A few days ago, I wandered out to my back garden to check-in on my lemon tree and to my surprise and delight, there were tiny flower buds on one of the branches! This was a milestone moment! A miracle of nature! I was just about to let out a whoop of joy and dance round the little thing before I suddenly thought, hmmm . . . is this normal? Is this actually what it is supposed to do?
As you know, my level of gardening knowledge is probably equivalent to a pre-schooler. But you would think that flowering and bearing fruit is the most natural thing for a lemon tree to do. But after the last lesson a month ago which probably removed my last pre-conceived notions of what supposedly happens, I am NO LONGER sure. Could my lemon tree once again be letting out cries of distress? Is it in the throes of death? Has its survival instinct taken hold and it is self-propagating to guarantee a future for the next generation? Wow, can I even believe I’m asking these questions!
So, instantly, I had a closer look and made two observations. One, there is not a single new leaf on my lemon tree and secondly, some of the existing leaves are beginning to have a yellow tinge on them. OH DEAR!! This certainly can’t be a good thing! I know this because my sister has a lemon tree and she had the same problem. Something about needing fertilizer was her comment. Of course, that makes sense. Without further thought, I made my way to the nearest garden shop and was instantly amazed at the range on offer! There were control release fertilizers, liquid/soluble fertilizers, organic fertilizers and specialised fertilizers. You could buy stuff to boost leaf growth, boost flowers, boost fruits or any combination of the three. Then there were labels talking about Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus. I felt like I was back in my chemistry lab and as you can guess, before long confusion won and I walked away with a general, no nonsense, good for everything, liquid fertilizer. Surely, this should do it.
After dousing my lemon tree with it, I found out (from my sister) that you actually need iron for yellow leaves. Who could’ve guessed!! “Why iron” you may ask? Here’s my five word answer which I save for these occasions to display my intellectual prowess – “I Don’t Have a Clue”. Sure, I could have googled it but really do I need to know this? So, after pouring $15 down the drain, my sister was kind enough to drop some iron off yesterday which I dutifully applied to my lemon tree. She also gave me some slow release pellets for citrus trees which I also immediately used.
It has been raining almost all day today and I am thinking, the lemon tree is getting a good soak now. I am just hoping I haven’t gone overboard with everything I have thrown at it.