Lemon Tree!

We got a lemon tree! I’m very excited. We got a Eureka Lemon Tree (basically a normal lemon tree) which can be kept in a pot! Teehee! It can be kept either indoors or outdoors or both, AND it creates fruit ALL. YEAR. LONG. How amazing is that? I had no idea, I though fruit trees only produced fruit in the summer. Anyway! I finally planted it in a very big pot and not it’s outside getting used to the warm weather. This post is just showing how I decided to plant it.

I started with a really tall (about 30″?), black metal pot from Ikea for only like $30. Sweet. But it only came in black and considering that it’s metal and it’s going to be outside even in (Northern) Virginia’s heat I wanted to paint it a slightly less hand-burning color. Here is the pot before painting, sorry, these aren’t the greatest photos.

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I used Rustoleum’s Ultra Cover Primer first. I think the color spray paint I chose actually would have covered the black but it probably have taken more than one can.

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This is the pot after being primed. Looks like a cloudy hill. Or… something.

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I decided green is the obvious color to choose. If I’m going to have a lemon tree in the house producing fruit in the middle of January making me think of Spring then I want a giant bright green pot damnit! I used Rustoleum with a satin finish.

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One problem I encountered when I started painting the green was a weird fuzzy finish (see the next photo). I think it happened because I didn’t wait long enough between the primer and the color coats. I left it alone for about an hour and started again and it painted on smoothly.

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Voila! Pretty green planter!

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Also from Ikea I got a small rolling platform for the pot to sit on top of so it can be moved around easily. I also used a trick from Pinterest to help keep the weight down. In the bottom of the planter I used packing peanuts (plastic, not cornstarch) instead of rocks. It will allow the soil to drain some without adding almost any weight.

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Look how pretty she is! I only put the peanuts in about 8″ up so she has TONS of room to grow. She also smells INCREDIBLE, like, honeysuckle but even more intense!

IMAG0313Just one more picture, I promise! If you look a the base of what used to be a flower you’ll see a small green ball forming, that’s a lemon! Cool right?! There are three currently forming and the nice woman at the garden center told us that these trees will have lemons, blossoms, and just plain leaves all at the same time all throughout the year. 😀

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I’m Worried I May Have Killed My Basil *Updated*

This weather has really screwed me over. I planted basil, cilantro, thai basil, rosemary, and mint in the two large-ish deck pots over the past several days. Every night it has been going down below freezing, it’s April 3rd! This is insane! So to protect the plants we’ve been covering them with plastic and cardboard and bringing the ones weren’t planted/ones in smaller pots.

I only planted the the thai basil, cilantro and rosemary yesterday foolishly not checking the weather first. Well, surprise surprise the it went below freezing last night so we had to cover everything again in the evening. Now I’m not a morning person, I didn’t get up until about 11 today but I didn’t take the plastic off because I thought that maybe it would create a greenhouse effect and might be good for them. I think I made a terrible mistake. I took of all the covering at 1pm because the sun was so bright and found the basil even more wilted than it’s been and the thai basil almost dead. Everything else seems fine, surprisingly that includes the cilantro which I thought would also be delicate.

I’m really worried and also sad. It’s not like it was a lot of money we spent, about $18 for all of the basil plants, but I’m really disappointed. It’s going down below freezing AGAIN tonight and I’m worried that tomorrow I’m going to open it up and all the basil will just be dead. 😦

UPDATE: It looks like the thai basil is a goner. Annoying. The regular basil is, I think, alive, but possibly only for the moment. I trimmed off a bunch of dead tissue from the regular basil but I might have to cut back even more. The ends where I cut are quite brown so I might need to cut further down on the stems. I think this week will be a good test of the basil to see if it’s actually going to survive or just keep withering away.