Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Summer Citrus in January

It's springtime in our sun-room! The winter sun beats through a crisp blue sky and warms our new dwarf citrus trees, and the sweet little things aren't any the wiser that it's a "balmy" 35 degrees today.
Zach bought me a Kefir Lime tree and a Meyer Lemon tree for Christmas. The lime tree has 8 fully developed limes, waiting for us to pick them. The Kefir lime is the most interesting lime, as its rind is rather thick and bumpy. The juice of the lime is delicious and tastes somewhat sweeter and more floral.
The Meyer Lemon is just bursting with dozens of flowers and the whole back of the house is heavenly with the scent of citrusy, blossoms.
We got these trees at a local nursery for 50% off. I spoke with a lady at the nursery as to how to care for citrus trees, and it was surprisingly simple.
-Place in a sunny window.
-Water weekly.
-Prune to a shapely size after fruiting.
-Once a month I am to mist the entire tree with a mixture of 1 Tbsp mild dish soap to a gallon of water, as the citrus can attract fruit flys. I use Seventh Generation scent free variety.
-They can be fertilized with an organic fertilizer 4 times a year.
-And they should be taken outside for the summer after Memorial Day and taken in for the winter before Labor Day.
It occurred to me as we sliced the first lime the other day, that this is probably the freshest piece of citrus I've ever eaten. Living in Michigan, I assume that all the citrus we eat is shipped in from somewhere warmer. I must admit the trees make me smile. They're like little tropical miracles, standing bright and green against the snowy landscape, just a window pane away.

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