Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Of Yoga and Lemons

Once upon a time, I was doing Yoga regularly. I would head to the studio religiously after work and there were even a couple of times when it was only the Yoga teacher and me. That was super fab, with just me to focus on, I got a real workout! But these last few years, I've been getting lazier and lazier, age not helping, so this morning, with the second day of school and a new routine to get used to, I decided to reconnect with my inner self and long forgotten muscles. I found this Yoga for Beginners by Adrienne on Youtube and it was a real treat, just perfect to ease me in. So I'm really hoping I will stick with Adrienne for the week. Like she said, the hardest part of this routine is showing up.

So here's to a week of Yoga with Adrienne!

Making Lemons

After getting my compost bin all set up (which I talked about here), I started preparing for plants that will eventually need the natural fertilizer I'm making. I love fruit trees and I've wanted bonsai fruit trees since forever. And like my yoga, once upon a time, I had a collection of bonsai trees - which I left to my brother. So for my new collection, I wanted a lemon tree from scratch. I got a couple of organic lemons from the local grocery and I carefully cut one on the lower bottom so I don't accidentally damage the seeds. From what I've read, lemon seeds are better to plant fresh than dried. Trying to germinate from seeds that have dried seems to be harder and is generally a hit and miss affair. After I got the seeds out, I saved the lemon juice for cooking.

Got more than a dozen good seeds from that one lemon. I discarded the small, scrimpy looking ones and gave the rest a quick wash and placed them on a tissue paper. The seeds have a slimy outer coating that needs to be removed to help them germinate. To do this, it helps to hold the lower part with tissue paper so it doesn't slide off, then grab the tip with a tweezer and pull down. 


Nice and clear of the outer coatings, you can now see the golden yellowish color of the upper part of the seed and the brown bottoms. 

And this is purely because I like seeing if seeds germinated or not, I sandwiched the seeds in a couple of thin tissue paper, put it inside a zip lock bag and sprayed water on it, just enough to keep the paper moist but not dripping wet. That was back in August 3. The seeds needed to be in warm place so I kept mine near the computer's tower CPU which emitted some warmth. After seven days, I came back and saw those welcome sprouts trying to force the tissue open. 

All seeds is a go! Repeat, all seeds is a go!

All of the seeds germinated -- I was so excited! But I decided to wait a few more days till the sprouts were bigger before I planted them. 

This is the Root. Root goes in the soil.
Now, here's how NOT to plant them. Silly me, I planted the sprouts root side up.  This is actually the root I left exposed! Good thing they still grew. I watered it once and kept the pots in DIY greenhouses - which is a fancy way of saying I put a clear plastic bag (from reused grocery packagings) over the pot and kept 'em indoors a few inches under a lamp.

It's so gratifying to see them grow. They look so green and healthy and from what I read, they emit a very fresh lemony (naturally!) scent which I'm really looking forward to.

I do want them to grow bigger because I am planning on turning them into bonsai trees so I replanted two in a bigger pot and placed it outdoors with a bigger sheet of plastic to act as a greenhouse and protect it from the turning weather. So far it's been doing well even with the rain these last few days. So psyched!

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