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Messages - fifthsymphony

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1
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Watering a lemon tree.
« on: December 14, 2022, 05:36:37 PM »

Quote
Edit #2: Just wanted to add that slow release fertilizers such as osmocote work through osmosis, so they continue releasing nutrients as long as your soil has enough moisture. They dont release only when watering. Excess watering can actually flush nutrients from your potting media.

Osmocote video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSduKQQ9fGs

Yeah, I realize that, but bc it was the first time I'd fertilized this plant, my thought was that it might take one or two good waterings to get those nutrients flowing - breakdown the granules.  But I realize it's going to require some patience on my part. 

Thanks for your reply and help.  I've also read that underwatering is better than overwatering - and that rule has, in general, kept me in good stead with other plants in the past.

I'm going to wait a few days.  My gut and finger tell me it doesn't need more water just yet.  I'm just getting over-fussy and hyper-vigilant with this thing.  I'd like nothing more than to get this lemon tree flourishing over time.  I've had good luck with other plants in the past but I'm new to lemon trees - and I know it takes time to figure a plant out, just what it needs to do best.  But again, I'm letting this lemon tree obsess me a bit.  Thanks again!

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Citrus General Discussion / Re: Watering a lemon tree.
« on: December 14, 2022, 04:28:40 PM »
I know - get a moisture meter.  It occurs to me that my question is a difficult one bc moist to one person feels different than moist to another.  Feeling for moisture or wetness of soil is a subjective thing.  I'll get a meter until I know what the plant is looking for.  Thanks!

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Citrus General Discussion / Watering a lemon tree.
« on: December 14, 2022, 03:49:57 PM »
I hate to be the new guy who won't shut up, but now I have a watering question.  Do you guys leave your lemon tree soil moist most of the time?  Ive read that lemons trees should be watered when the soil is dry down to about 3 inches.  But how dry?  Do I want it bone dry, or slightly moist?  Because Ive also read that lemon tree roots like a consistently moist soil.  Is it a bad thing to allow the soil to completely dry out?  Many plants thrive best when the soil dries out completely between waterings they need that stress to best perform.

Main reason I'm asking is because its been 10 days since the last watering and its still fairly moist at the top and feels the same down below.  Not moist enough to stick to my finger, but I can definitely feel the moisture about the same at 4 inches down as it is at the top.  The soil drains well when I watered it, I got good flow into the plater.  And I mopped that excess up so it wouldnt get sucked back into the pot.  But its been 10 days in a very dry environment (the winter humidity is about 36% in the basement) and the soil is still moist.  So, it doesnt make sense to me that its not drying out faster.  And I'm anxious to get another watering in so I can get those slow-release nutrients flowing more. 

Thanks again for all the great advice and information I'm getting here.

4
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grow Lights on Lemon Tree
« on: December 14, 2022, 12:55:45 PM »
That looks real nice, poncirsguy.  Unfortunately, with my location, I have no natural light - or so little, it's not measurable.
But I have to say, after just a few days with all four lights on the tree, I swear I see a difference - the leaves seem to be perking up.  And those few buds are blooming fast and well.  My hope is that the rest of the tree catches up - that it gets more lush, more buds, more lemons... with time.

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Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grow Lights on Lemon Tree
« on: December 13, 2022, 04:21:38 PM »
Thanks Ognin, 

I've come to the same conclusion over the last several days, doing more research and trying to understand what a lemon tree needs and what these lights give me.  I moved the jade to another location so that I can dedicate all four of these grow lights to the lemon tree alone.

Your post gives me more confidence I'm doing the right thing.  These lights arent going to burn the leaves in fact, even with all four directed at the tree, it doesnt come close to what it ideally requires.  But Im hoping its enough to get it growing nicely.

Ive attached a few pics of the leaves - what I was talking about in my original post (should have included them there).  Whatever is happening, its not from the heat of these lights.  Weve had very wet summers and this plant probably hasnt had a good opportunity to dry out in ages (except for those three winters in the shed, where it got nothing at all no sun, no water, and well-below freezing temps for weeks on end).  On top of that, its been lacking proper nutrients as well.  It took three weeks for it to dry out enough for me to water it after bringing it in (and even then, it probably could have gone another week, really).  But that gave me an opportunity to get the fertilizer in there for the first time.  I'm anxious to water it again, to get those nutrients flowing (the slow-release Miracle-Gro Citrus), esp. the all-important magnesium. 

I've also included a pic of the new light setup.  All I can do now is wait and watch and hope for the best. 

And per vnomonees advice, I cleared away some of the soil from the base of the tree it does look like it was potted too deeply.

Thanks again everyone.  Ill keep you posted, Gary







6
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grow Lights on Lemon Tree
« on: December 11, 2022, 04:41:53 PM »
Yeah, thanks Vegan Potato Man,

I've been reading about those other important measurements in my research and your post finally gave me impetus to look for a PAR meter.  I found the "Photone" app for my android phone.  Has lots of great reviews, so gave it a shot.  It measures PAR, PPFD, LU and KELVIN. 

Even if it's not terribly accurate, it gives me a notion of what's going on and basically, there is no way in the world I can put too much light on my lemon tree with these grow lights. 

The leaves directly in front of each head and about 3 inches away might get 300 PAR and 10 PPFD (12 hrs), but just that small area because it drops off dramatically to the side with distance.  At center of canopy I measure about 150 PAR and 6 PPFD.

So, I'm fairly convinced that I can place these lights closer and not worry about burning the plant.  So, I've done just that - snugged the two main heads for the lemon tree about 4 - 5 inches away and the shared head that also points at the tree, about 10 inches away.

From what I've read, lemon trees like anywhere from 300 - 600 PAR and 21- 28 PPFD.  If I extend my light on time to 18 hrs, I can get close to 20 PPFD (but just in those areas directly in front of the lights and about 4 inches away.  Center of canopy, significantly less.

So, my plan is to keep the lights closer - 4 to 5 inches away on each side and the other light (shared with the jade) 10 inches away and extend to 18 hrs for a few weeks and see what happens.

Thanks again everyone. Gary

7
Citrus General Discussion / Re: Grow Lights on Lemon Tree
« on: December 11, 2022, 11:27:59 AM »
Thanks guys!  Your comments and notes help.  I did think maybe it was some sort of insect I couldn't see so I gave it a spray with Sevin Fruit, just to be safe.
I wish I could get it closer to natural/ sun light while inside, but I just don't have a spot for it.  It sits in the back corner of the basement across the room from the sliding glass door (facing east and with a porch) so very little sunlight reaches the plant (and no direct sunlight at all).  It has to be just the grow lamps for the winter.
I fear that leaving it outside for the last three winters just took a serious toll on the tree and it's going to take some time for it to recover and adjust to the grow lights. 
I forgot to say, I've been leaving the lights on for 12 hrs a day.  I think I will just leave it alone for another month and reassess.  At that point, I should hopefully know more and either back the lights further away, cut down the time, or even bring them in closer.   We'll see.  And I should give the fertilizer time to do its thing too.
Thanks again, Gary

8
Citrus General Discussion / Grow Lights on Lemon Tree
« on: December 10, 2022, 06:45:00 PM »
Hello from VA,

We've had this potted lemon tree for several years but decided for the first time to bring it in for the winter.  Previously wed just cover it with burlap and drag in into our shed.  Its managed to survive 3 winters here in northern VA even though we get plenty of weeks of well below freezing weather down in the teens and 20s often enough at night.  Likely, because of this, the tree has always looked a bit haggard and spindly - not very lush; it has six very slowly growing lemons.  In spring and summer, it sits in a good sunny location, but I think the cold winters have taken a toll.

This year we made the considerable effort of bringing it inside - about 3 weeks ago now - and to buy and put it under grow lamps.  I've been fussing with just where to put the lights, how far from the tree.  (I should note here that where the tree sits, in our basement, it gets very little natural light, almost negligible). 

I purchased two of these dual head grow lights from Amazon: "Grow Light with Stand, Lordem Full Spectrum LED Plant Light for Indoor Plants, 200W Dual Heads."
Here are the listed specs at Amazon:
Input Power: 60W
Lumen: 4500 lm
PF: >0.9
PPFD/1 Feet: 685μmol/m/s
Color Temperature: 4000K
(Beyond this, the manual simply says to keep the lights at least 9 inches away).

At first, I had the lights about 9 to 10 inches away from the top of the tree on one side, aiming down.  But I noticed what *appeared* to be sunburn on some leaves yellowing/ browning tips.  But from my research, this could also be caused by other things.  And oddly, some of that yellowing and even the browning tips occurred on leaves farther away from the lights.  (And the lumens from these lights drop off very quickly with distance).

Honestly, I think it just may take some time to get it dialed in.  I watered and fertilized it (first time it's ever been properly fertilized) with citrus fertilizer (Miracle-Gro Shake N Feed Citrus) a few days ago (it was finally dry down to about 3 inches into the soil after bringing it in).  Part of the problem is that the tree wasn't in great shape when we brought it in, and it took a bit of a shock in transition as well - a handful of leaves went yellow and dropped off.  It does appear to be perking up maybe most of the leaves are a light-green shade not awful looking, but not much deep green.  The tree did sprout 5 new buds down low at the rear and these have been exploding, really taking off one good, healthy sign.  But I'd love to get some advice about these lights.  So, there is a lot going on here: tree never really in great shape in first place/ survived several winters outside, shock of coming in from outside, now the grow lights, and fertilized for the first time (and because its slow release, it may take some time to take effect).

I was hoping to see or hear about other lime tree setups see how close others put their lamps of various wattages or lumens output.  I've moved the lights further away from the tree for now.  I have a light meter app (who knows how accurate).  And with the lights about 14 inches away, I measure about 9K lx at the closest leaves to *each* head.  But I have another dual-head lamp that sits by a jade box next to the lemon tree.  And one of its heads aims directly toward the lemon tree as well (but about 20 inches away) Im only reading about 3K Lx from it at the tree but still, basically I have three lights aimed at the tree, all told.  But the overall avg. covering the entire tree is prob. somewhere around 2K lx or less.  (For what it's worth, the jade plants don't seem to mind the lights being closer - in fact, seem to like it best with the lights about 9 or 10 inches away).

Is it even possible to burn this plant with these lights unless they are right up against the plant?  The lights themselves put off very little heat - you can put your hand right up on the face of the bulbs and leave it there, i.e., warm to the touch, but never hot.

Thank you very much in advance for reading and any advice, Gary in VA

(The pics:  In the first pic, you can see the current lamp placement with distances.  And in the second pic, a full shot of the tree with an arrow pointing to the new buds and another arrow pointing to a branch that broke at the bottom that I taped up thus the yellowing leaves on that branch.  It has a lemon at the end, and I hope there was enough skin left on the branch to heal up there appeared to be, but time will tell. 





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