ORANGE (Citrus sinensis) Orange is a fruit crop which belongs to the citrus family. The fruit of citrus called berry is succulent, fleshy and juicy and it is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Land Preparation for the planting of orange
: The land is cleared with cutlass and stumping is done. The land is then ploughed and harrowed mechanically.
Varieties/Cultivars of Orange
Varieties of the Citrus spp. or family include:
Varieties Botanical names
1 Sweet orange Citrus sinensis
2 Sour orange Citrus aurantium
3 Lime Citrus aurantifolia
4 Lemon Citrus lemon
5 Tangerine Citrus reticulata
6 Grape fruit Citrus paradisi
7 Shaddock (Pomelo) Citrus grandis
8 King orange Citrus nobilis
Climatic and soil requirements for planting orange
Sweet orange requires a temperature of 25°C – 35°C, rainfall of 75cm -125cm per annum and a well-drained fertile and deep soil. It also requires a higher elevation and slightly sloping land.
Planting materials for the cultivation of orange
Planting date for Orange
: (i) Pre-nursery is ideal between October and December and nursery in April and May. (iii) Budding is done a year later.
Spacing: (i) Pre-nursery is 3cmx 3cm,
(i) Nursery is 60cm x 60cm (iii) Fieldis7.Omx7.Om.
(ii) Field is 7.0m x 7.0m
Nursery Practices in the cultivation of orange
Pre-nursery: (i) The seeds are raised in seed trays by October – December in a loamy soil, rich in organic matter. (ii)The seeds are sown 3cm x 3cm at 2cm deep.
Nursery: (i) The seedlings are now replanted at 60cm x 60cm spacing. (ii)It is planted around April/ May. (iii)Watering, wedding and shading are provided. (iv)Budding and grafting are done a year later.
Transplanting: After one year of budding, the seedlings are transplanted to the field at a spacing of 7.0cm x 7.0m
Cultural Practices in the cultivation of orange
This is done regularly by cutlass using or by herbicides
(ii) Fertilizer application
Sulphate of ammonium at the rate of 350kg/ha is applied by ring method at regular intervals.
(iii) Mulching is also done during dry season
(iv) Irrigation, especially during dry season, is also practiced.
(v) Pruning can also be done
(vi) Insects and diseases should be controlled and prevented
Maturity period of orange
This occurs between three and seven years.
Process of Harvesting orange
Clean or spot-picking of matured or ripe fruits with hand or harvesting knife is done carefully and over a period of time.
Processing and storage of orange
it can be processed into citrus Juice which can be stored in canned or bottled form.
PESTS OF ORANGE AND CONTROL METHODS
(1) Thrips (2) Red Mites (3) Scale 4) bids (5) Fruit borers (6)Caterpillars. All these pests of citrus attacks leaves, flowers and fruits
Control: Spray with insecticides like Gammalin 20 and Malathion.
(7) Leaf hoppers: These attack citrus leaves, leading to defoliation and reduced yield.
(i) By handpicking;
(ii) Use poison baits.
Diseases of Orange and control methods
(1) Gummosis: It is caused by a fungus Phytophthora spp which is spread by air and through the soil. Symptoms of the disease include rottening of the bark near the ground. Drying and cracking of hark, release (exude) of gum or slimy substance and leaves turn yellow and begin to die back.
(i) Use resistant varieties.
(ii) Spray with appropriate fungicides.
(iii) Paint the trunk with crude carbolic and water.
(2) Tristeza: It is a viral disease transmitted by aphid. Symptoms include phloem necrosis and swelling at bud union.
Control: Use resistant varieties.
(3) Citrus Scab: It is a 1ngal disease (Sphaceloma faucet) which spreads within the soil. It attacks young leaves and stem, especially in nursery stage.
Control: Treat with fungicide e.g. Fordeaux mixture.
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