Grow Your Own Logee’s Lemonade
by Byron and Laurelynn Martin
Summertime and Lemonade go hand-in-hand, as do Logee’s Greenhouses and the famous Ponderosa Lemon Tree. Every cutting we take from our Ponderosa Lemon tree has been taken the same way for 104 years. The same tree that Katherine Hepburn raved about while visiting Logees, is the same lemon tree that Martha Stewart promoted on her HGTV show.
But we don’t just like the Ponderosa Lemon tree for its fame, we love its fragrance, flavor and vigor too. In less than one year, a new plant will bear fruit and once it starts producing it never stops. The flowers are fragrant filling the air with a sweet citrus smell year-round. And since it’s a hybrid between the citron and the common table lemon, the fruit is more tasty and lemony than others.
Some attribute the better flavor to the size of the fruit, which reaches anywhere from one to five pounds. All we know is that the sound of clinking ice-cubes swirling around in a light pulpy liquid on a hot summer’s day is a treat that leaves guests wanting more.
We are grateful that Grandfather Logee, patiently waited for his “American Wonder Lemon” to arrive safely by train in the spring of 1900. We’re even more grateful that after ten years of growing his Ponderosa Lemon Tree in a pot that he decided to plant it in the ground and build a greenhouse around it. Today the original tree still stands as a crowning hallmark of the Logee collection and thousands of plant lovers have literally enjoyed the fruits of his labor.
So chill the glasses, make the ice and get ready for an unforgettable lemonade season. And when the fall approaches, remind us to tell you about our wonderful holiday lemon loaf, but that’s another story.
CULTURAL INSTRUCTIONS: For best results grow in full sun, although partial sun is acceptable. Keep the temperature above 60˚ F in winter. Fertilize during spring through summer and discontinue feed in the fall. Thoroughly saturate with water when the soil becomes visually dry (from dark to light). Grow in a terracotta container to keep the root system healthy.