Citrus, September and Lemonade….

lemon tree

Growing up, we had a lemon tree in our backyard in California.  I loved to be able to go outside and just pick lemons whenever we needed them.  As an adult, I must admit that of all the different kinds of citrus trees – lemon are my favorite.  Our first home in Phoenix came with two mature citrus trees in the back garden….grapefruit and orange, but sadly no lemon trees.  We did plant one, but moved a year later and so did not get to enjoy any lemons.

Cannot wait for fresh lemonade

Cannot wait for fresh lemonade

We have lived in our current home for over 10 years and we have no fruit trees growing in the garden (I may be changing that soon).  We have been blessed by the residents of Double S Farms (my mother, my sister and her family) who have many different types of fruit trees and they share their bountiful harvests with us.  The best part is that they have a large lemon tree and I get to use all the lemons that I need.

Right now, the lemon tree is covered in green fruit that will soon ripen.  Can you see the lemons?

Cannot wait for fresh lemonade

For healthy citrus trees and delicious fruit, a regular fertilization program is needed.  They need to be fertilized three times a year….Feb/Mar, May and Aug/Sept.  You can use either a regular citrus fertilizer or you can go the organic route and use an organic citrus fertilizer.

If you have not already fertilized your citrus trees, now is the time.  You can read more about citrus and their needs in my post from last September if you like.

Cannot wait for fresh lemonade

Soon these green lemons will turn yellow and then it will be time to pick them…..


One of my favorite things to do with lemons is to juice them and freeze the juice for later use throughout the year.  Right now, my frozen lemon juice is running pretty low.  I cannot wait for new lemons and my kids cannot wait for fresh lemonade 🙂

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend.

I am getting ready to seed my vegetable garden today 🙂

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
20 replies
  1. Edith Hope
    Edith Hope says:

    Dear Noelle, Now this is making me, like the lemons of the moment, green with envy for I cannot imagine anything better at this moment than to have an abundance of fresh lemons growing on my own trees. Living in Europe, one can scarcely believe that you have fruiting trees so used is one to seeing them as imported products piled high on a market stall. And today they were very expensive!

  2. Hocking Hills Gardener
    Hocking Hills Gardener says:

    Hi Noelle. Those green lemons are hard to find because they are the same color as the leaves.It must be so nice to be able to walk out in a garden and pick your own citrus fruit.
    What a wonderful picture of the wagon full of lemons and the little guy.

  3. rohrerbot
    rohrerbot says:

    What I find so amazing is the variety of citrus fruit we have here….I feel like I've only touched the surface of the varieties!! Calamondin, kumquat, Meyer's lemmon, Bearrs Lime, Blood Orange are just a few to start….I am working on grapefruit as well…we are so lucky to be able to grow citrus here!! Thanks for reminding me to fertilize…:)

  4. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    Noelle, I love lemons! You should definitely plant a citrus tree to replace your missing one, although they don't grow that large. I have two lemons (Meyer and Ponderosa) and one orange (navel). Nothing like fresh fruit right out of your own back yard!

  5. Christine B.
    Christine B. says:

    No citrus trees growing here…big suprise. If I had my way, I would be growing a big ol' lime tree. Maybe inside?

    The veggie garden at my place is beyond salvation for this year. I'm now thinking about just where I packed my snow boots. Ugh.

    Christine in Alaska

  6. Meredehuit ♥
    Meredehuit ♥ says:

    Beautiful post, Noelle! Our family loves lemons. We lived in San Diego many years ago, and it was such a treat to pick them from a tree. Alas, no lemons will grow here, but I did enjoying viewing your beautiful pics!

  7. One
    One says:

    Hi Noelle, I've planted lemons and lime for more than 2 years but there are no fruits yet. I used organic fertilizer frequently. Any tips? Are they just too young? The lime was planted from seed. The lemon plant was purchased but I could have overly pruned it.

  8. leavesnbloom
    leavesnbloom says:

    I remember that post Noelle when you were harvesting the lemons earlier in the year – I don't think I'll ever forget those wonderful photos.

    Over in the Uk we have to keep the lemon trees inside during the autumn, winter and spring. When the clocks fall back in October we change to a winter feed and then when the clocks spring forward in the spring we then start feeding them with a Summer feed.

    I hope you get to taste those fresh lemons soon.

  9. Curbstone Valley Farm
    Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    We planted a Meyer lemon this year, and plan to add an improved Eureka next year. I use so many lemons in the kitchen, both zest and juice, that it almost becomes prohibitive to keep buying them. I'm quite envious of that wagon-load in the last photo! Certainly worthy of making room for own trees though, and I can't wait for them to really get producing. Thanks for the reminder about fertilizing, I should head out and feed the Meyer now while I'm thinking about it!

  10. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    Sadly, our winters are too cold for citrus trees, but if I could grow them, I would choose lemon. Your children are blessed to be able to drink all that fresh lemonade as well as eat other citrus fruits fresh off the trees!

  11. Rose
    Rose says:

    How wonderful it must be to be able to pick your own fresh lemons! I'm just thinking about all the lemonade I would make…and lemon meringue pie is one of my favorites. Of course, the beautiful bounty of lemons can't compete with the cutie in the wagon:)

    My computer has been acting up lately, so I haven't been around much–I'm looking forward to seeing which tree you choose as a replacement for your Palo Verde; so many great choices it will be a hard decision, I'm sure.

  12. Msrobin
    Msrobin says:

    How lucky you are to have all the lemons you want, and to have that cute kid in the wagon! When we retire to Florida some day, I plan to have a lemon tree planted right next to an avocado tree, so I can have endless guacamole! LOL

  13. Carol
    Carol says:

    It must be heavenly to pick lemons from ones own tree… if not your own … well a family tree will do. Frozen lemon juice… what a great idea. Beautiful photos Noelle!

  14. Kalipso
    Kalipso says:

    I too have a lemon tree but, I have to grow it in the pot. It could not survive the winter outside. Love your blog… I am looking forward to read more about desert gardening.

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