Did you know that sweet oranges, or round oranges, are some of the most popular home orchard fruits in the country? These trees grow from 25 to 50 feet tall to provide dark green foliage, sweet orange blooms and a full fruit harvest over summer for gardeners who care for them. Without the right amount of sun and nutrition, though, orange trees fail to bloom and grow oranges. To encourage your orange tree to produce sweet, juicy oranges, follow some specific care guidelines during planting and growth.
Plant your orange tree in the right site, where it will receive full sun for six to eight hours every day. The tree won't bloom or bear fruit if it doesn't get the right amount of sunshine. If you can move your orange tree, do so. If you can't move the tree, prune away any surrounding foliage to open up the area.
Increase the orange tree's nutrition by amending the soil around its trunk with a mix of quick-draining soil and organic compost. Add a dose of fruit fertilizer to the orange tree's soil in early spring to promote growth and blooming.
Water orange trees with 2 to 6 inches of water a week. In a desert climate your tree will require more water than in a sunny but wetter location. Increase your watering when the tree begins blooming and bearing fruit, as increased water at that time will encourage bigger, juicier oranges.
Fertilize orange trees with fruit-specific or phosphorous and potassium fertilizer at the start of the fruiting period to encourage better fruiting and ripening. Orange trees require additional resources to bear fruit, and will bear larger, sweeter fruit if the right nutrition is available.
Given a good variety, oranges generally become sweeter as they ripen. The color of the peel can be an indicator of ripeness, so leave the fruit on the tree until it's developed good color and the fruit gives with a squeeze.
Cool weather before harvesting also tends to sweeten the fruit. The lack of chill can influence the sweetness of the taste.
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180 South “E” Street
Porterville, CA 93257