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Meyer Lemon Tree for cooking

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I use a lot of lemons in the kitchen, and I'm thinking about buying a Meyer Lemon tree for the garden, but I wanted to find out if there is one better suited for culinary use. I've read that because the Meyer lemons are so thin-skinned, that they aren't the best for zesting, and that they aren't a true "lemon." They're actually a cross between lemon, mandarin orange... (and something else???).

Any suggestions for a small/dwarf lemon tree that would be great for cooking?
post #2 of 12
'zactly what a Meyer lemon is - is a bit murky. the initial stock originated in China, where it was developed over millions/thousands/hundreds of years so the parentage sans somebody coming up with DNA "proof" is difficult to pin down.

that said, if it tastes like a lemon, might be one . . .

Meyers are popular in the home garden because they are easy to grow and produce fruits in relatively a short period of time.

I personally would not over-fret meself about the skin being too thin. like,,, how much zest you need today? if you're going into commercial production of dried zest, could be an issue. for the average demand, not likely to be a tree buster.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info:)

Actually, I ran over to my favorite nursery today after work and picked up a beautiful little Meyer lemon tree, plus a sweet bay tree and a bunch of herb seed packets! I've been gardening for years and have started my entire vegie gardens in the greenhouse. This year, I'm excited to see what I can grow out in the garden that I can bring right into my kitchen. I'm slightly hooked on using fresh herbs, and can't wait to walk out the back door to my own supply:chef:
post #4 of 12
There are so many lemon trees here in Los Angles area. We have a meyer in our yard and use the fruit alot. However, the flavor is sweeter than a regular lemon, so when I need more than I care to buy, I go to my neighbors and ask to pick some of thiers. I never had one say no (helps when they know they will get a sampling of whatever I need the lemons for :D)

I started growing herbs and vegetables when my youngest boy told me he wanted to be a vegetable farmer. This encouraged me to start a small garden of veggies and herbs. Dang if it doesn't get into your blood. The first patch I grew was about 3 x 5 feet. I am this week starting to cultivate a patch that is 15 x 20 and another for corn that is 10 x 15.

The nice thing about growing alot of herbs is you can pass on dried herbs to family and friends.:bounce:
Chile today, Hot Tamale!
Chile today, Hot Tamale!
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your post. I have heard that the Meyer lemon is somewhat sweeter. I like them mainly because the dwarf variety can be kept small and still produce. It's going to stay in a container in a sunny spot on my patio as long as possible because I don't want it taking up valuable space in the garden. My sweet bay tree is also in a container, and doing well. I read once in a garden magazine that if the root ball of a plant fits in a container, you can have a container garden. I suppose as long as its water, nutrients and light requirements are met that's probably true.

Like you, I've also done vegetable and herb gardens in the past. The kids and I started our entire vegetable garden from seed in my greenhouse several years back. It's SO rewarding to nurture the seedlings, plant them out in the garden, then watch the kids' excitement as their little plants miraculously produce food for the table! It's so much fun.

This year, I'm doing several herbs from seed, but also leaving space in one area of the garden for only 2 zucchini plants.....2 will undoubtedly produce more than even my family can consume:lol: I can't believe how many zukes can grow on one plant!

Anyway, I'm excited about the gardening season this year, especially one suited to culinary uses:chef:. Best of luck with your gardening efforts, and thanks for the info.

post #6 of 12
My father has a Meyer Lemon and they are sweeter and produce a LOT of juice. However, for zesting or a good lemon flavor you're better off with a Eureka.

For example, we make Limoncello at home and the Meyer's skin is too thin and not 'lemony' enough to make it as sweet and pungent as it needs to be.

Some 'food' for thought...
post #7 of 12
I use a variety of Lemon called Lisbon Lemon, the tree is always full of lemons and it doesn't seem to follow seasons! there are ripe yellow lemons as well new green ones on it, all year round there are plentiful lemons!
The other tree I have is YUZU, which is Japanese , Korean lemon, is really good for zesting, it has unusually thick skin!
post #8 of 12

Does the Yuzu have a good flavor on the skin? If the skin is thick (not with pith) and flavorful, it could make some great limoncello. My wife and I make it but it takes so much work on getting the skins clean, especially on some lemons found here. It produces a limoncello that is stronger on the alcohol than the lemon. The color also is much paler.

I'm curious as I've never used a Yuzu. Where are you located that you can produce year round... Southern CA or FL?
post #9 of 12

Best is to check the YUZU at a Nursery, and try it!
The above is a shot from my try, if it works!

it doesnot take the photo
post #10 of 12
We were given a Meyer Lemon Tree a couple of years ago as a house warming gift. It hasn't grown much (it's potted) but its yield has doubled each year. I think I may follow Kujirasan's example and plant a Kuzu outside. We live in Texas and could do with some citrus year round! :)
post #11 of 12


I love Limoncello, and although we have a great brand here in Austin, could you share your recipe?
post #12 of 12
My mother has a Myer Lemon tree that is profuse. She is in Fillmore where my cousin has one too, that is as abundant as hers is. He lives in Agoura, it's all about the weather I think. They are wonderful in flavor though.
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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