The ultimate orange farming guide Planting, care, Harvesting

Orange is one of the best citrus fruit and also a cash crop. Organic farming is highly profitable, and many people grow orange in different countries. Most orange is grown in Brazil, China, and India, and now many other countries like the united states, Australia, Canada, and Israel are growing orange gardens in a big ratio.

Orange is a world-famous fruit because of its different qualities. Orange has a good amount of vitamins, fibre and thiamine and orange fillups many other requirements of the human body.

Best climates for orange farming

The best and suitable temperature for orange farming is 10-25 degrees Celcius. With a rainfall rate of 350-500m.

Soil requirements

Light and well-drained soil are best for orange farming, but it can be grown on a wide range of soil with its ph level from 5-7. If you have a massive amount of water with bright sunlight, then you can get good profit and products because orange plants need a good amount of water from time to time.

Soil properties and land preparation is the most crucial element for optimum growth and fruiting of orange plant. Like all citrus families, orange gives optimum results in lighter and well-drained soils. It includes sand to loamy soils. On the other hand, alkaline sandy soils with high calcium carbonate levels may negatively affect citrus plants.

Land Preparations

After soil selection, Land preparation is an essential factor in all types of citrus farming. First of all, we need a small area of land for nursery farming. Land should be properly ploughed and levelled for seedling growth. An optimum amount of organic fertilizer, including compost, farmyard manure or leaf litter, should be mixed with the upper layer of soil. Secondly, well-prepared soil with primary and secondary implements is required in our main field. It is better to dig small pits for plants shifting from nursery to field. Must add a moderate amount of organic manure to the pit soil. It will help in better and rapid root as well shoot establishment. Land levelling is also essential for proper watering.

Orange could be grown in hilly and sloppy areas. A well-established system is required for drainage in such areas. Small channels around the messy side will be helpful for rainwater drainage. In such places, we can establish a large number of plants in small spaces.

Best varieties to grow

Following are the best orange varieties for best fruiting and economic benefits:-

  • Valencia
  • Hamlin
  • Nagpur
  • Shrinagar
  • Dancy
  • Butwal
  • Homosassa
  • Khettmal
  • Joppa

Many other different varieties are available which are suitable according to every country and region. According to your region, you can easily find the best one by contacting any agriculture expert near you or using any of these mentioned above.

How to Grow orange plants?

The most common and economical method to grow orange plants is through propagation.

There are two main steps for such propagation:

Nursery sowing:

Citrus seeds are sown in the lines at a distance of 3-5 cm. Seed depth should be 1 inch. Proper care is necessary for the selection of healthy and viable seeds. Seed sowing should be completed in a minimum time after extracting from fruits. That will improve their germination rate. Seed germination may take 2-3 weeks in appearance. Young Seedlings require proper care for better growth and establishment. The best time for nursery sowing is after the winters or before the Autumn season.

Budding:

After about one year plant is ready for budding. You can propagate a pencil size plant stem through t-budding. It is the best method of propagation for orange plants. It is better to select a healthy and uniform population of plants for budding. These plants are transplanted to the main field in later stages. In T-budding, two cuts are applied on the upper bark of the stem.

Apply the cut at 20-30 cm above that ground level. The vertical cutting of 2.5-3cm and Horizontal cut of 1.5-2cm is given. The vertical cut is the centre and below the horizontal cut and giving a T shape. Take a healthy branch of your favourite variety of orange, remove an upper layer from one side and embedded it in the T structure. After proper placement, wrap it with plastic paper because it will keep the wound airtight.

The months of February-march and August-September is the best time for budding because plants show maximum growth in these months.

Transplanting:

Now our nursery is ready for transplanting after optimum growth in nursery. A pit of 60cm-60cm-60cm is enough for sweet orange plants. We should add 18-20 kg of decomposed manure and 500gm of SSP in each pit. If the soil is hard and clay, then you can change pit parameters accordingly. For sweet orange, 5m to 6m spacing is recommended with 110-130 plants in each acre.

Plant spacing can be decreased up to 4.5m for a maximum number of plants. For small farmers, it is better to maintain a widely spacing garden because it will allow the farmers to grow some crops for their livelihood. Proper planning and management are vital before establishing a garden. In terms of my farming experience, 15 August to the end of September is the best time for planting because the plant will establish its roots before the worst winters.

caring and pruning:

Care is all about the best farming practices at the best time. Oranges do not demand great attention but require some extra care in the initial years. The most critical factors are water and fertilizers, which have a direct effect on fruiting. In pruning, it is better to remove weakened, disease affected and dry branches of each Plant. Lower Branches of Plants are also removed. Our main objective is to get maximum benefits from good quality and quantity of fruiting.

Fertilizing:

Nitrogen and phosphorous are two fertilizer requirements by orange. Each plant requires 150-400g and 50-150g of nitrogen and phosphorous in the first three years, respectively. After four and above years, each plant require 700g of nitrogen and 400g of phosphorous every year. Orange plants also need Phosphorous from 25-100 g per plant, depending on its age and fruiting. These nutrients are primarily applied in the form of Urea and SSP fertilizers.

Organic fertilizers also have great importance for orange plants. Cow dung, FYM, slaughterhouse waste, poultry waste and plant compost are significant sources of organic fertilizers. In orange plants, decomposed cow dung is mainly applied as a natural fertilizer. It is applied in the following ratio for a single tree:

  • 10-30kg for 1-3years of plant
  • 40-80kg for 4-7years of plant
  • 100kg for 8years and Above

It is applied in December. Urea should be applied in two doses, the first dose in February and the second in the months of April-may. SSP is applied with the first dose of urea. To control the excessive drop of fruit,10gm of 2-4 D is applied in 500 ltr of water. It may be applied in March-April and August-September according to the situation. The Chemical of 2-4 D can be exchanged with GA3 in the cropping area.

Diseases and weeds

Weeds

Weeds are common all over the season and you can easily remove them with your hand or by using glyphosate.

Disease

  • Fruit fly
  • Gummosis
  • Powderymildew
  • Citrus cranker
  • Aphid
  • Leaf minor
  • Orange borer

Maybe your Plant gets weaker and the colour of its leaves get changes. This is possible due to the lack of iron and zinc. You must need to fill up these requirements after soil testing with time.

Irrigation

Orange plants need a high amount of water and in countries like Pakistan and India where local irrigation method is used. The government had allowed them to use extra water due to orange gardens. Requirements of water will be varied according to the soil but time to time irrigation is important to get good products and for the healthy growth of an orange plant. Sprinkle and drip irrigation methods are some commonly used in developed countries to save water.

Harvesting

Orange harvesting is started during the mid of January to the mid of February. Harvesting time depends upon the product that when it’s fully ready. Its harvesting can be easily done with the help of hand. After the harvesting process washes your orange to remove dust and to attain a good shape which can easily get a good price from markets.

Yield and profit from orange farming

A single orange plant can produce almost 150-200 oranges on average and almost a farmer can earn about 1500-2000$ easily from one acre in local markets if you can export it then it will be more valuable for you.

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