LEMON CULTIVATION

Citrus limon, Rutaceae

Lemon belong to citrus group. It is known for its pulp and juice throughout the world. Lemon is rich in vit c, fibre and other compounds. They have many health benefits as they help to lose weight, maintain heart health, prevent kidney stone and reduce cancer risk. In central India, Nagpur santra is grown in large scale.  Andhra Pradesh is the highest lemon-growing state followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

Varieties and hybrids

Eureka, Rasraj, Lisbon lemon, Punjab galagal, Lucknow seedless, Pant lemon, Italian lemon, Punjab baramasi etc.

Climate and soil

It requires a temperature of 20-25 degrees and rainfall of 75-200 cm. Lemons can be grown in all types of soils. Light soils having good drainage are suitable for its cultivation. They can also grow in slightly alkaline and acidic soils. Light loam well drained soils are best for lemon cultivation. PH should be 5.5-7.5.

Land preparation

Land should be ploughed well and leveled properly to get fine tilth. Planting is done on terraces against slopes in hilly areas.

Season of sowing

The best season for planting is July-August.

Spacing and depth

Spacing between plants should be kept between 4.5×4.5. Pit size should be 60×60×60cm should be dug for planting seedlings. 10Kg FYM and 500g of SSP should be applied to pits while planting. Pits of size 60×60×60cm should be dug for planting seedlings. Plants are propagated by budding or air layering.

Seed rate

Minimum plant density of 208/acre should be maintained.

Training and pruning

For proper growth of trunk of plant, Shoots in 50-60cm near ground level should be removed. Centre of plant should remain open. Water suckers should be removed at early stages of growth

Manures and fertilizers

When age of crop is 1-3year, apply well decomposed FYm @ 5-20kg per Tree and Urea @ 100-300g/Tree. For 4-6year old crop, apply well decomposed FYM @ 25-50 kg and Urea @100-300g/Tree. For 7-9year old crop, apply Urea @ 600-800g/tree and well decomposed FYM @ 60-90kg/Tree. When crop is 10year old or above, apply FYM @100kg or Urea @ 800-1600gm per tree.

Apply whole amount of cow dung during December month whereas apply Urea in two parts; apply first of Urea in February, and second dose in April-May month. At time of applying first dose of Urea, apply whole dose of SSP fertilizer.

If fruit drop is observed, to control excessive fruit drop, take spray of 2,4-D@10gm in 500Ltr of water. Take first spray in March end, then in April end. Repeat the spray in August and September end. If cotton is planted in nearby field of citrus, avoid spraying of 2,4-D, instead take spray of GA3.

Intercropping

Intercropping with cowpeas, vegetables, french beans can be done in initial two to three years.

Weed management

Weed can be controlled by hand-hoeing and also controlled by chemically, use glyphosate@1.6litre per 150 litre of water. Use glyphosate only on weeds not on crop plants.

Irrigation

Lemon requires irrigation at regular intervals. Lifesaving irrigation should be given in winters and summers. Irrigation is necessary for Flowering, Fruiting and proper plant growth. Over irrigation may also leads to diseases like Root rot and collar rot. High frequency irrigation is beneficial. Salty water is injurious for crop plants. Partial drying out of soil in spring may not affect plants.

Harvesting

Lemons are ready for harvest when they attain proper size, shape along with attractive color having TSS to Acid ratio of 12:1. Depending on the variety fruits are generally ready for harvesting in Mid- January to Mid- February.

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