Monday, March 9, 2009

Lemon (Citrus limon)

The lemon is an important fruit of citrus group. It ranks high as a health food. It is sometimes mistaken for the lime, but the lime is a smaller species and the lemon forms a bigger variety, with a rough, thin and loose rind. Lemon is oval in shape and light yellow in color with thick, rough skin. When riPe it has pale yellow pulp, abundant juice and a small number of seeds. It has been cultivated in south-east Asia from ancient times. It is now widely grown in all tropical and subtropical countries. The tree can grow 10 to 20 ft. Its small size makes it a popular container plant indoors in temperate climates.

How to grow
Grows well in full sun or part shade (full sun in cooler climates.) Water regularly, less so during cold months. Fertilize during growing periods. Not particular about soil. USDA hardiness zone is 9-11. Direct sow the seed into soil in container or on the ground. Keep soil moist and germination in a week. Lemon trees should be spaced 25 ft (7.6 in) apart each way. If crowded or "hedged", production declines. The trees must be pruned when young and kept below 10 or 12 ft (3-3.6 m) in height. They are cut back severely after 12 years or replaced. Planting season is spring to late summer.

Maturity info
Hand picked the ripen the fruit in suitable sizes.

Nutrition info
High content of citric acid and Vitamin C.

Uses and Health benefit
Lemons are used to make lemonade, and as a garnish for drinks. Many mixed drinks, soft drinks, iced tea, and water are often served with a wedge or slice of lemon in the glass or on the rim. Drinking lemon juice can cooling our body heat especially during fever and destroys the toxins in the body. Lemon strengthens the gums and teeth. It also good for our digestive system. Lemon peel oil is much used in furniture polishes, detergents, soaps and shampoos. It is important in perfume blending and especially in colognes

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