Lemon and lime juice are a classic ingredient in many dessert and savory recipes. These fruits can be used fresh, preserved, or used to enhance many fish, poultry, and vegetables dishes. Between the years 1000 and 1200 CE, the lemon was introduced into Spain and North Africa. The Crusaders, who found it growing in Palestine, further distributed it throughout Europe.
Learn 14 more interesting facts about Lemons and Limes below:
- Lemon and limes are members of the Rutaceae family also known as the citrus genus. Oranges, grapefruits, and pomelos are also in this family.
- When trees are between 3 and 6 years old, fruit bearing begins.
- Flowering does not occur seasonally; it occurs during warm weather and regular rainfall.
- Lemon and limes should be planted where there is full sun exposure and in a wind-protected area.
- From California to Florida (citrus belt), trees can be planted at any time; however, spring is the best time for container grown fruits.
- Standard-sized citrus trees should be planted 12 to 25 feet apart and dwarf-sized citrus trees should be planted 6 to 10 feet apart. When it comes to citrus fruits, the bigger the fruit, the farther the distance between trees.
- Citrus trees need loamy soil. The soil needs to be well-drained so to prevent waterlogging, plant the trees on a slight mound.
- The trees need a balanced (such as 6-6-6) fertilizer for the first few years after planting.
- Citrus fruits can take 6 to 8 months to ripen depending on the climate.
- Refrain from picking the fruits too early because they will not ripen off of the tree.
- To harvest the fruits, cut them off with pruning shears or by pulling the fruit stalk from the tree.
- The fruits can be stored for several weeks at cool temperatures if undamaged.
- 95% of limes are imported to the United States from Mexico.
- In 2017, the United States produced 888 thousand tons of lemons.
Written by: Amber DiCarlo, Marketing Intern