Gomani, is an Agribusiness Consultant who studied Agribusiness Management
Citrus Fruits Cultivation Farming
Citrus is an important fruit which can be grown for revenue generating and is able to provide some nutrients which, among others, include the following; carbohydrate, fibre, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium. This article will provide in detail on how to get started in Citrus fruit cultivation. Cirrus farming needs to be taken as a lifetime investment and it requires a constant care.
Type of Citrus Fruits
Lime is one of the most cultivated Citrus fruits and is known to have originated from Malaysia. It is mostly cultivated in tropical regions and it has a shape which looks like lemons, but it's smaller and more acidic.
The Oranges have a round shape with orange-coloured and its plants can grow up to a height of 10 meters. The Orange plant has a dark green shiny leaves and is thought to have originated from South and Indo China.
Comparing with Oranges, Tangerines have less round shape and are smaller in sizes and are thought to have originated from Southeast Asia.
Grapefruits are known with bitter yellow rind and a juicy somewhat and are thought to have originated from Asia. Grapefruits are able to give better results in subtropical regions.
Lemons are rounded and slightly elongated in shape and are thought to have originated from North India or Burma.
Optimal Requirements of Citrus Cultivation
Citrus fruits do not give optimal results in frost areas, but the fruit is able to give optimal results in subtropical regions. The optimum performance for Citrus cultivation is achieved at an optimal temperature of 12 °C to 26°C.
Citrus cultivation requires annual rainfall of a range of 1250 to 1850 mm. You can also grow Citrus plants under irrigation and make sure you supply each plant with an equivalent amount of water. Make sure the soil in the Citrus fruit field has the right amount of moisture content all the time whenever there is low moisture content, supplement it with irrigation water.
Citrus plants perform well in light soils with good drainage, but the Citrus fruits are able to give better results in a wide range of soils. The optimum soil pH for growing Citrus fruits is known to be in a range of 5.5 to 7.5. However, some Citrus fruits farmers are able to grow successfully in a soil pH of a range of 4 to 9 under a good management.
Land for growing Citrus fruits requires to be thoroughly ploughed and levelled and this can be achieved by manually or mechanically. In hilly areas, Citrus planting is done on terraces against the slopes.
One hectare of land can have 277 Citrus plants, so make sure you have a plant population of within that range and each plant should be spaced at 6 x 6 m or 5m x 5m.
Make sure you dug a planting hole of a size of 1m x 1m x 1m for planting seedlings. Planting can be done anytime if the soil has a right soil moisture content and this can be achieved through Irrigation.
Citrus cultivation requires annual rainfall of 1250 to 1850 mm therefore, make sure you supplement water through Irrigation in areas having a low amount of rainfall. When growing Citrus fruits, moisture stress during early spring while the tree is flowering has a negative effect as it could result in an excessive drop of flowers and this reduces the ability to bear fruits. Make sure you Irrigate your Citrus field twice a week during its first 6 weeks.
Make sure you apply nitrogen fertilizer every 2 months during its first year.
Citrus plants are ready for harvesting in 240 to 280 days from the day of the planting is done. You harvest by hand picking the ripe fruits and this can be done in an intervals of 10-15 days. Limes and lemons, reach maturity at 150-160 days.