Inter-cropping Pixie Orange And Sweet Tangerines & Where To Buy Grafted Seedlings
Sweet Tangerine and Pixie Orange farming is an agribusiness that has picked in arid and semi-arid areas in Kenya such as Makueni, Machakos, Kitui, and parts of coastal region such as Voi. The crop also performs well in areas such as Nyeri, Muranga, and parts of western Kenya.
Pixie and Tangerines are both of the same family and are both grafted from lemons in Kenya. For a farmer to maximise returns, its advisable to plant the two citrus varieties. If you are doing for a kitchen garden, its also recommended since they do not grow very tall.
Propagation and planting pixie orange and tangerines
Grafting is done using lemon root stocks and pixie or tangerine scions cut from a mature and energetically growing pixie tree. The bud grafting method is the most preferred.
The root-stocks become ready for grafting once they attain pencil-like thickness. Grafting can be done either after transplanting root-stocks (lemon seedlings) on the field, or on lemon seedlings prepared in seedling bags.
Plant seedlings in hole size of two feet by two feet. Dig and add manure of about 20kg mixed with topsoil put in each of the holes.
An acre can accommodate 200 pixie and tangerine trees with a spacing of four by five metres. Profitability of the trees starts at around five years, with each plant producing more than 300 fruits.
Planting sweet tangerines
A medium sized tangerine is cholesterol- and fat-free and has on average approximately 50 calories. Tangerines are an excellent source of potassium (approx. 180mg), fiber (approx. 12 percent of the daily recommended allowance) and are of course packed with vitamin C as well as some calcium and iron.
Sweet, seedless, easy to peel, and small. It stores very well and retains excellent flavor for a remarkably long time. The yellow-orange coloured fruit has a rough texture
The tree is a vigorous grower with an upright growth habit. The flavor is mild and sweet.
The dwarf fruit tree can handle frosts. When planting one should ensure that the soil is of good drainage with a PH of 6.6 to 7.3. Watering should be frequent. Many citrus trees grow 20 or 30 feet tall, but breeding and grafting practices have led to small varieties. The pixie mandarin grows to just 5 to 6 feet tall and has a spread of 4 to 6 feet.
Pests and diseases that affect pixies and tangerines in Kenya
Common pests that affect pixie and tangerine oranges include mites, bark-eating caterpillars, mealybugs, aphids, leaf miners and fruit flies. Diseases include gummosis, collar rot, twig blight and damping-off.
To control gummosis there is a need to do a management practice that entails removing the dark, diseased bark and a buffer strip of healthy, light brown to greenish bark around the margins of the infection. Allow the exposed area to dry out and check from time to time and do a repeat frequently.
For collar rot disease, one can do application of foliar sprays of phosphorous acid or treat as advised by the experts.
Damping off is favoured by abundant moisture in the soil. Adequate control of damping off can be achieved by avoiding infested soils and over-watering.
The good news is that, grafted varieties are resistant to many of the common pests and diseases.
Where to buy grafted pixie orange and sweet tangerine seedlings
For certified seedlings, get intorch with Mr. Kiruthi via 0724-559286, you will be guided at all levels of planting to harvesting.