Since lately we have posted many articles about the cultivation of not so common trees, today we are going to change the system a bit and tell you about a very common citrus, the mandarin. Many people enjoy this tree in their garden, but not everyone knows the peculiarities of its cultivation. Let’s see them.
The mandarin belongs to the genus Cytrus , from the Rutaceae family (about 160 genera and 1,600 species). In general, all species of the genus Cytrus harbor the same qualities. These are, a high content of vitamin C and content of citric acid . Its origin is Asian (from the tropical and subtropical zone) and with respect to the height and shape of the tree, well, we better not tell you anything, I suppose you all know it, right?
The optimum temperature for the best development of the mandarin is between 23 and 35 ºC . Below 13 ºC, growth stops, and damage begins when temperatures are below -2 ºC. And mentioning high temperatures, up to 50 ºC they do not suffer damage (at 39 ºC their vegetative activity stops), as long as there are no dry winds and there is moisture in the soil.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SOIL IN THE CULTIVATION OF MANDARIN
Generally, both mandarin and other citrus fruits are not very demanding species as far as soil is concerned, and they tend to adapt to most of them, except those that are very clayey, very limestone or saline.
That it adapts to a great variety of soils does not mean that it does not affect the production or growth and general condition of the tree, and it must periodically apply organic amendments ( compost , manure, mineral fertilizers, etc.).
When the mandarin grows in a sandy soil , it influences the bearing of the tree in a positive way , and this also affects the size of the fruits and the length of the root system (for the better), quite the opposite than when this citrus grows in soil. clayey.
IS MY PH RECOMMENDED TO GROW IT?
The optimum pH range for mandarin development is between 6 and 7 . Now, we are going to comment to what extent it can affect you if we go outside of those values. If the pH is less than 4 (a very acidic soil) or greater than 9 (a very basic soil), toxicity lesions will appear on the tree due to the action of hydrogen ions . In the case of very basic soils, minerals such as aluminum, iron and manganese will become insoluble and therefore cannot be absorbed by the tree, which will cause numerous mineral deficiencies to appear.
THE BEST SOIL FOR CITRUS
- Soils with a pH between 6 and 7.
- Depth greater than 60 cm.
- Low saline soils.
- Soils with a medium permeability.
- Limestone content around 10-20%.
IRRIGATION NEEDS OF THE MANDARIN
Before moving on to the amount of irrigation necessary for the correct development of our tree, we have to say that, as we have commented before, we must be careful with the quality of the water , in that saline irrigation water will cause symptoms that At all costs we must avoid facing the health of our mandarin.
Returning to the issue of the amount of water, citrus fruits in general are quite demanding and require large amounts . As an example, say that to form 1 kg of woody matter, 300 liters of water are needed. If we were to talk about quantity, we would say that it needs around 30-40 liters of water per day, which , of course, is not evenly distributed throughout the months (in summer it needs more quantity than in winter). Yes, surely you have been a little scared with those values, we too, but we have consulted it in several bibliographies and it is true. The only thing that these values are assumed for blanket irrigation. When irrigation is localized, a greater effectiveness is considered and therefore the values go down quite a bit.
HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE MANDARIN?
Some scientific studies have shown that a correct contribution of organic matter would be around 20 kg per year per tree , although this will depend mainly on the quality of the humus (nothing compares a vermicompost to a normal and current compost). Nor are we going to ask you to weigh 20 kg and add them, but to use the amount that fits the size of the tree.
As for the collection of mandarins , you have an extensive calendar depending on the variety you grow 😉
Here you can learn about the main pests and diseases of both the orange tree and the mandarin tree .
And the pruning ? Well, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We have planned to dedicate an article to it in the future, since we always get involved by telling things and in the end it ends up becoming an independent article. We will tell you about it!