How to grow Lime
The file or lime (Citrus aurantiifolia [Christm.] Swingle, 1913), better known as lime is a citrus fruit of the Rutaceae family. In this sheet we see the essential phisiological elements and how to grow the Lime. The lime is a tree that tends to grow in tropical or subtropical areas and although it has similar needs to the lemon needs a climate at least subtropical so that in Italy it can be grown only in some coastal areas of the south, very sunny and sheltered from cold winds. Temperatures below 0 ° C can seriously affect the vegetative state of the plant. With regard to the types of soils it is necessary to avoid calcareous and clayey ones, taking care before the plant to make good quantities of organic substance (mature manure). The lime, like the other citrus fruits, must be irrigated in the period from late spring to the arrival of the first autumn rains, without ever exceeding and adjusting when the first two or three cm of surface soil has dried up. Irrigation water must have a low NaCl content (sodium chloride) which interferes with the absorption of some elements, causing indirect chlorosis.
As for the form of breeding, the most suitable is the globe but with internal ventilation of the foliage. Pruning must start already from the early years starting from a scaffolding with three or four branches, which must be inclined and spaced properly, and eliminating the branches too much and the suckers. The branches tend to be covered by a thick foliage, so the aeration is necessary to avoid the car shading and a greater predisposition to parasitic attacks, especially cochineals and aphids. Pruning should be performed at the spring vegetative restart, always taking care to disinfect the cutting organs.
The lime fertilization must be done in a period that predisposes the plant not only to the necessary elements but guarantees a balanced growth. The most suitable fertilizer is the mature cow manure, which in addition to the fertilization of the plant must be mixed with the first processing of burial of the herbs (mid-spring period); important is also the technique of green manure that can be made for example with the lupine. Never use nitrates because, in addition to their toxicity, they predispose the plant to more parasitic attacks. Among the most common parasitic diseases to the lime we remember the gummy fungal and the bad. Both can be caused by three causes or causes: excess irrigation, pruning cuts with non-disinfected tools or in periods that are too humid, tillage with rotating parts. For fungal diseases it is possible to resort to periodic disinfection of the plant with products based on lecithin, while for cochineals and aphids it is possible to use mineral oils with the addition of solutions of Marseille soap.
Among the cultivars we mention the “Mexicana” (Limetta mexicana), the “Neapolitanum” and “Valletta”. From the Lime are derived various hybrids such as Limequat, which is a cross between Citrus aurantifolia and Fortunella margarita.
The pulp of the lime fruits contains about 6% of citric acid, which, as is known, has excellent antioxidant properties. The high concentration of Vitamica C makes it ideal for juices and juices.
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