Lemon Trees- Gardening at Home with Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nurseries

Gardening

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY THURSDAY LOCAL EDITION THURSDAY APR 16, 2020

We hope our new weekly gardening column is helping you get started planting that beautiful, edible outdoor sanctuary you always envied. For those vying to get their hands dirty, and backyard green, perhaps you have questions you’d like cleared up to get/keep your garden in tip-top shape and last long after quarantine.

Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nurseries & Gardens Inc started the nursery in her own backyard in Bayshore Gardens. As the family business began to grow (pun intended), so did its facility. Since expanding out to Old Myakka, her and her family have been bringing beauty to backyards for close to 30 years now. Kathy will be providing useful tips and expert advice to share with us each week as a new question is presented to her. 

SRQ: For those new gardeners who are drawn by the allure of having a fully stocked lemon tree in their yard, what are some of the considerations to give the most popular sizes and varieties of citrus plants? 

Kathy:  When it comes to citrus, you can plant trees in the yard that are grafted which will become full-grown trees.  The other option is patio citrus, which is grown on its own roots.  These can be grown in a container or planted in the ground.  They will be shrubs that may reach 7 ft. in the ground unless pruned back.  There is also a dwarf tree that is grafted that can be grown in a container or in the ground.  They will not become as large as a regular tree and produce a smaller amount of fruit which may be more to your liking if you do not eat a lot of fruit. I do not feel multi-grafted trees are worth the money they want for them and you usually end up losing some of the grafts and end up with one fruit variety anyway.  

In patio plants, the citrus that does the best on its own roots is lemon and lime.  There are other choices but they take a long time and usually not worth the wait.  For more options, go with a dwarf tree in which you have grapefruit, orange, tangerine, lemon, and lime. In regular trees that grow to larger specimens, you have a larger selection to choose from and many that are not available in the dwarf sizes.  It is important to note that citrus needs about 4 in. of water to produce good, juicy fruit at the end of their season.  You can break it up and water twice a week so the roots can dry out in between waterings.  If you do not let them dry out, your tree will eventually rot. I also suggest using organic products that are sprayed on your trees, as poison has never healed our food crops nor do we want to eat poison sprays. My products are Atomic Grow and KeyPlex which is only sold at my nursery. Last, but not least, do not mulch your citrus trees, as the roots need to dry out. Make sure they are planted in a well-drained area and every few years or so, treat with Dolomite to keep the ground sweetened.

If you have a particular gardening question you'd like answered and featured in a future column, email SRQDailyGardening@srqme.com 

Crowley Nursery 16423 Jomar Road Sarasota, 941-322-0315.

« View The Thursday Apr 16, 2020 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern

Feb 27, 2021

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern

Feb 23, 2021

From Scratch

From Scratch

Feb 18, 2021

Five Home Improvement Trends That Will Inspire Your Remodeling Project

Five Home Improvement Trends That Will Inspire Your Remodeling Project

Feb 9, 2021