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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Oranges for Growing at Home then Juicing and Garnishing
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Oranges for Growing at Home then Juicing and Garnishing
AceExplorer
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2169
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2017-05-10 07:56 am   Permalink

I searched but didn't find a topic or post which discussed varieties of oranges for juicing and garnishing and for growing at home.

I'm at a crossroad right now with some space I have in a sun-lit corner of my yard, and I've decided to plant an orange tree. My question has been what KIND of orange tree? What I have found over the last few months to a year, highly summarized, is the following:

1) Valencia oranges are rated better for juicing and for use in cocktails. They are smaller, more juicy, and sweeter, and have thinner skins than Navel oranges.
2) Navel oranges are rated better for eating and for orange peel-based garnishes. They are larger, more tart, a bit less juicy, and have thicker skins than Valencia oranges.

Result? I'm leaning towards planting a Valencia, and then I'll make the best garnishes I can with the skins. I'm more interested in good juice than I am with the best garnishes.

I know there are a number of varieties and hybrids out there, but only Valencia and Navel seem to be for sale in my local nurseries and big-box stores. Special ordering hybrids is possible, but the navels and valencias are the recommended fits for my climate, insects, heat, humidity, etc. I'm expecting that others may also have insights to share with me before I actually buy a tree --- valuable insights which may help another cocktailian down the road when they need similar information and find this thread.

So folks, feel free to talk me out of planting a Valencia if it's hugely material. I'm sure this will be interesting.

Cheers!


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 8704
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2017-05-10 08:20 am   Permalink

You can always graft Valencia and Navel to the same tree

 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2169
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2017-05-10 09:40 am   Permalink

Yup, I saw that mentioned in another thread. The idea is intriguing - you're making me think I should learn to do it and then try it. I think it would only need to involve one or two branches on the tree when it gets a little bigger.

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 8704
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2017-05-10 11:04 am   Permalink

I just recently saw this Professional Garden Grafting Prune Cutting Tools Kit for Fruit Trees on Amazon that cuts your two branches exactly alike so they graft right. Fairly inexpensive at $22, worth a try.




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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 909
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-05-10 3:24 pm   Permalink

Frankie, my wife says to check out Flying Dragon Citrus Nursery in Mandarin. Supposed to be pricey but the guy knows his citrus. For Christmas she was attempting to bring me back a white grapefruit tree but evidently it's illegal to bring citrus across state lines.... Seriously all I want for Christmas is a white grapefruit tree.

Also, I vote for valencia as you'll get more use out of them.


 
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kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 749
Posted: 2017-05-10 4:00 pm   Permalink

If you're concerned about the DIY route, you could just buy your Frankentree right? Or is that particular combination not a common one?
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2169
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2017-05-10 7:09 pm   Permalink

Great feedback, all!

MadDogMike, dang it, like I need another hobby? The grafting kit is very cool, and at $22, I'm very tempted. VERY tempted. That's cheaper than a bottle of good booze.

MikeHooker, I'll check out Flying Dragon, sounds like a great opportunity to talk to someone in person before I commit. And yes, I think the Valencia's are the way to go. I can only use so much juice for cocktails, so wanna eventually have good juice oranges for other uses. And if they're super juicy, then they must also taste good, right?

Keith, I won't know if a Frankentree grafted with the two types of oranges is common until I talk to the nurseryman. Sure would be cool to have such a tree though!


 
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Cammo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 1974
From: San Diego
Posted: 2017-05-11 07:19 am   Permalink

My suggestion for what orange tree to grow is - grow a MEYER LEMON!

We have one out back and use it constantly for drinks, salads, wot not. It's incredibly delicious and puts out a huge amount of insanely juicy fruit.


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2169
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2017-05-11 07:39 am   Permalink

Yes - a Meyer Lemon - I believe my mom had one in her yard and the lemons were the size of small cantaloupes. When you have that much lemon, you come to learn to appreciate what you can do with it.

So I don't have a lemon tree yet, and that's a very good suggestion.

I'm very experienced with automated irrigation, drip systems, etc. so I have no fear planting stuff. As long as I prune and fertilize, I'm golden from the standpoint of watering.

Hmmm... Lemon... Great idea!


 
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Cammo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 1974
From: San Diego
Posted: 2017-05-11 7:00 pm   Permalink

If they were huge sized, they probably were not Meyers; the biggest they get is like smallish baseball sized.

I'm not kidding, they taste incredibly delicious and make every drink a TIKI DRINK!

TIP: Float rounds of them in a punch!


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2169
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2017-05-16 11:22 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-05-11 19:00, Cammo wrote:
If they were huge sized, they probably were not Meyers; the biggest they get is like smallish baseball sized.



You're right, Cammo - I followed up on this today with my Mom and she knew right away that what she had were Eureka lemons, not Meyer lemons. I am still amazed at how surprisingly large the Meyer lemons got. I don't remember tasting them though... I always seemed to be focused on her incredibly juicy and flavorful oranges.

Home grown and ripened is always so much more flavor-packed than the commercially grown stuff!


 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 224
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-07-07 2:08 pm   Permalink

Jumping in late on this thread, but it is NOT necessary to buy that grafting kit, tempting tho it may be. Grafting--cleft grafting in particular--is incredibly easy. I was intimidated by the concept until circumstances forced me to try my hand at it. If you've got a sharp utility knife and electrical tape, you're good to go. Here are a couple of blog posts I put up about my experiences:

http://jlbgibberish.blogspot.com/2016/02/thrill-of-early-spring.html
http://jlbgibberish.blogspot.com/2017/02/thrill-of-early-spring-redux.html

What's more, you're in luck because pretty much ALL citrus is graft-compatible. This means you're not restricted to simply growing various types of oranges on a single bush. You can have oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, grapefruit, kumquats... really, as many as you can fit. They hybridize easily as well.

The downside is that citrus has a whole lot of diseases that can potentially wipe out the entire industry. That's why it's illegal to bring citrus into Texas, California and Florida from other areas. The entire Houston area is currently under quarantine because of citrus greening, which could destroy the citrus industry here if it's not contained. Florida's been battling this and other diseases for years. So only order citrus and budwood (for grafting) from reputable nurseries within your state.

[ This Message was edited by: Prikli Pear 2017-07-07 14:08 ]


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kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 749
Posted: 2017-07-07 7:01 pm   Permalink

Wow! Nice job dude, I especially enjoy the successful graft pic.

 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 224
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-07-08 2:14 pm   Permalink

Thanks, Keith. Grafting sounds intimidating, but it's really super-easy. The first time I ever attempted it, I made a dozen grafts onto pear trees and every single one of them took. Apples and pears are pretty easy, but citrus and stone fruit are even more forgiving--they'll accept different species, which is where those 40-variety Frankentrees come from. There's no need to spend big bucks to buy a pre-made Frankentree when you can graft one yourself if you're patient.

 
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 1169
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 28 days ago; 03:09 am   Permalink

Some of these would be interesting to try.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BAYCbI1Fdg

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