LEMON FRUIT FARMING, CLIMATE, SOIL REQUIREMENTS AND HEALTH BENEFITS

LEMON FRUIT FARMING, CLIMATE, SOIL REQUIREMENTS AND HEALTH BENEFITS

GENERAL INFORMATION

Lemons originated in India and are part of the citrus family. Lemons most likely were introduced in Kenya by Catholic Missionaries when they planted them in in their farms Citrus is an important fruit crop. Lemon is one of the important categories of citrus. It is mainly known for its pulp and juice throughout the world. Different citrus fruits are used throughout the world as food or juice

GROWING LEMONS

There are two main varieties of lemons, acid and sweet. The acid lemons include: Lisbon and Eureka. The sweet lemons include: Meyer and Ponderosa. Commercially grown lemon trees can reach heights of up to 20 feet. Lemons are very sensitive to cold and must be grown in areas that are not prone to extreme cold. They also require full sunlight.

Lemons are not very particular in the type of soil that they are grown in. Many lemon trees are actually grafted on the sour orange root stock to make them hardier. Typically, a lemon tree is not grown from seed in the home garden instead a tree seedling will be bought from a nursery. Lemons may be grown in containers as well as in the ground. Lemon trees do not require pruning other than if cold damage is present.

NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF LEMONS

  • Serving size 1/2 cup, sectioned, peeled (106g)
  • Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value
  • Calories 30
  • Calories from Fat 5g
  • Total Fat 0g 0%
  • Sodium 5mg 0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
  • Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
  • Sugars 3g
  • Protein 1g
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 90%
  • Calcium 2%
  • Iron 4%

CLIMATE

  • Temperature: 20°C – 25°C
  • Rainfall: 75 cm-200 cm
  • Sowing Temperature: 20°C – 25°C
  • Harvesting Temperature: 25°C – 30°C

SOIL

Lemons can be grown in all types of soils. Light soils having good drainage are suitable for its cultivation. PH range of soil should be 5.5-7.5. They can also grow in slightly alkaline and acidic soils. Light loam well drained soils are best for lemon cultivation.

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POPULAR VARIETIES WITH THEIR YIELD

Punjab Baramasi: Shoots dropping are usually ground touching. Lemon has yellow fruits, round shaped with tapering base. Seedless fruits and are juicy in nature. The average fruit yield is 84 kg per tree.

Eureka: Semi-vigorous tree. Lemon-yellow skin color, juice is strongly acidic having excellent flavor. Fruit ripens in the month of August.

Punjab Galgal:  Vigorous trees with light green foliage color. Medium size, oval shaped fruit. Juice is very acidic with 8-10 seeds per fruit. Fruits mature in the months of November-December. The average fruit yield is 80-100 kg per tree

HEALTH BENEFITS OF LEMONS

Lemons are very high in Vitamin C with a half a cup of juice containing 100% of the RDA. The Vitamin C in lemons is in the form of citric acid which has been shown to help improve the absorption of calcium by the digestive system.

Lemons also contain unique flavonoids and are high in antioxidants which can fight free radicals and cancer cells. The antioxidants in lemons also help with providing vascular protection and boosting the immune system.

Lemons are helpful in treating urinary tract infections, and many digestive problems. Lemon can also be used as a natural antiseptic on cuts.

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LEMONS

When choosing a lemon it is important to look for fruits which are firm and bright in color. Lemons that have a fine texture and feel heavy for their size typically produce the most juice.

A medium sized lemon produces approximately 3 tablespoons of juice and 3 tablespoons of grated zest. Both of which can be frozen for future use. In order to get the most juice from your lemons microwave them for about 15 seconds or roll it against a hard surface before juicing.

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A fresh lemon should last about 2 weeks at room temperature; however, when stored in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator a lemon can last up to 6 weeks.

Lemons have a multitude of purposes. They are a great flavoring agent. They are beautiful to use as an edible garnish. They also are useful as natural cleaning purposes.

SOWING

Time of sowing.
The best season for planting is July-August.

Intercropping: Intercropping with cowpeas, vegetables, French beans can be done in initial two to three years.

Spacing– Spacing between plants should be kept between 4.5×4.5M. Pits of size 60×60×60cm should be dug for planting seedlings. 10Kg of Farmyard Manure and 500g of single superphosphate should be applied to pits while planting.

Sowing Depth– Pits of size 60×60×60cm should be dug for planting seedlings.

Method of sowing– Plants is propagated by budding or air layering.

Seeds- Minimum plant density of 208/acre should be maintained.

PRUNING AND TRAINING

For proper growth of trunk of plant, Shoots in 50-60cm near ground level should be removed. Centre of plant should remain open. Water suckers should be removed at early stages of growth.

FERTILIZER

Fertilizer requirement

Age of crop (Year) Well decomposed cow dung  (kg/tree) Urea (gm/tree)
First to three year 5-20 100-300
Seven to Nine 25-50 400-500
Four to Six 60-90 600-800
Ten and above 100 800-1600

 

NUTRIENT REQUIREMENT

Age of crop (Year) Well decomposed cow dung  (kg/tree) Nitrogen (gm/tree)
First to three year 5-20 50-150
Seven to Nine 25-50 200-250
Four to Six 60-90 300-400
Ten and above 100 400-800

 

WEED CONTROL

Weed can be controlled by hand-hoeing and also controlled by chemically, use glyphosate@1.6litre per 150 litre of water. Use glyphosate only on weeds not on crop plants.

IRRIGATION

Lemon requires irrigation at regular intervals. Lifesaving irrigation should be given in winters and summers. Irrigation is necessary for Flowering, Fruiting and proper plant growth. Over irrigation may also leads to diseases like Root rot and collar rot. High frequency irrigation is beneficial. Salty water is injurious for crop plants. Partial drying out of soil in spring may not affect plants.

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HARVESTING

On attaining proper size, shape along with attractive color having TSS to Acid ratio of 12:1, kinnow fruits is ready for harvest. Depending upon variety fruits are generally ready for harvesting in Mid- January to Mid- February. Do harvesting at proper time as too early or too late harvesting will give poor quality.

POST-HARVEST

After harvesting, wash fruits with clean water then dip fruits in Chlorinated water@2.5ml per Liter water and then partially dried them. To improve appearance along with to maintain good quality, do Citrashine wax coating along with foam. Then these fruits are dried under shade and then packing is done. Fruits are packed in boxes

CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS

Because of the exceptionally high content of Vitamin C in lemons it is important to monitor your daily consumption of Vitamin C in order to avoid intestinal discomfort and diarrhea.

Plant lemons today to supplement your income as well as boosting your health.

 

References

1.Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana

2.Department of Agriculture

3.Indian Agricultural Research Instittute, New Delhi

4.Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research

5.Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

For consultancy services on fruits farming, planting, management and marketing of the produce, call us on 0712 075 915 / 0783 710 808 or visit our offices in Nairobi (Hermes house opposite KTDA, Tom Mboya street) or Eldoret (opposite veecam house).

our website is www.oxfarmorganic.co.ke

 

 

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