"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Growing lemon trees from pips and recycling

When my granddson, MKid, was here at the end of September I bought him some individual yoghurts (they come in a pack of 9) to take to the farm - they're easier to keep cold at the bottom of our cooler box than one large one.

But, as I was about to toss them out I suddenly realised that they look just like a single section of the six pack seedling holder - which naturally gave me an idea, so I washed them out and put them away in my gardening cupboard.

We had fish for dinner the one evening, and what goes with fish, but lemons.  I am completely unable to put lemon pips in the compost, and as I had an tiny empty terracotta plantpot on my kitchen windowsill, I tossed them in and stirred the sand a little.  Now, my kitchen windowsill is one of 4 windows in our house which gets sun all year and it has become my nursery for small plants which I am trying to root on.

My nursery contained African Violets, the lemon pips peeking above ground and ginger, which is finally sending out some roots
As I was washinig my hands after a stint in my garden today I espied the six lemon tree seedlings and thought ... "why not?"

So I grabbed a mix of potting soil and compost and, after making holes in the base of 6 of the pots and leaving three without holes, I proceeded to pot up my lemon tree seedlings.

A hole in one but not the other
The one without the hole becomes the drip tray

Only three have drip trays, so the other three will have to have something else...

My nursery is growing - in more ways than one.

As I gently separated the 6 seedlings I discovered three more pips which were sending out little shoots - so those went back into the original tiny terracotta plant pot, until they have grown a little more.  The newly potted seedlings in the yoghurt tubs will remain on my window sill until they have at least 4, but preferably 6 leaves, and then they will be repotted into a larger pot and moved outside.

It has taken approximately 2 - 2 1/2 weeks for the lemon pips to become seedlings / tiny saplings - at this rate we may as well farm lemons, not pomegranates - or perhaps we can farm both...


-Heidi said...

Excellent idea!

Dani said...

Thanks Heidi

I'm quite chuffed too :-)