Valencia Orange Juice




The house we live in came with mature valencia and navel orange bushes. The navel oranges ripen in the spring. The valencia oranges ripen in the summer, right in the middle of the fruit season for so many other plants we have growing in our yard. Because we are so busy eating other fruits, we often leave many of our valencia oranges on the bush for months after they are ready to pick. Valencia oranges can hang on the branches for months after they are ripe without losing quality or rotting. Sometimes I leave some of the fruit on the bush until October early November.

Our valencia bush typically produces over 100 fruits each year. This year it has about 200 oranges. They are good for eating fresh, although they are not as tasty and sweet as the navel oranges. We use most of our valencias to make fresh squeezed orange juice, which is so good. I usually add a teaspoon or two of sugar to each glass to make it extra sweet. I squeezed about 8 oranges to make the two glasses in the bottom picture.

Oranges are tricky plants to get established. In order to get oranges to thrive, they need lots of nitrogen rich fertilizer, applied in the late winter and spring. And in my opinion, they also need regular watering.

I have planted several oranges, because I wanted to try new varieties, and because I wanted another navel. Most of the young oranges I planted have died. Several of the young oranges I planted died as soon as their root balls dried out in the summer. The mature oranges we have are better able to tolerate dry periods than the recently planted oranges. My theory on oranges is to keep them well-fed and well-watered, just not saturated or water logged. I have read many posts on other sites claiming that oranges like to dry out between waterings. That technique has never worked for me.

August 09 2009 11:59 pm | Oranges