The Meyer lemon was discovered in China in 1908 by Frank Meyer, an employee of the United States Agriculture Department. Believed to be an orange/lemon hybrid, it has rounded, thin-skinned yellow/orange fruit, with sweeter juice than most other varieties of lemon. The tree itself is compact, thornless and bears bumper crops from an early age. It is well suited to small gardens and tub culture, and is more tolerant of cold and frost than other lemon varieties.
Citrus trees do best in a full sun position. Before planting, dig plenty of chook, cow or horse manure into the ground. Ideally, citrus should be fertilised in August and February. It is good to alternate fertilisers – say Dynamic Lifter in August/September and Complete Citrus Food in February. For potted citrus use a slow release fertiliser, such as Osmocote Plus.
Keep citrus trees well watered when fruit is developing (water restrictions permitting). This is particularly important during a drought. If the tree does not receive enough water the quality of the fruit will suffer, or if it rains and the plant is very dry the fruit will split.
Grass and citrus don’t mix. Keep the area beneath your citrus free of grass and weeds, which compete with the tree for nutrients. Cover with a mulch such as lucerne, composted leaf litter or compost, but keep the mulch away from the tree trunk to avoid collar rot.