Sweetness of Grafted Oranges

Valencia and Washington navel (seedless) are the main orange varieties in Kenya.

Matures after 2-3 years.

Washington navel is a seedless variety bigger and tastier compared to Valencia which does well in warm and dry climate. Grafting with lemons on both varieties gives an orange tree which matures in a shorter period of time.

On average each tree produces between 129-200 fruits a season that spreads from April to November. Ungrafted oranges offer about half the yields and mature less fast. One piece goes from sh 10 to sh 20. Oranges have a longer shelf life compared to other fruits like mangoes. Oranges can be intercropped with short term crops like vegetables and legumes to maximize earning. Oranges grow from sea level up to an altitude of 2100m. An acre is planted between 200-250 seedlings depending with the spacing.

Pixie Oranges

Oranges can be cultivated on a wide variety of soil like sandy loam to loamy soil, alluvial, red to black soils with too much clay. However, a soil with high fertility, good drainage power, lime-free soil with good salt absorption power and light loam is considered as the best & most favorable for the orange cultivation.

As soil ph for citrus trees is about 6.0 to 7.0 and oranges are also a citrus tree, it is smartness to cultivate them on soil, which has pH ranging between 5. 8 to 7.3 for best production.

However, it is a good idea to go for the soil test, at least once before starting any commercial farming, to know that is your soil is suitable or not?

Planting oranges should be done in the beginning of the rainy season  because the risk of plant death is comparatively low in the rainy season. Rainwater helps the plant to fix faster. Avoid waterlogging the tree, because orange trees are very sensitive to the water stagnation. A fully grown Orange plant needs minimum 20 watering in a particular year i.e 1,400 mm water. However, farming with drip irrigation system is the best and beneficial in any commercial crops.