Never have I encountered such a mystery as finding the proper procedure for growing Meyer lemons from seed. Two friends and I recently undertook this sowing project, and after two weeks the results have only flummoxed me further. Here's a little documentation.
Clue number one: The Meyer lemon, a citrus clouded in obscurity. Though elusive, you can sometimes find them at specialty grocery stores. Like so much modern-day produce, most lemons will not "come true" from seed, nor would they be suitable for indoor culture. Meyers are an exception. These little guys will (as the rumors have it) grow happily in bright indoor light and fruit after about four years. The fruits are a golden, buttery yellow and slightly smaller and rounder than the grocery store variety. Presumably this is because Meyer lemons are (allegedly) a cross between regular lemons and tangerines... who can say for sure? I would buy this, because the flesh of the Meyer lemon is incredibly sweet and delicious, great for cooking and garnishing. My manfriend and I even ate a couple of them like oranges, sprinkling on just a bit of demerara sugar. Reserve the seeds.
Myself, I tried a couple of different things with the seeds because I found so much conflicting information on sowing citrus. Some seeds I simply rinsed and planted straight from the fruit. Others I scored gently with a sharp knife. I removed the outer shell from a couple others. Finally, I soaked a few in moist paper towels for several days before sowing. We'll see what combination works.
Clue two: the deceptive Peat Pellet. You can usually buy these by the bagful from your local garden store. They are small compressed pellets of peat (duh) encased in a mesh bag, with a hole on one side. When dry, as several people have mentioned to me, they look like little cookies, but do not be fooled. Soak them in lukewarm filtered water and they will reveal themselves to be 2-inch long plugs of rich-smelling dirt. You should easily be able to find the hole in the pellet. From there, simply pop the seed in, and cover it with a bit of peat using your finger. Opinions seem to vary (oye) on how deeply Meyer lemon seeds prefer to be planted.
From there on, place them in a clear container of some kind with a lid. If you notice the pellets seem dry after a few days, give them a little spritz. I am trying ziplock bags, clear tupperware, and glass jars to see what will coax out the little bastards. I'm also placing them in different spots around my apartment to see if they prefer high or low light. In any event, most people agree that warmth will speed germination, though some people seem to think they prefer a chilling period in the fridge (it's like finding a primary resource on the mating habits of unicorns, I swear). Here's my whole operation mid-process, with my gardening partner acting as supervisor.
Each jar was later meticulously labeled, so I know what is what. The final question is, when will they sprout? And the answer is.... wait for it.... no one can say. I have a book on growing indoor plants from seed that says Meyer lemon seeds sprout in about 2 weeks. However, a very kind and sage GardenWebber advised that I not hold my breath for this deadline, and just leave the seeds alone (I peeked at a couple of them this week and probably destroyed the whole process).
So I'll bide my time. With any luck, my little soggy brown cookies will one day look like this (image from Dave's Garden). For now, I'll keep Grissoming along.