We have a lemon tree that had its first good harvest of lemons. This year they are green. Usually they yellow. Am I doing something wrong or is it too early for them to to turn yellow? The tree is small, about 3 feet tall and 4 feet in diameter across. I harveseted 100 lemons that were on or near the ground. There are more at the top of the tree. Next spring I will trim the tree at the bottom so that the lemons don't hit the ground. If there is anything else I need to do, please tell me.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The amount of time time it takes for a lemon to ripen can vary depending on several things. First, different varieties have different ripening times (typically between 3-18 months). Second, the conditions the lemon is grown under can shorten or lengthen the time it takes for it to get ripe.
Lemons are ripe and ready to pick once they have completely turned yellow. However, slightly green-yellow ones can still be picked and will normally ripen off the tree, provided they are large enough. They should also be somewhat heavy feeling and hard with a ‘glossy’ look to them. If it’s kind of squishy, you’ve waited too long. The lemon should also be about 2-3 inches in diameter.
If you have many fruits that are dropping, it could be that your tree may have too much fruit. Fruit trees only have so much energy they can dedicate to their fruit, whether that be 10, 50 or 100 fruit. The fewer fruit on the tree, the more of that energy is dedicated to each fruit. Thinning the amount of blossoms/fruit may help with this.