The lemon tree is a landscaping favourite among gardeners in the Southwest and the Deep South. The showy, white flowers are followed by handsome, fragrant fruits, adding visual interest and texture to the landscape. Like all fruiting trees, citrus trees will blossom more abundantly and produce more fruits if they are fed throughout the year. Epsom salts are an easy way to give lemon trees a much-needed nutrient boost.
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Growing Lemon Trees
Lemons are tropical in nature, and as such, they cannot be grown in many parts of the continental United States as they have no tolerance for the cold. However, in warmer regions of the U.S., such as southern Texas, Florida, Arizona and California, lemon trees are commonplace and you can find them in backyards and small orchards where the fragrant flowers and astringent fruits fill the garden with a crisp, citrus aroma all winter long. Gardeners in cooler climates may be able to use large containers to cultivate dwarf citrus, though they must always guard the fragile roots and protect them from the effects of cold weather.
Epsom Salt Fertilizer
Regardless of how they are grown, lemon trees are considered heavy feeders. This means they tend to remove all of the available nutrients from the surrounding soil. Consequently, they require routine applications of fertilisers and plant foods to remain healthy and productive. A simple solution made from Epsom salts and water can fill a variety of nutritional needs. An economical, gentle compound, Epsom salts can boost flower and fruit production while posing no threat to the environment.
How It Works
Epsom salts is the common name for magnesium sulphate. As the name suggests, this compound is made from a combination of both magnesium and sulphur -- two chemicals that are highly beneficial to plant growth. Heavy feeders like lemon trees tend to suffer from nutrient deficiencies, which can result in the development of yellow leaves, premature leaf drop and poor fruit production. Epsom salts help restore balance to the soil. The additional magnesium boosts the natural production of chlorophyll, which plants use to convert sunlight into energy, while the additional sulphur increases the absorption of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous by the tree's roots.
To apply Epsom salts to a lemon tree, pour 2 1/2 tbsp of Epsom salts into 5 gallons of water and stir until the compound has dissolved, then pour the solution around the base of the tree. Repeat the application every four to eight weeks for the duration of the growing season. For the best results, use Epsom salt solution in conjunction with a balanced, all-purpose plant food.
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