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How To Use Lemons All Over The House

Updated on April 15, 2014

Two Lemon Trees, Hundreds Of Lemons, What do you do with them?

When we moved into our new home I didn't know I was becoming the owner of two well established lemon trees. They are located outside my kitchen door and they provide my family with everything from cleaning products to food. I can't believe there was a time when I didn't have them. We get hundred and hundreds of beautiful fruits that are not only used for eating and making lemonade, but we clean with them, we wash our counters with them and even freshen our lines.

In this article I will teach you how to grow them properly, take care of them , cook with them, clean with them and create wonderful gifts everyone will appreciate. It's easier than you think and the list of uses just keeps growing.

Photo Credit : These photos belong to me. Rockinpicks. Please respect them and if used please credit this article. If you use these photo without proper credit your computer will crash and your taste buds will shrivel.

One Of Our Two Trees, Winter Photo

This is what it looks like before Spring Clean Up.

This spindly excuse for a bush is actually my lemon tree and sometime in the late fall I will gather several hundred lemons from it. It's 15 years old and has been producing fruit large enough to eat for about 4 years. This is a winter photo pushing Spring and it's starting to come back to life. It drops it's leaves about a month before it comes back. When it drops it's leaves I know it's dormant and I don't water it. When it was younger the fruit was so sour it could not be consumed even in lemonaid. Eventually I learned a few tricks how to make the fruit better and I will share my tricks.

The above picture of was taken in mid fall when the fruit ripens. It's a long season, but I really love this bush for many reason.

What Is The Best Environment For Lemon Trees?

If you live in a warm sunny climate, on soil that is slightly sandy and has good drainage then a lemon tree is a really good choice for your garden. The lemon tree needs to be fed only twice a year, is drought tolerant and not only provides you fruit, but it's leaves provide fantastic smelling oils.

My lemon tree is located right outside my back door and off the kitchen. When I cook with something that smells bad such as garlic, onions or fish the lemon tree comes in really handy. When the leaves are hydrated it gives off lemon oil. All I have to do is walk outside to the tree, pick off a leaf or two and rub it onto my skin. Food odor is gone.

How To Properly Plant A Lemon Tree - How To Choose The Right Spot To Plant The Tree

This is an excellent video on planting a lemon tree and how to choose the right spot to make it thrive. It has a lot of great tips and recommendations on keeping the tree healthy while it takes root.

Fruit Infuser - Great Tasting Water

We always have lemons in our fruit infuser. The fruit is changed every few days, but we usually get at least 2-3 pitchers worth for one cut up lemon.

Prodyne Iced Fruit Infusion Pitcher
Prodyne Iced Fruit Infusion Pitcher

This is the pitcher we have and have been using for 2 years. It's easily cleaned and works really well flavoring the water. We sometimes add a drop of sugar, but normally it's not necessary. We will also freeze lemon infused water into cubes. This packs a double lemon punch.

 

Thorns Or Daggers - Be Careful With Children

These thorns are no joke especially on a twig that has died. The spikes have very little flexibility and are needle sharp. You have to be very careful to keep dead twigs cut off because they snap very easily and if they get onto the floor they are like little hypodermic needles. When you trim the branches you can't put them in plastic garbage bags. You must place then on newspaper and then wrap and tie them up. Normally I trim them back twice a year and then keep my eye on them though the growing season for a twig turning tan. Once tan the wood gets very hard and brittle. Cutting the dead off of them allows the energy of the tree to go to fruit. Normally the better trimmed I keep the tree the larger and sweeter the fruit is.

The above twig is a good example of one that needed to be trimmed. You can see the sharp contrast between the dead and live portion. Normally I cut it back about an inch or two below the live twig unless I am shaping the tree. I don't allow the tree to grow wide, only tall because walking by it too closely can get someone hurt if a twig is sticking out. I have ripped shirts many times when I got lazy. The good thing is that it doesn't grow all that much and it's very easy to trim it back. It only takes about a half hour for a large trim twice a year and a few minutes for a small ones every two to three weeks.

When ever we go outside our eyes are always toward the ground if we aren't wearing shoes.

When the lemons are ripening they are at eye level for children and those children need to be supervised very carefully. I have had children reach out to touch the fruit just by instinct and very lucky to have been close by to grab their hands before they got hurt. I haven't had any trouble with my dog getting hurt and he is around the tree unsupervised all the time.

How To Make Lemon Syrup

The Best Lemonade On The Planet

Start with 8 cups of water and bring that to a rapid boil.

Turn off the heat and add 2 cups of sugar. Stir on a low heat until the sugar is disolved.

Once it is clear add another cup of sugar and stir until that is disolved. Repeat the process until you can no longer disolve the sugar.

Add the juice of 4-5 whole fresh lemons to the sugar mix and let it cool. This will form a thick condensed syrup.

Add the syrup to 4 quarts of water and chill.

Wet the rim of a glass and dip the edges into sugar. Slice a lemon and coat in the sugar too. Slice one side and balance on the edge of the glass as a garnish. Add lemonade with lots of ice.

Lemon, Garlic, Rosemarie, Thyme, Basil Infused Olive Oil

Great Gift Idea For Any Cook

Add several slices of lemon with the rind with 3-4 cloves of garlic, a sprig of Rosemarie, Basil and Thyme to a jar of virgin olive oil. Place it on a shelf for a week. After a week strain using cheese cloth or coffee filters. Add the oil back to the jar and decorate with ribbons.

Use the oil in salads or even fry some breaded chicken in it. The taste is fantastic.

How To Use Lemons Around The House - Tips For Using The Whole Lemon

Early lemons are green and yellow. They ripen on the tree and off the tree much like tomatoes. Once I know the fruit is as big as it's going to get I pull off some branches and bring them inside for vases. The branches look really beautiful and the lemons grow brighter yellow for weeks. Normally I treat the branches like I would cut flowers, but they last much longer.

My Favorite Use For Lemon Leaves

Get Rid Of Food Odor In An Instant

When cooking I hate the smell of garlic, onion or fish on my hands. This is fixed very easily. Lemon tree leaves give off an oil that smells great and cuts these odors instantly. If we didn't have the fruit from the tree just having the lemon oil from the leaves would make me want one of these trees.

Glass Cleaner

Natural Glass Cleaning Products

Add 2 quarts of water to the juice of one whole lemon and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Transfer to a spray jar for a natural glass cleaner that does not leave streaks. This is great for areas that have hard water as the lemons help break down mineral deposits.

Get Rid Of Hard Water Mineral Deposits On Faucets

Make You Sink Smell Great

Cut a lemon in half and scrub sink faucets. It breaks down hard mineral deposits.

Keep Apples From Turning Brown - Give A Fresh Look To Fruit Salad

Adding a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to fruit salad will keep apples from turning brown while adding a splash of Vit. C.

A teaspoon of fresh lemon juice added to the water while boiling potatoes or any white vegetable will keep them from turning brown too. Add the juice to garlic and oil to add zip to the flavor.

Lemon Facial Scrub

Use On Oily Skin

Mix the juice of one lemon with some seasalt. Place on a piece of cotton and use as a facial scrub. It is a great astringent for oily skin. Rinse with cool water to help close pores.

If you have an more ideas about what to do with my lemons let me know.

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    • profile image

      Tina Norgaard 

      10 months ago

      I use a lot of lemons and always put the party sqeezed pieces of lemon aften dinner in the cutlery tray in my dishwasher for at nice fresh odeur.

    • profile image

      Pat 

      22 months ago

      Organic lemon peel is a great source of vitamin C....you can peel the yellow part off and dry it and then grind it up in a small blender or Bullet.

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I have a small lemon tree on my porch in a container and it finally set fruit this year. These tips and uses for the leaves and lemons are very helpful! Thanks for sharing this information. =)

    • profile image

      SportsEye 

      5 years ago

      Limes/Lemons are really useful. Everyone should have a tree outside their house!!

    • profile image

      Shadrosky 

      5 years ago

      Very finely crafted lens!

    • NickiGill profile image

      NickiGill 

      5 years ago

      @GardenerDon: Thanks for the tip. I'll be asking for lemon in my water at restaurants from now on!

    • profile image

      othellos 

      5 years ago

      Excellent lens. We have two lemon trees in our backyard and your report provides a lot of ideas on how to expand their usage. Nice!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Chicago area

      we love making infused water! so yummy and healthy.

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 

      5 years ago

      My family get tired of me asking for my water in a restaurant "with lemon" but when your not sure how good the water is it sure hides any bad tastes & aroma's

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I didnt know lemons has so many uses, thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 

      5 years ago

      Lemon trees grow all over Israel and produce an abundance of fruit. One lemon tree can supply an entire neighborhood! I appreciate all the ideas you have for using lemons.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna 

      5 years ago from UK

      Love this. I wonder if a lemon tree would produce fruit in my garden. London UK? It's a very sunny garden in the summer -the rest of the time -well it's cols, frosty damp etc. What do you think?

    • Craftypicks profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Green 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      @hovirag: I have cactus that have nicer thorns than the lemon tree. It's the only drawback to owning one. It's a look, don't touch situation. I have a long nosed clipper that gathers the fruit from the inside of the tree. You can't stuck your hands in there when it's in full bloom and thick.

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 

      5 years ago from Houston

      Makes me want to go buy a lemon tree. Not sure they'd do well in Houston but maybe....

    • hovirag profile image

      hovirag 

      5 years ago

      I didn't know lemon trees have thorns...

      I'm sure your lemons tase excellent :)

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 

      5 years ago from Ireland

      Lemons have so many great uses. We love to use them whenever possible in cooking, and eating fish a lot means that's almost every day! I wish I could grow them, but some chance in rainy Ireland!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 

      5 years ago

      These are such wonderful uses for lemons, I have always loved cutting them up and using them as an air freshener, its such a great natural fragrance for the kitchen. Nice lens your lemon recipes are on my list of things to try too.

    • Craftypicks profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Green 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      @Aquamarine18: I just started a few years ago getting fruit that is good to eat and my trees are around 15 years old. Don't give up on it. My lemons were good for other things but wow they were sour.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I like lemons, but I think I just fell in love with. My mouth is watering like crazy, and I want some lemon aid the way you make it. This is wonderful! :)

    • roseambrose profile image

      roseambrose 

      5 years ago

      It's too cold here to grow lemons, but I love the various ideas for using lemons for cooking and cleaning.I'll also be trying the facial scrub this evening!

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 

      5 years ago

      Congrats for your TOD! I love eating lemons :)

    • Aquamarine18 profile image

      Aquamarine18 

      5 years ago

      I love both your trees and your lemon ideas. I have a lemon tree in my garden but it is quite young. Just two lemons so far!

    • profile image

      Stuwaha 

      5 years ago

      My brother was obsessed with growing fruit from seeds about 10 years ago (thank you Blues Clues) and as a result, my grandparents have a lemon tree on their patio that they are stuck with :D If I had a conservatory I would probably try growing a lemon tree... far too cold here to attempt growing one out doors.

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 

      5 years ago

      I'd love to live where it was warm enough to grow lemons. Your tree look so healthy. I appreciate the recipes and am going to give them a try. I've used fresh squeezed lemon juice as a cleaner and it does an awesome job.

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