How To Use Lemons All Over The House
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.
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.
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.