Meyer Lemons Not Flowering & Zucchini Failure

Question:

My Meyer Lemon is loaded with lemons, and they continue to ripen even during the winter. So what's the problem? Well, I don't see any new growth or flower buds. I'm afraid that we'll be without lemons before too long. Do I need to remove the existing fruit to encourage the new crop?

Answer:

  • Meyer lemon blooms in the spring and then again and again throughout the year. It's not necessary to remove any of the maturing lemons to make room for the next crop.
  • That being said, it's a bit early for them to be setting fruit. You should see the new growth and buds in the next month.
  • To encourage this new growth you should feed your lemon with Citrus Food. Monthly applications is recommended March through October.
  • Once the rainy season concludes, you must water the plant the day before and immediately after fertilizing to avoid fertilizer burn.
  • Meyer lemon should be pruned annually to keep them from growing too big. The big problem is the timing because they never seem to be without flowers or fruit. I'd then trim or shape the plant when the new growth appears in the spring, along with any cold weather damage.
    • You may trim off some potential fruit, but it prevents a major or severe pruning in the future and keeps the consistent production year after year.  

Question:

 I have had good success planting zucchini except for the last two years. I get lots of male and female flowers, but they never fully develop, just rot off. They get lots of water, and I tried hand pollinating without any success. What am I doing wrong? 

Answer:

  • Blossom End Rot causes the flowers or immature fruits rot on squashes, pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers. It also causes tan color blotches to form along the bottom sides of tomatoes and peppers.
  • Blossom End Rot develops from a lack of calcium and watering practices during the growing season. Calcium is added by mixing Dolomite or Hydrated Lime at the time of planting.
  • Summer vegetables like to be kept moist in soil that drains; hence, generous amounts of soil amendments are recommended. Organic matter is added each spring for nutrient replenishment and to improve the drainage.
  • Our clay soils do drain poorly. Blossom End Rot develops from irregular watering or wet conditions due to watering too frequently. This is a balancing act between our mild to hot temperatures and the soil drainage. Your watering pattern shouldn't be static but changes from week to week, depending on the temperature.
  • For many gardeners, this is very challenging because we are creatures of habit. You water more frequently with warm conditions and less when the temperatures are below normal. Master the watering, and you'll eliminate Blossom End Rot.