The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Repotting a dwarf Meyer lemon

Dwarf Meyer lemon with fruits and flowersWe took our movie star neighbor's advice, and hit a nursery in search of a bigger pot for our dwarf Meyer lemon.  The ten gallon pot we came home with has twice the capacity of our old pot, and also has better drainage since the holes are on the sides rather than the bottom.  This kind of pot can be quite pricy new, but you can often find them pretty cheap at nurseries where trees have died or been transplanted, leaving slightly used pots behind.  Ours was $8.

I hadn't taken our lemon tree out of her pot in years, just added stump dirt, manure, and worm juice on top.  So it was a bit of a surprise to discover that her roots only extended two thirds of the way down into the soil.  I'm not sure if the small root mass is a result of the soil in the lower half of the pot being too wet (though it was far from sodden), or whether Meyer lemons are just really dependent on the soil flora that tends to live in the top few inches of soil.  Either way, the next time we repot her we'll try to find an even wider but shallower pot.
Repotted dwarf Meyer lemon
Since I figured I'd be unable to lift ten gallons of dirt and fruiting citrus tree, we went ahead and repotted her straight in the not-quite-finished storage building.  One of our primary purposes for the building was to give our citrus room to grow in front of a floor-to-ceiling, south-facing window.  We put our tangerine (not a star yet since she's yet to bloom) in the other corner, and the place suddenly looked lived in.

If any of you are interested in starting your own dwarf citrus collection, I highly recommend hurrying over to Spring Hill Nursery.  Currently, they have an offer for $20 of free plants where all you pay is shipping.  For $7.95 (shipping), you can get three dwarf naval oranges or three dwarf key limes (or one dwarf Meyer lemon.)  I can't vouch for the nursery since our plants haven't arrived yet, and I don't get any affiliate cash for sending you to them (drat!), but we decided to jump on the deal and will soon be trying out several new dwarf tropical fruits.

Treat your laying hens to refreshing, clean drinking water with the Avian Aqua Miser.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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