The Q&A Archives: Growing Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemon and Bearss Lime Trees in Oakland, CA

Question: I just purchased improved dwarf Meyer Lemon and Bearss lime trees. I'm clueless when it comes to gardening and would like to know how to best care for these trees. Winter night temps can be cool in the Bay Area, so would it best to keep them in containers? How often to I water? What are the best conditions (full sun)? How do I know when to fertilize, what fertilizer to use, and how often?

Answer: You can plant dwarf citrus trees in containers and keep them indoors or out. In your gardening region you can keep them outdoors all year around. I'd plant them in half-whiskey barrel sized containers, filled with a 50/50 mixture of garden soil and potting soil. All citrus trees performs best with full sun (at least 8 hours per day) with regular applications of water and well dranined soil. They like moist soil but not wet feet. Hardy to 25 degrees farenheit. The Meyer Lemon bears heavily when mature and its crop size increases as the plant matures. It may bear 10 or more lemons even at 3 years of age. Lime trees will have similar bearing ability. Citrus trees are heavy feeders so purchase one of the fertilizers formulated especially for citrus trees and apply in amounts as recommended on the label. Citrus should be watered deeply once each week, twice if the soil tends to dry out quickly. Enjoy your new trees!

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