There’s nothing wrong with buying your produce at the store. It’s convenient and everyone does it. But some fruits are somewhat annoying to continue buying, as you rarely ever need a lot of them. You often end up spending extra on pre-packed bundles of six – four of which will go overripe before you can use them!
This may be a “first-world” problem, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue worth addressing. Take lemons, for example. They’re delicious to use as garnish, in drinks, and as flavoring agents. But it’s rare that you’ll need a whole bunch of them at once – and if you do, the amount you spend on them can pile up.
What if I told you there was a way you may have never thought of that will eliminate the need for any more purchases of this fruit? What if there was a hassle-free, cost-efficient, and satisfying way to get them? The answer is simple: just plant a lemon tree yourself!
Understandably, not many people understand how gardening and planting work. It can be an intimidating concept, but if you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Yes, it sounds complicated – but we promise that it really isn’t!
Here’s How To Grow Lemons At Home And Never Buy Them Again
1. The Benefits of Home-Grown Plants
You may think growing plants on your own at home is troublesome and too much of a hassle, especially when you can go to the store and buy produce yourself. The truth is, however, you can find a lot of positive sides to home-grown plants. Here are some of them!
a) You have control.
With store-bought produce, there’s a limit to what you can control. You’re not able to decide on the amount of fertilizer used and the kinds of pesticides implemented. When you do it all yourself, you’re guaranteed to know what you’re eating, and how fresh it is.
b) They have more vitamins and nutrients.
Freshly picked fruits and veggies have a lot more nutrients in them. This is because they aren’t subjected to long periods of transportation to get to grocery stores.
c) You decide when to pick them.
Like a particular ripeness? Know for certain that you have the right kind when you grow them yourself!
d) It can be as fresh as you want.
You can directly pick fruit and eat or use them right away to get the most out of them. In supermarkets, you’re not able to guarantee that the fruit is as fresh as you’d like.
e) It’s cheaper.
Overall, growing a lemon tree, though it takes time, is a great investment. In the long run, it’s much cheaper than going back to the store again and again for lemons.
f) It encourages healthy eating.
You’re much more likely to eat and use fruits and veggies if you grow them yourself. After all, you’ve put the effort into growing them and want to reap the rewards. This is a great way to get pickier eaters in your household enjoying better food choices. This healthier decision can help a lot of things, from higher energy levels to lowered disease risk and increased positive thinking.
2. How To Grow Lemons At Home
Now, you know how great lemons are, and how many positive benefits you can get from home-grown plants. All that’s left is to learn how to grow these lemons on your own, so you never have to buy them again.
First, start by gathering your materials. You will need:
- A lemon
- A pot or similar container
- Potting soil
- Plastic film (must be breathable!)
- A sunny spot (or grow lights)
- A bucket
- Watering device (watering can, squirt bottle, etc.)
Once you have all your materials, it’s time to start planting. Here’s how to go about it.
- Start by preparing your soil. Place the potting soil inside a bucket and pour in a little bit of water to slightly dampen it.
- Fill up your pot with the damp soil, leaving about one inch of empty space around the top just beneath the lip of the pot.
- Cut a lemon and remove one seed from the fruit.
- In order to get all the flesh off the seed, you can suck on it. However, do note that your seed must be moist when you pot it.
- Plant the lemon seed in your pot. It should be buried around half of an inch under the soil.
- Fill a squirt bottle or a standard watering can with water and slowly water your lemon seed. It is important to ensure that the soil does not become overly damp, so water in moderation.
- Cover your pot up with your breathable plastic film.
- Take your pot and place it somewhere warm and sunny, or turn on your grow light and place it beneath.
- The lemon seed should begin to sprout after one or two weeks. When this happens, take the plastic cover off.
- You should then take the pot and move it a place that is warm, but not privy to direct sunlight.
Now, how can you ensure that your lemon tree continues to grow in a healthy way? After all, it’s a long journey from sapling to the fruit-bearing tree. To start, while the tree is still young, ensure that the soil around it stays moist. Do note, though, that the pot used must have sufficient holes for fluid drainage.
Lemon trees need to be exposed to direct sunlight approximately 8 hours a day, so putting the pot out before you go to work and bringing it back in when you get home is a good way to work this out.
As your tree grows, you’ll need to regularly transplant it out into bigger containers so it has space to get bigger and stronger. You can also use fertilizer as needed. Eventually, it may get too big to keep indoors, or simply become difficult to repeatedly bring out. At this point, you can move it out to your yard or to a porch or balcony.
Keep caring for your tree well and soon, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious and healthy lemons, right from your own home.
3. The Benefits of Lemons
Out of all the fruits in the world, why are lemons a great pick for your home? After all, they’re not the kind of fruit you can just peel and eat. Well, as it turns out, a regular supply of lemons can have amazing benefits for your health and body. Here are some of them!
a) Weight Management
Lemons contain a lot of pectin fiber, which is a soluble component that expands when consumed. This causes more feelings of fullness that prevent unnecessary eating. In addition, studies have shown that lemons have polyphenols that are able to restrict fat buildup.
Additional plant compounds indicate that lemons can prevent weight gain or reduce its progress. However, do note that these studies have been performed on animals and human results remain unknown.
b) Better Digestion
Carbs get a bad rep, but fiber is a form of carbohydrate that is very important to the digestive system. Lemons contain lots of soluble fibers and simple sugars, with 10% of the fruit’s composition being carbohydrate-based.
Pectin, one of these fibers, is known to have incredibly good effects on the body’s health. It can slow digestion, reducing unstable blood sugar for better balance and providing positive effects for digestion. Do note, though, that you will need to eat the pulp to find a lot of that fiber.
c) Anemia Protection
A lack of iron can often lead to anemia. Lemons do have some iron content, but that’s not the reason their so good for guarding against anemia. What they actually do is aid the body in absorbing iron more efficiently, especially from more difficult sources, like plant-based food.
This is due in part to the high vitamin C content of lemon, as well as its citric acid. These components are both fairly well-known for their ability to help with iron absorption.
d) Heart Health
You’ll find 31 mg of vitamin C in one single lemon, comprising more than half of the recommended daily consumption of the nutrient. Eating foods rich in this vitamin can lower the chances of developing a variety of heart diseases and stroke.
On top of that, a lot of plant compounds within the sour yellow fruit promotes better heart health, as well as all the fiber within. They can also help to bring down cholesterol.
Citrus fibers are actually so effective in lowering bad cholesterol that studies have shown just 24 g of them daily can have this result – one of the many reasons to grow lemons at home!
e) Kidney Stone Prevention
Kidney stones form due to a build-up of waste within the body, leading to small lumps forming through crystallization. Those who get kidney stones tend to be prone to them, causing repeated stones again and again.
The citric acid within lemons can help to bring up the pH levels of urine, and they can cause more urine volume as well. This can help make it more difficult for kidney stones to form in the body.
Studies have found that drinking lemonade has the great ability to prevent these stones from being formed, though overall results remain inconclusive. However, most research suggests that just a half cup of fresh lemon juice drank daily will prevent kidney stones from forming in those prone to them.
f) Lowering Risk of Cancer
Those who eat citrus fruits have been suggested to have a lower chance of developing cancer, and lemon has specific compounds that are capable of killing cancer cells, according to research.