Orange Management Practices

Orange Management Practices

Oranges

Propagation

  • Although oranges can be grown from seed, budded or grafted (vegetative propagation), seedlings are preferred as planting materials.
  • The budding on grafting union should be at least 30cm from the ground to avoid disease infection in the field.
  • Propagation by seed takes a long time to produce fruits while vegetatively propagated seedlings take about 2 to 3 years.
  • Vegetatively propagated materials can be obtained from government or private commercial nurseries.
  • The land should be ploughed up to medium tilth and leveled if necessary.
  • All perennial grasses such as couch grass should be cleared and burnt or sprayed beforehand using round-up or glyphogun.

Layout & Spacing

  • It is important that the trees are aligned straight in the row and across rows.
  • This necessitates proper layout of the field using pegs, string and tape measure.
  • Dig holes 60x60x60cm with spacing of 3.3×3.3m.
  • For each hole, the top soil should be separated from the red subsoil.
  • It is advisable to plant at the beginning of the rains.
  • Remove the polythene sleeves and place the seedlings in the center of the dug holes.
  • Cover with soil up to the original level of the nursery sleeve but ensure that the graft joint/budded area is kept well above ground to avoid infection.
  • A stake can be planted alongside the seedling to which the seedling is tied to keep it erect.
  • Regular and adequate watering should be provided, all the way up to fruiting, depending on weather conditions.
  • Then a cover a crop of beans or groundnuts should be planted during the first 3 years until the tree canopies have closed in.
  • After the trees are fully grown, leave it as a mono-crop.
  • Citrus is easily affected by root rot as other intercrops are being cultivated.
  • Avoid planting the cover crop very close to the orange stalk.
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