Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

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Lemons are called both plants and their fruits. The plant is a small evergreen tree with a spreading or pyramidal crown. Among the lemons there are trees at the age of 45 years.

Numerous varieties of lemon are divided into 2 groups:

  • treelike – these are tall trees (up to 6 meters tall), the fruits on which are formed in the depths of the crown;
  • bushy – small bushes (up to 3-4 meters tall) with a less dense crown, where the fruits are formed at the ends of the branches. Bush varieties are less productive than tree varieties.

The characteristic smell of lemon is due to the presence of essential (lemon) oil in various parts of the plant. The characteristic sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in many dishes around the world.

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

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Features of growing lemons

The birthplace of the lemon is considered to be India, China and the Pacific tropical islands. In the wild state, the lemon is little known, most likely it is a hybrid that spontaneously arose in nature and developed as a separate species for a long time. Lemons are widely cultivated in many countries with a subtropical climate.

About 14 million tons of lemons are harvested annually in the world. The leaders are India and Mexico (about 16% of the world harvest each).

Lemon is grown in open ground, in creeping, trench and room cultures. Under favorable conditions, lemon vegetates and blooms all year round, in the CIS subtropics it is dormant in winter, and blooms in spring.

Lemons are easy to propagate from seed. Some of the varieties are able to propagate by cuttings from mature trees. Lemon trees planted in this way begin to bear fruit 2-3 years earlier than trees grown from seeds, and are able to produce crops for 30 years.

When grown, lemon trees require a distance of about 7 meters from each other, with productivity dropping in overgrown orchards. Trees are pruned at a young age and kept to a height of 3-4 meters. Every 10–12 years, lemons are heavily pruned or replaced with new ones. Also, lemon trees require weeding from weeds, since herbicides have an extremely negative effect on them.

Due to their almost continuous growth, lemons are sensitive to cold and hard to recover from frost. At temperatures below -4 °C, the tree sheds its leaves, and at temperatures below -7 °C, serious damage to the tree occurs. Flowers and small fruits die at temperatures below 0 °C, and ripe fruits are damaged at -2 °C. On the other hand, lemons tolerate cool summers well, unlike oranges, which cannot fully ripen in such conditions. The general sensitivity to cold allows lemon trees to grow outside of a narrow climate zone.

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

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Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

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Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

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Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pxhere.com

 

Varieties of lemon

  • Bush. This type of lemon grows wild in the subtropics of Australia. Its fruits are very hard, have a thick skin with a real lemon taste, the zest is good for use in cooking. Grows to about 4 meters tall in full sun.
  • Eureka. It is the most popular lemon in supermarkets, as lemon trees of this species bear fruit profusely throughout the year.
  • Lisbon. A good quality bitter lemon with a high level of juice and acid. Lisbon fruits are very similar to Eureka. Fruiting trees are very thorny, especially when young.
  • Meyer. This cross between a lemon and possibly an orange or tangerine was named after Frank N. Meyer, who first discovered it in 1908. Thin-skinned and less acidic than Eureka and Lisbon, Meyer lemons require careful handling during shipping and are not widely grown commercially. Meyer lemons have very thin skins and often turn yellow-orange when ripe. Meyer lemons are somewhat more frost tolerant than other lemons.
  • Ponderosa. It is considered a hybrid of lemon and pomelo. It has very large fruits with a thick skin. The flesh resembles the pulp of an orange, it is pale and not as acidic as in ordinary lemons. The trees are very hardy and can withstand frost.
  • Verna. Spanish variety of unknown origin
  • Yen Ben. Australian variety.
  • Yuzu. Cultivated in Japan and Korea for centuries. Yuzu fruits are similar to small grapefruits with an average diameter of 5–10 cm. They have a fragrant yellow or orange peel that separates easily, and flesh that has a very sour taste, similar to a lemon with hints of grapefruit. The tree is used as a rootstock for other citrus fruits to increase their hardiness.
  • Genoa. Weak tree without thorns. A very productive variety. Fruit quality is higher than other varieties. Blooms several times a year.
  • Maykop. This lemon has no thorns and bears fruit very well. Srednerosly variety, slightly above 1,5 meters, without thorns. The fruits are thin-skinned, rough, elongated, with a pronounced aroma. Fruit weight 130-140 grams.
  • Novogruzinsky. It is considered one of the best varieties and is characterized by cold resistance and productivity. Has a mild strong scent. The fruits are almost seedless. Blooms and bears fruit all year round (remontant variety). The trees are vigorous with a spreading crown and a large number of thorns.
  • Pavlovsky. Shade-tolerant tree 1,5-2 meters high. Fruits up to 150 grams in weight, but can be about 500 grams. The fruits are thin-skinned and fragrant. It got its name because it has been grown for more than 100 years in the city of Pavlovo, Nizhny Novgorod region, Russia. It is perfectly adapted to room conditions, even with low lighting.
  • Anniversary. Lemons of this type are slightly sweeter than ordinary lemons, they reach a diameter of 20 cm and can weigh from 200 grams to 1 kg.

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pxhere.com

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pixabay.com

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pixabay.com

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pxhere.com

 

Storage and transportation of lemons

Producing countries export lemons almost all year round. Ripening time significantly affects the shape, structure and consumer properties of the fruit.

The degree of maturity of citrus fruits at the time of harvest is the most important factor determining their taste. Lemons do not improve their taste after harvest. They practically do not change their chemical composition after they have been removed from the tree (as, for example, happens with apples, pears and bananas). The ripening of citrus fruits is a slow, gradual process closely related to their increase in size and mass. When harvesting, citrus fruits must be in good condition, which guarantees their quality during storage and sale.

The quality of the fruit is often associated with the appearance of its skin, its firmness, thickness, density, lack of spots and color. In fact, the definition of the quality of the fruit should be based on the state of its pulp, juiciness, content of sugars, acids, vitamins, mineral and aromatic components. The unripe fruit is usually rough in taste, very sour or astringent, with firm and tough flesh. Overripe fruits that have been hanging on the tree for too long become lethargic, tasteless, do not tolerate transportation, have a short shelf life and sale.

The fruits are dark green in color from the beginning until they reach full size and are finally ripe. After that, their color change can occur very quickly. Color change is highly dependent on temperature fluctuations. Unfavorable weather conditions can delay the color of ripeness, even if the fruit is ripe.

Grapefruits, lemons, tangerines, and other exotic fruits may be ripe enough to eat, although they have not reached the color of ripeness. Due to the fact that consumers are used to the characteristic color of the fruit, fruit with a faint color is subjected to a process of coloring and greening (removal of green coloration) in special chambers.

Lemons are washed and sorted by color before greening. Green color removal (or full ripening) of citrus fruits with ethylene and/or heat treatment is carried out in accordance with national regulations.

Further processing of citrus fruits includes the following operations:

  • Washing fruits;
  • Calibration (by the largest transverse diameter);
  • Treatment with substances that prevent the development of diseases (antiseptics);
  • Treatment with substances that prevent loss of moisture from the surface of the fruit (waxes);
  • Storage and transportation.

Lemons are mainly harvested during the period of their least consumption and stored until consumer demand for this product increases. Lemons are most often stored in the regions where they are harvested, rather than where they are consumed.

It is very important to maintain a uniform storage temperature of about 10–15 °C. Deviations from this range or lower temperatures result in undesirable bright coloring or darkening of the fruit. Temperatures of 11°C and below lead to darkening and deterioration of the membranes separating the pulp of the fruit, which can affect the smell of lemon. Temperatures above 16°C shorten shelf life and encourage the growth of putrefactive bacteria.

Deviation from the recommended room relative humidity (86-88%) also has a negative impact on the storage of lemons. For example, high humidity promotes mold and accelerates fruit decay, while low humidity causes fruit to shrink.

Fruit loaded into vans, trucks and wagons is stacked in interconnected blocks with gaps between them, which guarantees sufficient ventilation, uniform temperature and constant load. Such laying provides the formation of air channels passing inside the cargo.

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pixabay.com

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pixabay.com

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pixabay.com

Interesting facts about growing and storing lemons

pixabay.com