Did you know that Key Lime Trees have thorns? I didn’t, until today that is. It was while picking my first key lime that the thorns made themselves known.
Being from the Midwest, citrus trees are relatively foreign to me. The only ones I had ever seen were the orange trees whirring by my windows on my drive through Florida and the lemon tree in my cousins’ back yard. My previous knowledge of citrus trees consisted solely that they were finicky; they made headlines at home when 32F (0C) temperatures would threaten the groves in Florida.
You can imagine how I felt when I found myself standing in front of a key lime tree in the community garden on the marine campus. It was like encountering an alien; one part of me wanted poke it with a stick and the other part of me was afraid that if I touched it, it’d die. I decided on the first one, and when I poked it, it poked me back. Now I had two f-words to describe citrus, finicky and feisty.
I continued my investigation of this new plant, wary of the thorns, and picked a fruit. It was yellow, about the size of a nickel, smelled like lime, and tasted like lime, so I decided I liked it, because I like limes. I wanted a tree of my own. I couldn’t take the tree from the garden because that’s not very community-like behavior, so I took the rest of the lime I had sampled and with it the seeds. Time to grow my own lime tree!
Now remember, I know nothing about growing citrus what-so-ever beyond the sun+ water+ growing medium (and nutrients) requirement of plants. Thankfully I have the internet. It really is a blessing for an insatiably curious person like myself.
I cut the lime in half (It was green on the inside! I have no idea why this surprised me but it did.) and took out the seeds.
A quick Google search told me that I needed to take the covering off the seeds if I wanted them to germinate faster. This was a bit easier said than done because the seeds were tiny.
I put one seed in an Italian ice cup and one in a “planter” made from a toilet paper tube [Instructions for how to make toilet paper planter from SimplyForties] about an inch deep in Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix and watered them.
Now the waiting game begins. Gives me time to brush up (read: quickly learn everything) on growing key limes. That’s for a later post.