How to grow lemon in a biological way
The lemon plant was introduced into the Mediterranean basin (coming from India) in the early twelfth century due to the Arabs.
To start you must know that the lemon plant can be reproduced by cuttings or by seed but the most adopted technique is that of grafting. The graft gives particular qualities and strengths that allow a good and profitable cultivation.
For inexperienced farmers it is advisable to start from an already grafted plant coming from a certified organic nursery with an explicit label and possibly re-flowering. The plant must be done at the beginning of spring.
The area where to grow lemon should not have temperatures that fall below zero ° C. Therefore Mediterranean climates and preferably coastal areas. The area should not be windy but subjected to light breezes that also avoid the scorching heat.
If you grow it in your backyard, choose an area in full sun and possibly sheltered from the wind. In the case of space for several plants, a distance of 5 meters is recommended.
The ideal grounds for the lemon are those not calcareous (where the lemon would suffer from chlorosis), soft and medium-textured, well drained and with a good supply in organic matter. This must be placed in the hole before the implant (we recommend the cow or horse manure while the pollen is to be avoided).
For the cultivation of the lemon it is indispensable the irrigation especially in the period that goes from April-May until September-October (depends on the pluviometric trend). The water must not be excessively calcareous and with low sodium content (it is good to do a chemical analysis at a specialized laboratory).
Very important is the pruning technique that must be done taking into account some factors:
• the plant produces above all at man’s height;
• the suckers (the branches upwards) must always be removed to avoid excessive vegetation;
• the suckers (the branches that grow at the base of the plant) must be removed immediately;
• good ventilation should be kept inside the plant in order to avoid the occurrence of a series of diseases and plant diseases.
The pruning, which must always be light and gradual (as the plant grows), should be done at the end of winter (before the vegetative restart) and must also affect the dry twigs that, especially during the winter, are formed .
For the harvest (if for home use) it is advisable to do it when these have just completed the yellow color: it is the moment of greatest organoleptic and nutritive value. In the company production, the harvest is made when the lemon is still green for commercial reasons.
As for the plant diseases, especially those due to parasitic attacks of insects, mites and fangs, it is good to know that prevention starts from good cultivation techniques; among these we remember:
• never use synthetic fertilizers especially nitrogenous; the latter, in addition to the serious repercussions on health and on the ecosystem, making the plant more tender recall above all insects which it is then more difficult to get rid of;
• keep the plant ventilated and then adjust with light but constant annual pruning;
• place near the lemon of the plants (see the specific sheets on this site) that interact with the insects in order to help the ecological system to balance;
• never use rotary tillers near the roots as the lemon is endowed with a particular root system very superficial that if damaged in addition to causing the plant to suffer may cause the untreated (due to a fungus) which is one of the most serious pathologies of this plant.
However, if attacks were to occur especially by cochineals (which with their sugar excretions cause the fumiggine and the rising of the ants) you can intervene with a wash with pure Marseille soap, then remove the fumiggine using a brush. However, the washing must be started at the first manifestations, otherwise it will be more difficult to get rid of these insects later.
Other annoying pests of lemons are the aphids and the white fly. Against these insects it is advisable to act with the nettle macerate and the garlic macerate.