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Lemons from this tree no 'dwarfs'

Statesboro family grows some whopping lemons

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    Sandra Price bought a dwarf lemon tree, but the fruit of the tiny shrub are giants.
    Several times the size of normal lemons, the huge yellow citrus fruits weigh up to two pounds each.
    "I bought it a Lowes," Price said. "It came in an eight-inch pot, and we've repotted it twice."
    Intending to buy a lime tree for their Glen Oaks home because she thought they were pretty, the gardening enthusiast was outvoted by daughters Alexandra, 7, and Katherine, 8.
    "They wanted a lemon tree so they could make lemonade," she said.
    Lemon it was. The dwarf tree was supposed to be an inside tree, but "I sort of ignored that advice because it is so hot here," she said.
    They do bring the tree inside during the colder weather, but it appears to thrive outside, with a little love and fertilizer.
    The first year, the dwarf lemon tree only produced one lemon, which "stayed green and hard for a long time, then started turning yellow," she said. When they sliced it open, the rind was thick and it appeared the fruit was not ripe. "We weren't quite sure what we had."
    But this year, the little tree grew several lemons, which the Prices left on the limbs until they turned quite yellow. Slicing one open, it was certainly a lemon, she said.
    Not only did they enjoy lemonade from their home-grown giant lemons, but Sandra used some of the peel in a pasta recipe.
    The tree blooms year-round, she said. And the fruit is filled with seeds. "I've promised seeds to friends."
    The girls take caution when outside playing basketball, careful not to damage the tree, she said. "The girls are so  proud of that little tree - they love that tree."
    They may have absorbed some love for gardening from their mother. "I love puttering around in the dirt," she said.
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