Looking after your citrus orchards
There are a large variety of citrus fruits grown and consumed in Australia, and all of them have to be handled with care to ensure they are at their best when eaten.
In today’s blog, we look at some key rules to proper citrus orchard care. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that this a general overview and should not be taken as the only factors to consider.
The right site
When looking for a place to grow your citrus orchard, it’s important to take the following into account:
- Is there good drainage?
- Is the soil right?
- What’s the availability of water like on site and in surrounding locations?
- During the cooler months, does frost tend to form in this area?
You want to know the answers to these questions, especially as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can have a huge impact on how effectively you can grow any orchard. You want good drainage, soil, and access to water. Ideally, you don’t want to deal with too much frost in the winter, but as long as you know whether it’s there or not, you can plan accordingly.
Citrus orchards also need a good balance of water. Too much, and they can rot/become diseased. Too little, and they won’t grow as well. Therefore, proper drainage and irrigation is paramount.
Strong and/or hot winds can be damaging to citrus orchards. Known as wind blemish, it can severely reduce the quality of the citrus fruit. In a worst case scenario, wind blemish can even render whole batches of citrus fruits unusable.
For many, this makes installing windbreaks an important means of protecting citrus orchards. While some objection can exist due to the fact that the orchards sitting closest to the windbreak can have their growth affected, this can typically be remedied by being more active in managing that specific area of the orchard/s. It’s a better scenario than losing a whole host of citrus fruits due to damaging winds.
Another risk to account for is how is if you happen to accidentally purchase an orchard that is carrying a disease or virus. One affected orchard can wreak havoc when that disease/virus spreads to others, with the potential of killing entire crops. When buying a new tree, seeds, or budwood, it’s important to buy them from a reputable source/brand. Because while one lost orchard may be tough, losing an entire field of them would be utterly devastating.