There are plenty of citruses out there, but none so strange as the seedless mandarin orange. The seedless mandarin orange is just like its cousin, mandarins. It’s a fruit loved for its easy peel and sweet taste, but unlike most citrus, it does not have seeds.
Mandarin oranges are thought to have originated in India and traveled across China, earning the name “mandarin”.
To grow seedless Mandarin you require time and attention. You need to plant, take care of light, fertilize and cover with citrus netting.
Here is how you give your mandarin tree the proper care to get a bumper harvest.
Benefits of Seedless Mandarin Oranges
Growing seedless Mandarins brings huge benefits: Let’s look at some of the benefits you get:
- Easier to eat – Your consumers will find it easier to peel a seedless orange because there are no seeds.
- Less waste – It is also easier to eat an entire orange because there are no seeds that you need to spit out or cut away with a knife and fork.
- Longer shelf life- when storing
- Nutritious – a lot of vitamin C is beneficial to your consumers’ healthy
- Greater consumer appeal- great demand when selling your seedless mandarins
1. Planting Seedless Mandarin
Plant your seedless Mandarin from April to August. Then, note the following:
- Go for grafted citrus Mandarin
- Check the graft union is not buried when you are planting.
- Leave at least 4-5 inches of the rootstock above the soil
Next, purchase your mandarin seedlings from a trusted nursery. You can check with your local agricultural extension officer for information in your region.
2. Provide Full to Partial Sun
Grow your mandarins in full or partial sun. They need at least 6 hours of sun each day. The ideal temperatures are between 40 to 90 F.
If your area experiences freezing temperatures, this can cause damage or death to your mandarin tree. Protect your Mandarin trees from frost by covering them with frost netting.
Another problem with your Mandarin is the hot days on your tender Mandarin. The damage is minimal and the trees will later grow out of it.
You can prevent sunburn by covering your citrus trees with a shade cloth.
3. Ensure Your Soil is Well Drained
Seedless Mandarin trees tolerate a wide range of soil types with good drainage. Mandarin trees benefit from soil with high organic matter. Mandarins tolerate a broad Ph range but thrive in a Ph range of between 5.5 to 6.2
If planting in an area with poor drainage or poor quality soil, plant the orange in a raised area and amend the soil with organic matter
4. Fertilize Your Citrus
There are a lot of different fertilizers available formulated for citrus. The rates and application frequency depend on the fertilizer blend and whether or not it is a slow-release blend. A slow-release blend needs to be applied once or twice a year.
Feed your Mandarins well between March and August when trees are growing.
If a citrus fertilizer mix is not available, you can use a 12: 6: 6. Look for a fertilizer that blends with micronutrients such as zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron.
5. Covering Your Seedless Citrus with Citrus Netting
Cover your tree with citrus netting to prevent pollination so that it can produce seedless oranges. covering the mandarin in will make your fruit seedless.
Plan for Netting
Once you harvest, plan for installing Citrus bee netting. There is a two-week period between your harvest and blossom time. Have the nets on your citrus trees for a period of between 3 to 7 weeks.
You should start planning your netting regime for the following year at least 6 months before. Lastly, decide on the kinds of citrus netting you require. Go for the diamond bee netting 52. It is a knotless weave pattern with a high exclusion rate and flexibility.
Installing and Removing Bee Netting
You have a choice to install your citrus netting in three ways:
- Single row drape
- Multi-row drape
- Side netting
Before you apply nets, trench both sides of the rows of citrus trees to facilitate securing edges of nets.
Alternatively, you can use a machine to lays nets over the rows and the edges. When the bloom is over, nets are lifted from trees.
Mandarin Yield under Netting
The fruit that has seeds is larger than the seedless fruit. As a result, the citrus trees that produce seedless oranges will have less weight yield, but the seedless fruit is all high value and marketable. Mandarins with seeds have limited or no market value. so by using bee netting you will have more valuable citrus fruits.
6. Pests and Diseases
Most citrus trees experience problems with insects or diseases. Stress or lack of water may also cause flower abortion or early fruit drop in your citrus.
The differences in weather such as excessive rain or a warm winter will cause variations in fruit quality. Some years will produce better fruit than others due to natural temperature and rain fluctuations.
Some insects such as mites feed on citrus leaves causing damage. They attach to weak or stressed citrus trees. You can control these by keeping citrus fruits healthy. if heavy infestation you can use horticultural oils
Other pests include thrips that feed on leaves, causing curling and scaring. You can protect yourself by using insect proofing. Others include aphids and citrus psyllid
The most common disease is phytophthora root. It causes your citrus leaves to look yellow. If you leave this to go on, your citrus will ooze sap from the trunk. You can prevent this by using the best irrigation methods and planting in well-draining soil.
Other diseases such as anthracnose and botrytis will affect the foliage of your citruses. The symptoms are leaf drop, fruit decay, or dieback. You can identify anthracnose by the dark spores on the leaves and twigs. The botrytis spores are a light gray.
You can manage the diseases through good cultural practices such as pruning, and removing dead or damaged branches.
7. Harvest and Storing
Mandarin oranges are harvested every year in late fall or early winter. At this time your orange is ripe and soft. You can tell by tasting a few. If sour they need more time. They should be juicy with a sweet flavor when you harvest.
When harvesting, don’t pull oranges off the trees. Pulling the fruit will cause the top of the peel to come off exposing the fruit. Just twist up at an angle to harvest.
The mandarin should be washed before storing it to prevent contamination. The
The fruit should be washed before storing it to prevent contamination. The seedless mandarin oranges can be stored well at room temperature for a week.
Seedless oranges are good for your commercial business. With fewer seeds, it is easier for you to pack and sell them.
Netting has been proven to stop cross-pollination, resulting in seedless oranges, protecting your investment, and getting the best value for your crop.
Eyouagro is the market leader in protection netting. The netting is customized to your specific area and fruit type. Eyouagro netting reduces the effects of heat, hail, birds, bats, wind, and sun on your citrus fruits. Our ambition is for you to harvest high-quality seedless fruits. We also provide various protective nets for the greenhouse.
All crops are shielded by our netting covers. Contact Eyouagro at firstname.lastname@example.org. for your netting needs. From purchase to installation, we will be there for you.