The Q&A Archives: Dry Oranges

Question: This year my oranges were very dry - some with no juice at all. Size doesn't seem to matter. Some of the bigger ones were the worst. Other years they are wonderful! I think I am doing the same thing, but apparently not. The tree gets water from the lawn and I try at least monthly during the summer to deep water it. I fertilize every 2 or 3 months through the Spring and Summer. What should I do to make next year's harvest better?

Answer: Oranges take so long to develop that it's easy to forget what the climate was like over the many months from blossom set to fruit maturity. The fruit is mostly water so if yours are dry inside it indicates the tree experienced some droughty conditions while the fruit was growing and maturing. Citrus trees need a fairly constance source of moisture. Even if you watered your lawn regularly, the tree roots may not have gotten all the moisture they required during the hottest summer months. When roots of plants intermingle, they compete for moisture and nutrients. Try supplying water more frequently to your tree, deeply soaking the root area every week or two during the spring and summer months. Providing water on a regular basis will make a big difference in the quality of your oranges.

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