ORANGE CULTIVATION

Mandarin orange-Citrus reticulata, Rutaceae

Orange is widely grown citrus fruit of India. It occupies nearly 50% of total area under citrus cultivation. Mandarin, Sweet Orange is commercially grown citrus species in India. Production of Mandarin orange is increasing every year in central and western parts of country. India ranks third in the production of orange after banana and mango fruits. In India, Orange is being grown in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Varieties and hybrids

Khasi: Locally known as Sikkim. It is commercially grown in the states of Assam and Meghalaya. Medium to large sized trees, dense foliage with thorns. Orange-yellow to bright orange color fruits with smooth surface. Orange color fruits with 9-25 seeds.

Kinnow: It is a hybrid variety between King and Willow leaf. Plants are large sized, symmetrical with dense foliage, broad leaves. Fruits are medium in size, deep orange yellow colored on ripening, and adherent juicy fruit with 12-24 seeds. Fruit matures in the months of January-February. This variety when first introduced into Punjab performed very well and gained high commercial significance.

Coorg: Trees are up righted, vigorous having compact foliage. Fruits are bright orange in color, medium to large size, easily peeled with 9-11 segments. The variety contains abundant juice with 15-25 seeds. The variety matures in February-March months.

Nagpur: Nagpur is also known as Ponkan. Plant growth is vigrorous with compact foliage. Medium sized fruits, loosely adherent segments 10-12, and abundant juice with 7-8 seeds. It is one of the most popular and finest orange varieties grown in the world. It matures in January-February months.

Other states Varieties:

Mudkhed
Shrinagar
Butwal
Dancy
Kara (Abohar)
Darjeeling
Sumithra
Seedless 182

Soil and climate
It is a subtropical crop growing at 500– 1500 m above MSL. A rainfall of about 150 cm to 250 cm is required. The winter should be mild and there should be no strong, hot winds during summer. Deep well drained loamy soils are best suited for cultivation. Soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5.

Land preparation

Land need to be prepare properly for growing seedlings. Land should be ploughed, cross ploughed and leveled. Terrace planting is done on hills. High density planting is possible in hilly areas.

Season
The planting is done from November – December.

Planting material
Seedlings and budded plants are useful for planting.

Spacing
Planting is done at a spacing of 6 x 6 m in pits of 75 x 75 x 75 cm size.Planting during May–June and September– October.

Training and pruning

Pruning of young trees is very essential. Pruning provides them proper shape and size. Training is done to provide single stem with 6-7 branches. Lowermost branches should not be allowed to grow below the height of 50-60cm from the ground surface. Main objective of pruning is to get higher yields with good quality of fruits. Pruning also includes removal of diseased, dead and weak branches.

Weed Management

Weed can be controlled by hand-hoeing and also controlled by chemically, use glyphosate@1.6litre per 150 litre of water. Use glyphosate only on weeds not on crop plants.

Irrigation

Irrigation requirement of orange is very high due to its evergreen nature throughout the year. Amount of irrigation also depends upon the type of soil.  Proper irrigation should be provided at the time of flowering, Fruit set and Fruit development. Water logging should be avoided. Irrigation water should be free from salts.

Harvesting
The budded plants starts bearing from 3 – 5 years after planting, while in case of seedlings, it takes about 5-7 years. On attaining proper size, shape along with attractive color having TSS to Acid ratio of 12:1, kinnow fruits is ready for harvest. Depending upon variety fruits are generally ready for harvesting in Mid- January to Mid- February. Do harvesting at proper time as too early or too late harvesting will give poor quality.

Yield
The yield ranges between 15 – 20 t/ha/year.

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