How do you grow lemons in clay soil?

Bought Lemon Lisbon 3-4 months ago then replanted with gypsum underneath and mound higher. Use seasol and powerfeed, thrive every 2 weeks. Granular citrus food, epsom salt, iron every 4 weeks. The leaves are curly and light green color (not dark green), now it has few leaves left because most of them fell off. Few young leaves growing with light green color. Most of the small lemon fruit became yellow then fell. Planted with heavy full sun on open backyard, trying to water it less (assuming the soil is too wet underneath because poor drainage of clay). Only once a week watering with seasol+powerfeed and thrive rotation every week. (week 1 and 3 with season, week 2 and 4 with thrive, citrus food, epsom salt, iron every 4 weeks).


29 December 2012 12:20 PM

Hi Ferry,

Thank you for sending the beautiful photo - very cute. You have certainly tried to give your Lisbon lemon tree a good start in life. Having a clay does not necessarily mean that you are going to have problems. You are quite right in thinking that clay soils don't drain particularly well, but then on the other hand, clay soils do hold nutrients and if the soil properly conditioned then there shouldn't be a problem. You have also mounded the soil in which the tree is planted so that will certainly help with the drainage. With regard to fertilising, continue to use the seaweed extract every 2-4 weeks. The citrus food, if it is a granular fertiliser, should only be applied twice a year, once in spring and then again in autumn. The epsom salts can be applied once a month until the deficiency is corrected. Yates Thrive Flower & Fruit Soluble Plant Food can be applied weekly. I did notice from the photo that there were some fruit on the young tree. It would be best to remove any fruit that forms in the first 3 years of the tree's development to give the tree's root system a chance to properly develop. You will still need to water your tree well during the hot summer months particularly if the weather is hot and windy. I would continue to look after your tree as you are currently doing. You will need to apply gypsum again during the year and continue to do so until you are sure that the root system is developing. Good luck with it and I am sure with all your care, the tree will respond positively.

Topics: Fruit and Citrus Issues: Garden Jobs