There are some species of plants that can be cultivated in a reduced way on large terraces. It is obvious that since they are woody shrubs, however, they are large in size, so a large container must be prepared that can contain the root system of the chosen plant. In our case we deal with cultivation on a balcony of the tree that produces citrus fruit, no matter what type it is, but what is best suited to this kind of crop is undoubtedly the lemon. Citrus fruits find the ideal conditions and their development in regions such as southern Italy where the temperature except that in the short winter periods never drops below zero. Citrus fruits differ greatly from species grown in various parts of Italy both in terms of botanical characteristics and the vegetative cycle. With the exception of lemon, citrus fruits bloom in the spring to give the best production in winter. The lemon, instead during the year emits more blooms; production is therefore distributed over several months. The lemon trees present along the branches wood, mixed and flower buds, which are formed during the winter to then develop in the following spring. the flower buds concentrate more frequently on the apical part of the branches of a year of life. Also the phenomenon of the alternation of production manifests itself in citrus fruits in a marked way so as to condition both the pruning techniques and the period of intervention itself.
Cultivation of balcony plants
The form of farming capable of enhancing the botanical characteristics of the species is that of a globe. In the new citrus groves, however, it is preferred to model the continuous hedge plant, as this allows the practical, economic and rational use of the pruning machines. With the production pruning done in spring (March), we want to control the development of the tree, remove the dry branches and eliminate the branches having only wood buds (suckers). It must be avoided that the plant, especially in the shape of a globe, emits more and more young branches only towards the outside, impoverishing and emptying the interior so as to assume the shape of a vase that is less productive than the globe. Breeding pruning affects the first three years of planting. During this period it is useful to prune as little as possible, to favor the early entry into production. From the third year onwards, return cuts can be made on the branches. The most widely used forms of farming are those with a globe and a continuous hedge.
Globe breeding on the terrace
This type of farming is the most widespread and is used for almost all citrus varieties. However, too high a density of implant must be avoided. In fact, when the plants are planted on the terrace there is the risk of making them grow too close forcing them to grow excessively in height; in this case it also affects the diameter of the vase because it is smaller in terms of diameter and the tree extends in length. To remedy this natural inconvenience, not only do we worry about using a large diameter vase, but at the same time, to prevent the crown from rising, making cultivation operations difficult and dangerous, we practice plant breeding called a globe. With this technique only the most vigorous branches are usually kept alive, usually four or five of those found 60 to 80 centimeters from the ground, to form the primary branches. With this intervention the less vigorous branches are eliminated, the suckers especially in the lemon, where these branches are numerous and very robust, in particular on the upper part of the foliage. These interventions are carried out every year, to avoid the alternation of production and the excessive enlargement of the branches whose removal could become not only difficult but also dangerous, given the height and also for the risk of proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. Continuous hedge pruning is a form derived from that of the globe and the operation takes place with the use of specific machines for pruning. With these tools it is possible to perform both cuts at the top and at the sides of the plant. In this way, besides the development of the tree, the alternation of production is controlled.
Care and fertilization
When growing a tree on a terrace it is obvious that the dimensions are small. All the pruning operations described so far are therefore much simpler than one might think, compared to a tree planted in full earth. In our case, the tree that we can call a "small tree" also produces lemons but in limited numbers, just for the pleasure of growing it and consuming it as an artisan product. The cultivation of a lemon tree on a balcony can also be an ornamental element for our home. Going back to the initial phase of cultivation, you need to go to a gardening center and buy the soil suitable for these citrus fruits, fertilizers and fertilizers. Furthermore, as for the large citrus trees, it is necessary to spray sulfur, which is a fundamental intervention to have an abundant quantity of fruit.