Planting the Meyer Lemon Tree

I had been keeping a meyer lemon tree in a plastic pot on the porch for a number of years. It averaged one or two lemons per year. However, it never really thrived. There was no place for its roots to go. It had long outgrown the pot it was in and if i put it in a pot that was very much bigger i wouldn’t be able to lift it to bring it in during the winter. I decided to plant it. Everyone i knew gave me grief for this. “Meyer lemons don’t like cold” “meyer lemons won’t survive the winter” “don’t you know meyer lemons belong indoors in pots?” However, i made a decision when i bought the property. No more indoor trees. I mean, the house was 384 square feet. I lived with 2 dogs. There was barely enough room for the three of us to fit perfectly. There was no room for a tree. It either survived in the ground or it didn’t but i wasn’t having it indoors. I had a plan involving heat lamps for the trees during the winter. I wasn’t sure it was going to work but like everything else out on my property…it was worth a try. So i dug a hole, put the lemon tree in, and filled the area with dirt. Then i cut some fencing and fastened it together around the lemon tree. Then i hammered some rebar through the fencing and into the ground. I had to render the tree deer proof. I would worry about making it winter proof later. The 2 lemons on it dropped immediately as the plant dealt with the shock of being transplanted. Over the next few months the tree would try to put out new growth 4 separate times but each time the ants and grasshoppers would devour it before it even got a chance to grow to full size. They loved the shiny new green leaves. Truthfully, by the end of summer i was not sure if any of the trees i planted were going to make it through the winter due to the damage done by pests. My property was not a hospitable environment for young trees. Only the established trees seemed to be capable of survival. I wondered how many years i would have to replant before i got them to survive until reaching the level of “established”. I tried to remain optimistic. As long as there was one leaf, there was a chance i could nurse each tree through to next spring. Just as long as there was one leaf.

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