Growing Ideas, Growing in Winter

Want Limes and Lemons Year Round?

growing lime tree in a greenhouse

Growing Limes and Lemons in a Sunglo Greenhouse:                                            Your Ultimate Winter Guide

Growing limes and lemons inside a Sunglo greenhouse during the winter months can be an incredibly rewarding and fruitful endeavor. With the right care and attention to detail, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown citrus even when the weather outside is cold and unforgiving. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of successfully cultivating these zesty delights in your greenhouse during the winter season.

1. Selecting the Perfect Citrus Varieties

Choosing the right citrus variety is the first step to ensuring a bountiful harvest. For greenhouse cultivation, consider options like Persian limes (Tahiti or Bearss), Key limes, or Kaffir limes. Your choice should factor in taste preferences and available space. For instance, Bearss Limes are dwarf trees, growing only 2 feet tall, but they produce an abundance of limes, while Tahiti limes can reach heights of up to 20 feet.

2. Preparing Your Sunglo Greenhouse

  • Thorough Cleaning and Disinfection: Start by giving your greenhouse a meticulous cleaning and disinfection to prevent the buildup of pests and diseases.   Recommended products: Physan 20 ; Kleen Grow ; or a 3% Peroxide solution 1/4 cup/1 quart water.
  • Insulation for Temperature Control: To maintain a stable temperature, insulate your greenhouse. This may involve adding an extra layer of insulation or using a portable heater. A Sunglo Greenhouse Winter Package includes an infrared heater with a thermostat controller.
  • Optimize Space Utilization: Evaluate the placement of pots in the greenhouse to ensure that your citrus trees have room to grow and maximize space utilization.
  • Ensure Adequate  Ventilation: Proper ventilation is essential to control humidity and prevent mold growth. Ensure that your greenhouse has effective ventilation systems in place.  It is recommended to always have an oscillating fan inside your greenhouse especially in winter when the greenhouse is closed up.

Growing a Lemon tree inside a sunglo greenhouse3. Potting and Soil Preparation

  • Choose the Right Containers: Opt for large containers with good drainage holes to accommodate the root system and ensure proper drainage.
  • Select High-Quality Potting Mix: Use a premium potting mix designed specifically for citrus plants to provide the necessary nutrients and drainage.
  • Planting: When planting your citrus tree, ensure that the graft line is above the soil surface.

4. Maintaining Temperature and Light

  • Temperature Control: Maintain a daytime temperature of 70-75°F (21-24°C) and a nighttime temperature of 55-65°F (13-18°C) to simulate optimal growing conditions.
  • Supplementary Lighting: Depending on natural light availability, consider using grow lights to ensure your lime tree receives 10-12 hours of light per day.

5. Watering and Humidity Management

  • Consistent Watering: Water your citrus tree consistently, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
  • Humidity Control: Use a humidity tray or humidifier to maintain a humidity level of around 50%. Occasional misting of the foliage can also help boost humidity and deter pests.

Growing alime tree inside a sunglogreenhouse6. Fertilization

  • Choose the Right Fertilizer: Use a balanced, slow-release citrus fertilizer to provide essential nutrients. Recommend using JR Peters – Citrus FeED 20-10-20.
  • Fertilization Schedule: Feed your lime tree every 6-8 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce fertilizer applications during the winter months, considering your specific climate zone.

7. Pruning and Training

  •  Pruning: Regularly prune your lime tree to shape it and remove dead or diseased branches.
  • Training: Train your lime tree to your desired shape, whether it’s a central leader or an open vase.

8. Pest and Disease Management

  • Pest Inspection: Regularly inspect your citrus tree for signs of pests like aphids, spider mites, or scale insects. Hand removal can be very effective for small infestations.
  • Remedies: Use organic or chemical remedies as needed to address pest issues promptly.  It is recommended to spray proactively every 7-14 days regardless of pest pressure.
  • Disease Monitoring: Keep an eye out for diseases like root rot and powdery mildew, and take immediate action if they appear. It is recommended to periodically drench as well as spray fungicides throughout the year following the product’s label.  Suggest using Cease and Copper fungicide.

9. Facilitating Pollination

  • Natural Pollination: Encourage natural pollination by gently shaking the branches or using a small paintbrush or Q-tip to transfer pollen between flowers.

ripe lemons on a tree growing in a sunglo greenhouse

10. Harvesting Your Citrus Fruits

  • Patience is Key: Limes and lemons typically take several months to ripen. Harvest them when they reach the desired size and color.
  • Use the Right Tools: To avoid damaging the tree, use clean pruning shears or scissors when harvesting your citrus fruits.

Cultivating limes and lemons in a Sunglo greenhouse during the winter season can be a delightful and productive hobby. With the right care, attention, and the choice of suitable citrus varieties, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown citrus year-round. Follow the steps outlined in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful indoor citrus harvest. Happy Winter Gardening!

Call our team of experienced greenhouse growers at 720-443-6761 to learn all the benefits of owning a Sunglo Greenhouse.

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