Sunday, April 25, 2010

Impossible Toxic Lemons

Peter, Paul and Mary sung "Lemon Tree", a song still being played to this day. The words were poignant and yet wise: "Lemon tree oh so pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."

Our tiny lemon tree was planted last summer and it had survived through a miserably cold winter only with the help of my hubby and me. Each evening John and I would brave the sharp cold wind and lovingly cover the tender lemon tree and the even more delicate Persian Lime. Throughout the frost and the exceptionally low Florida winter temps, our little lemon tree clung faithfully to 3 tiny bright green fruit. Then, as the days warmed the fruit got bigger and started adopting a shade of yellow.

Unfortunately at this moment in time the weeds went on a rampage and all around the base of both lemon and lime trees the weeds grew lush, thick and tall. I wanted to go out and hand pull them but my last adventure in the great outdoors left me with over 27 assorted insect bites so I was waiting on 2 things; the bites to heal a bit and a tube of organic, non toxic bug repellent called Buzz Off from Teddy Started It .
John, being a tackle it now and get it done type of guy, went and grabbed a bottle of Round-Up weed killer, which I was not too happy with at all.
Sure it killed the weeds but the little lemon tree had been covered in tiny very fragrant blossoms and, just days after the herbicide attack, it dropped every teeny-tiny green orb that could have matured into a lemon. At the same time all the new buds of promised, flowers-to-be also dropped abruptly to the ground. Afterwards I asked him if the weed killer he used was recommended for use around fruit trees and other edible plants. Hmm, guess what?... it says right on the label ; "not to be used around vegetables or edible plants..."
So looks like our lovely lemons will have to be tossed as they are now toxic and not safe for human consumption...there goes the summer lemonade that I had been looking forward to.


  1. Oh, that's too bad... will it grow more lemons next year?

  2. Ah, what started out as a happy, "no winter temps are going to get me down 'cause I am lemon tree, hear me roar" kind of post --- turned so sad :( But do not give up!! That little lemon tree will be strong and grow and produce good fruit, and you'll have your lemonade next year!!!

  3. Victoria - I am hoping that the little tree will bloom again sometime this spring or summer. But I don't know if, like most fruit trees, it only has one season of blooms a year followed by fruit or if it will bloom sporadically through the summer. All I can do is wait and see.

  4. Bummer. Guess he won't do that again, bless his heart!

  5. Sarah~Magnolia Surprise - Well it is a tiny little tree so it probably would be best to allow it to get some good growth on it before letting it set a full crop of lemons...But I do love fresh made, icy cold lemonade on a sweltering hot summer day. Ah well maybe next year.

  6. Robin - You are so right. I think he will now take time to read the labels. But you have to understand, this is a man who tries to figure things out first and then, when things aren't going together quite right or he has some very suspicious parts left over, he looks at the instructions. He's the type of guy that will drive around totally lost for an hour and a half before he finally concedes that he is neither Lewis nor Clark, that he hasn't a clue as to where we are and then, reluctantly, pulls into a gas station to ask directions or look at a map. LOL

  7. sorry about your lovely lemon tree..I know the husband did the same last year to our cherry tomatoes..he thought if he put a little pesticide it will keep the beetles away!! not only did it keep the beetles away...the poor cherry plant withered..start over again...a lesson learned. It's not late to make more lemonade is it?

  8. oh no!... those chemicals can be pretty harsh. well, at least you can use them as decorative lemons?

  9. OH Anna, I am so sorry........ your poor lemon tree, but sometimes we do get so carried away with trying to combat the pesky weeds we do forget to read the labels. :(

    I have some of Denises' buzz off and insect bite cream too :)

    Hope your bites heal soon, I too feel like I am Mozzie bait every time I do any gardening.

    Have a wonderful evening, T.

  10. This is the very reason why being a Greenie is a good thing! I hope you will hang onto the organic stuff for next year and make yourself tons of lemonade. :-)


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