in winter. It is effectively acting as a very narrow orangery (in fact I might start referring to it as such). The lemon tree will apparently stop growing below 11 degrees and die below 7 and this is supposed to be an ‘easy starter citrus’, so we’ll have to see. Last year I defied the odds and managed to grow two Banana trees from seed, they are the Himalayan variety Musa Sikkimensis which grows up to 11,000ft and so is used to frosts (it will apparently survive down to minus 7). They are currently about 2ft tall and living in pots in the front porch and will hopefully end up in the front garden when they are big enough. I am in County Durham so probably not as far north as you.