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Old 01-21-2018, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Floribama
13,329 posts, read 29,132,320 times
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I just bought a Meyer lemon tree and Im trying to decide what kind of container to put it in. I could probably get by with planting it in the ground, however my soil can get pretty wet during the winter months if we get a lot of rain, and I know citrus doesnít like ďwet feetĒ. Iíd rather just plant it in a container, that way I can put it on a dolly and roll it into the garage if it gets too cold.

My problem with containers has always been that they get too hot in the sun, which makes the soil dry out too fast. The only thing I can think of is to use a half whiskey barrel, but how long do they last before they rot? I had also thought of constructing my own planter from treated 1x6 deck lumber, but Iím not sure if the chemicals would eventually make their way into the fruit. I guess I could line it with plastic or plexiglas.

Any better ideas?
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,257 posts, read 2,127,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
I just bought a Meyer lemon tree and Im trying to decide what kind of container to put it in. I could probably get by with planting it in the ground, however my soil can get pretty wet during the winter months if we get a lot of rain, and I know citrus doesnít like ďwet feetĒ. Iíd rather just plant it in a container, that way I can put it on a dolly and roll it into the garage if it gets too cold.

My problem with containers has always been that they get too hot in the sun, which makes the soil dry out too fast. The only thing I can think of is to use a half whiskey barrel, but how long do they last before they rot? I had also thought of constructing my own planter from treated 1x6 deck lumber, but Iím not sure if the chemicals would eventually make their way into the fruit. I guess I could line it with plastic or plexiglas.

Any better ideas?
I have long considered this one. The cure for the drying of soil is an automatic watering system. I am working on an idea for the west (hot side) of my yard that involves timed irrigation. Oak should last quite awhile if it isn't soggy all the time. Cedar lasts as well. You can hand truck containers if you take that into consideration at implementation.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:26 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,117 posts, read 49,872,187 times
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I have used both in our wet climate, and have gotten 12 years out of a whiskey barrel, 8-9 with cedar. My Meyer is in the house for winter, loaded with lemons now just turning yellow. It’s in a plastic container so I can take it in and out easily, and in summer have it on a drip system. In your climate I would put it in the ground on a drip system, the parts to put that together are very cheap and you don’t have to worry when you go on vacations.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:31 PM
 
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I don't know anything about planting them, but I do know that Meyer lemons make absolutely wonderful Lemon Marmelade! I'm jealous!
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
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The lemon plant would do best in the ground, but if it's necessary to have to bring it in from freezing then a wooden container no less than 24 inches should suffice for many years. Oak barrels or clay pots are good. Plastic pots do not breathe to allow for good oxygen circulation or excess water dispersal. They can also crack under too long of sun exposure over a period of a few years.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:09 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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I raised a Key Lime from seed and it is about 20 years old and always lived in a plastic pot. It spends winters in my garage and barely makes it to spring. It did better in the humidity of the Midwest but struggles a little in dry New Mexico. It was traumatized when I moved because I had to severely cut it back and no longer gets fruit or blossoms. If it survives this year I'll repot it in a larger pot and hope it gets some new energy.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:58 AM
 
5,165 posts, read 2,324,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
I just bought a Meyer lemon tree and Im trying to decide what kind of container to put it in. I could probably get by with planting it in the ground, however my soil can get pretty wet during the winter months if we get a lot of rain, and I know citrus doesn’t like “wet feet”. I’d rather just plant it in a container, that way I can put it on a dolly and roll it into the garage if it gets too cold.

My problem with containers has always been that they get too hot in the sun, which makes the soil dry out too fast. The only thing I can think of is to use a half whiskey barrel, but how long do they last before they rot? I had also thought of constructing my own planter from treated 1x6 deck lumber, but I’m not sure if the chemicals would eventually make their way into the fruit. I guess I could line it with plastic or plexiglas.

Any better ideas?


I lived in the San Diego area of SoCal & had my Meyer lemon tree in a plastic pot with drain holes & a drip tray & used potting soil from Home Depot. It was in full sun on a concrete patio. Every few years I transplanted it to a slightly larger plastic pot, but nothing so big that I couldn’t scoot it around by myself. I never used clay or terra cotta pots...they dry out too quickly. Also, our soil was mostly clay...not good for citrus.

In winter, depending on if we were in drought, I watered 1 or 2x/week. In summer, 3-4 times/week, daily if in a heatwave. When I watered, I always hose-sprayed the branches & leaves, to refresh them & discourage parasites. I fertilized with citrus fertilizer from Home Depot, once a year in winter. I would keep the soil loosened up with a garden tool designed for that, and a spade

I had the same setup with a Mexican lime tree, 2 Valencia orange trees, tangerine, blood orange, kumquat, & even 3 different varieties of avocado...one avocado eventually had to be transplanted into a large wooden nursery planter, but the rest stayed in pots on the patio, all citrus & avocado trees were healthy & bore a lot of fruit. I had this arrangement for over 20 years before I left the area. I sure miss that fruit!

BTW, when I moved to western Washington, I brought one avocado tree with me that I started from a pit...it was like my baby, I couldn’t part with it! Of course it will never bear fruit, but it’s healthy, leafy & 7’ tall. It lives on my porch from spring to fall, & in my south-facing laundry room in winter. I’ve transplanted it once since the move...same arrangement...plastic pot & driptray.

Last edited by MarciaMarshaMarcia; 01-22-2018 at 02:19 AM..
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:17 AM
 
Location: Floribama
13,329 posts, read 29,132,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I have used both in our wet climate, and have gotten 12 years out of a whiskey barrel, 8-9 with cedar. My Meyer is in the house for winter, loaded with lemons now just turning yellow. Itís in a plastic container so I can take it in and out easily, and in summer have it on a drip system. In your climate I would put it in the ground on a drip system, the parts to put that together are very cheap and you donít have to worry when you go on vacations.
We got down to 15 degrees a couple of weeks ago, and it happens every few years. People grow satsumas here, but still occasionally lose trees to freezing.

If it were in the ground I donít think Iíd ever have to water it, weíre actually the rainiest part of the country if you look at total precipitation. Thatís another of my concern, when we get too much rain during the winter my yard tends to get pretty soggy.

I will likely go with a half whiskey barrel. The sun down here is just too intense for plastic containers, unless I could find a white one.
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:36 AM
 
5,165 posts, read 2,324,261 times
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^^^The sun doesn’t get much more intense than in Southern California. My plastic pots were white, green & terra cotta colored, in full, hot sunshine (often in the 90’s, sometimes the low 100’s) & sometimes winter temps to freezing, and the only part that ever cracked was the lip, which was no big deal. If the plant outgrew the pot, the pot was recycled for use for a smaller plant. Not one of my plastic pots ever cracked to the point of no longer being of use.

However, suit yourself.
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:56 AM
 
Location: Floribama
13,329 posts, read 29,132,320 times
Reputation: 11586
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarciaMarshaMarcia View Post
^^^The sun doesnít get much more intense than in Southern California. My plastic pots were white, green & terra cotta colored, in full, hot sunshine (often in the 90ís, sometimes the low 100ís) & sometimes winter temps to freezing, and the only part that ever cracked was the lip, which was no big deal. If the plant outgrew the pot, the pot was recycled for use for a smaller plant. Not one of my plastic pots ever cracked to the point of no longer being of use.

However, suit yourself.
Iím not worried about it cracking, just that it heats the soil up so much that the water evaporates out too fast. I have had those black plastic pots out in the sun get so hot I nearly burn my hand picking them up.
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