It’s its color and its name-Orange! Whether its Mandarin, Tangerine, Navel, Blood orange, Seville, or Bergamot, oranges are refreshing and healthy fruit, rich with vitamin C and antioxidants, and they can’t be beaten as a quick, energy-filled snack.
Oranges mostly complete a well-balanced breakfast. In Australian breakfast tables, orange juice is a staple part of meals. Orange can be used in many dishes such as chicken, orange beef lettuce wraps, orange-glazed pork loin, orange and poppy seed cake, thrown raw in salads, or used as a tangy glaze for hams, and many more.
Growing your own oranges, therefore, gives you fresh supplies in your kitchen or your dining tables. Here are a few most important things to consider when planning to grow oranges for personal consumption or business purposes.
Best Climate for Orange Farming
Where do oranges grow? They grow well in tropical regions, just like where mangoes, bananas, are cultivated best. Likewise, they can thrive well as in the sub-tropical areas up to 1500-meter altitude. However, one can obtain higher oranges production in a dry climatic condition favorable for profitable orange cultivation.
How to grow oranges in a garden
- Find the spot where the sun shines the most during the day. The sunny spot with well-drained soil is the ideal area to plant oranges.
- Use a Soil Improver & Plant Fertilizer to enrich the soil. If the soil is clay-based, it’s better to add gypsum and fork in well.
- To plant the shrub, dig the holes where you plant the oranges. It should be as twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container. Tease the roots gently and cut away any tangled roots.
- Position the plant in the hole, and firm them down gently. Look for a material that can be used to form a raised ring around the plant. It is to create a well so that water will go where it’s needed most when you water the oranges.
- Mulch around the base using organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
- Just water the plants deeply, once or twice a week under fair weather conditions.
- Feed your orange tree with soil improver & plant fertilizer about three times a year: in early spring, summer, and autumn.
- The tree starts to produce fruit (generally in its 3rd year).
How to grow oranges in a pot
- If you opt to plant in pots, choose a dwarf variety of oranges such as Dwarf Navel or Dwarf Valencia.
- Choose pots with width at least 600mm wide. Fill it with a quality potting mix and place the pots on the sunny side spots.
- If you live in cold regions or in areas where there are frequent changes in sunlight patterns, place the pots on pot feet to be easily moved inside or to a more protected spot, especially during winter.
- Choose the correct potting soil mix and the proper pot size. You can place them in a 5-gallon (19 L) pot, yet, bigger pots are better. Ideally, a whiskey barrel or 20-gallon (76 L) pot is ideal. Provide drainage holes if the pots have no holes.
- You can use commercial potting mixes (peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and compost) as long as the soil is light enough to drain well. But if it is too heavy, you can modify it using a hardwood bark, perlite, or coco fiber.
- Chemical wetting agents make the soil too wet and potentially rot the roots, so avoid buying them. Layer gravel or rock to the bottom of the pot to aid in drainage, and then add some of the soil mixes to rest the roots on.
- Place the tree on top and fill in around it, to keep the tree vertically straight. Gently press the soil down around the roots to remove air pockets.
When is the best time to plant oranges?
Orange trees need to adapt to their new surroundings. The best time to plant citrus trees like oranges are mid-spring because during the spring and summer they establish themselves in the soil with warm weather at their disposal.
Look for a sunny area of your property. Also, consider the site where grasses don’t grow abundant because they tend to steal nutrients and soil moisture away from orange trees. This will impact the growth and production of the fruit of oranges later on.
Within the first two years, remove any small fruit that develops. Thinning excess fruits like small ones, will encourage better sized and tasting fruit to develop in the coming years.