When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade.But, should you really stop at lemonade if you have lemons or you want to make more something more? The amazing tropical fruit has numerous health benefits and is one of the best alkaline foods on the planet, which makes it great for reducing the acidity of your body.
Lemons were created as a cross between lime and citrus. They were introduced to Europe by the Arabs, and it was Christopher Columbus who brought them to the New World during his second trip in the 15th century. A couple of centuries later, the California Gold Rush miners ate lemons every day as a preventative measure against scurvy, a condition caused by vitamin C deficiency.
Lemons are mostly known for their high vitamin C levels, but they also contain numerous other nutrients which can improve your overall health. Here are the top health benefits of eating lemons regularly:
- Boost the immune system;
- Keep your pH balance regulated;
- Lower your risk of cancer thanks to the presence of limonoids;
- Are a great natural remedy against depression and can improve your mood;
- Prevent rheumatoid arthritis;
- Improve your digestive health;
- Support weight loss;
- Support the liver and detox your body;
- Boost your energy levels.
Although healthy, no one likes to eat more than a few lemons every day. This is why drinking lemon water has become so popular as it offers all the benefits of a lemon without the hassle of eating the fruit. Lemon water will hydrate your body and boost your immune system, and it’s also a cheap and effective way of losing weight. Once you start drinking lemon water every day, you will certainly ditch coffee, as this incredible beverage will provide you with more than just a short-lasting energy boost.
To ensure that you’re consuming organic lemons, we recommend growing a lemon tree in your home. It’s not as hard as it sounds – the tree can thrive both indoors and outdoors, and can grow in any sunny spot. Rooting cutting are considered great for growing the fruit quickly, but they aren’t present everywhere in the world, and it can take a while for the fruit to grow. However, growing your own tree from a seed is very rewarding.
Here’s how to get started:
First things first, you’ll need an organic lemon. It must be organic, as other types of lemons can’t be germinated.
Citrus fruits grow best in a combination of peat, perlite, vermiculite and organic fertilizer. Make sure the soil is light so it can drain well. If you make it too heavy, add some hardwood bark chips to increase the amount of air spaces.
Start with a small container as it will maintain the moisture better. If the soil is too wet in a bigger container, the small tree can rot and dry. Try finding an 8-inch container, and move the tree to a 10-12-inch container once it’s a few years old. As it grows, you’ll need bigger containers. We suggest using a container made of wood, terra cotta or plastic that contains drainage holes. Although glazed terra cotta is attractive, it is also heavier than a plastic container and might not be so mobile.
The lemon tree loves the light and needs much of it (10-14 hours a day). Put it on a sunny spot indoors, or use 40-watt fluorescent lights above the plant. They’re cheap and will keep your tree satisfied.
The soil must be evenly moist or the tree won’t grow. Citrus fruits prefer occasional deep watering instead of frequent shallow watering. Water when the soil is dry – if the leaves begin yellowing, you have overwatered your plant. If they perk up after watering, you have waited for too long. In general, once or twice a week should be enough, but you will adjust the watering rate depending on the season.
Here’s how to sprout the seed:
Put the soil in a bucket and add water until it’s completely moist, then fill the container you have picked for growing the lemon tree. Leave about an inch of space below the rim. Now, cut the lemon in half and find a big seed, then suck it in order to remove all the flesh. Don’t let it dry, as the seeds must be moist in order to germinate. When moist, plant the seed in the container about half inch below the soil and then cover it completely. Water the soil and cover it with breathable plastic to keep it moist and warm. Keep the container in a warm spot and watch it for a few days – don’t let it get too dry or too moist, as the heat may cause it to rot. You need to strike a good balance for moisture and warmth. About 2 weeks later, the seed should sprout from the soil. Remove the plastic at that moment and put the container in a sunny spot or supplement it with fluorescent lights if necessary.
Caring for the tree
Once you’re done, just sit back and enjoy the growing! Remember the following tips so that the tree can grow strong:
- Besides watering it, a growing tree also needs nutrients. Make sure to feed it with organic fertilizer (vermicompost or compost) once it has a few leaves. The fertilizing is done once or twice a year. Dig a small trench around the base of the tree and fill it with the compost, then water it well and that’s it. Less fertilization is better, so if you aren’t sure when it has been fed, wait for longer to be safe.
- The soil must be kept moist at all times, especially for a young tree. However, this doesn’t mean that it should drown in water – this is why you need a container with drainage holes.
- Lemons love sunlight, so make sure that the tree is getting enough of it.
- Many people claim that talking and deeply caring for your tree while watching it grow can have a positive impact. Spending time with it can also make it easier to notice any problems on it.