Return to the Citrus Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

Posted by central_cali369 z9 CA (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 1, 08 at 4:01

I have a Cara Cara Navel that gave it's first crop this season. I just harvested one of three small oranges that had split - probably due to exessive water. The thing is that the orange wasn't sweet, it was kind of bland. Is there anything i can do to make the citrus sweeter? Or could this be due to the fact that this is this tree's first crop. By the way, it is grafted on dwarf root stock.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

Excessive rainfall will cause fruit split .
This has been a big problem for us in Florida thanks to the 24 inches from Fay .
Too much water can make citrus fruit taste bland .
Growers recommend removing fruit from young trees for the first two years after planting .
This encourages a strong root system .
Wait until the next crop for better fruit .
Nothing you can do to make citrus sweeter .


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

Well, many citrus get sweeter the longer they are on the tree (until they start rotting, or course). Try one of the other two remaining oranges in January and see if it tastes any different.


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

I have heard that also . . .


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

From the UF link posted below :

Navel orange

Harvest October to January

Navels differ from other oranges by having a rudimentary secondary fruit embedded at the blossom end of the fruit. Premature yellowing and rot of this secondary fruit often results in premature fruit drop. Fruit peels relatively easily, sections well. If juiced, drink within several hours before a bitter flavor develops. Tends to require more precise irrigation and nutrition management. Two periods of fruit drop, early- and late-summer, account for 15-20 percent of the crop in some years. Cara Cara navel is used for salads because of its near-crimson flesh. Seeds: 0-6 per fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

Too much water will make most fruit less sweet. In some cases the difference between excess water and mild water stress can be amazing. The stonefruit in my greenhouse is very sensitive to water. Too much water and the fruit is large, beautiful, and bland to awful. Give it a little water stress and the quality can be amazing. My sweetest Washington navel were last year when the tree was water stressed. This yr I haven't tasted the fruit yet, two months until it is ripe, but it has had more water and is much larger. I've leaned that extra large fruit often goes along with bland taste.

You already know the fruit was over watered. Try to impose some mild water deficit next yr.

The Fruitnut


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

dittos all the above. Also bear in mind that oranges improve over the years. A ten year old tree will have much better fruit. A twenty year old tree will be even a little better yet. Old mature trees definitely produce the best, sweetest fruit.


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

The fruit on my satsuma wasn't particularly sweet. I asked a learned person. She said phosphorus makes the fruit sweeter. I haven't tested this, but I will try this next year. If the fruit doesn't improve, I'll replace the tree with a better variety.


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

A local edible nursrey in my area told us to use 1 cup of epsom salt every six weeks to improve the sweetness of the orange. This will be my second year of harvesting oranges off my tree (25' Navel, or so I've been told ... it came with the house and last years crop was weak because the tree was neglected from April-October of 2007 ... foreclosed house that I purchased so nature took care of it for 6+ months. Oh, just a little FYI, this is my first citrus tree so I'm just passing on what I've been told. I won't know if it works for a few months ... I don't even know when to begin picking the oranges off a tree so I'll be doing a lot of reading on this site and hopefully grow a green thumb in the process.


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

I do not know of anything that will sweeten fruit .

A young tree might produce less than desirable fruit and improve with age .

An older tree starting to decline might produce fruit that is not as sweet as it once was .

Disease can affect citrus fruit and cause issues with flavor .

But I have seen no evidence that shows that you can apply a product and magically get sweeter , better tasting oranges .

Central - sounds like your tree is just too young . Give it time and TLC .


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

Most of the time, a tree will produce a poor flavoured crop for the first year or two, but it will continue to get better (like fine wine haha) It will produce nicer tasting ones as it grows up. It was just starting itself off this year :)


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

I've got surprisingly sweet fruit this year, it can be due to a few reasons. Thanks to this site I've learnt to make my own liquid kelp, the orchards get 5 liters of kelp every 25- 30 days. S has a big influence on taste as well as P en for the first time I've split up all elements over a 7month period also concentrating on the K;Ca;Mg balance en changing for Urea N to Nitrate N split up to a portion every month as my mind told me the plant would need it. I've added more water, for shorter irrigations more often due to silty soil with a lower ability to hold water. I think its a combination of things not excluding humic acid, instead I added some organic material under the trees.(Palmer Navels)


 o
RE: How to (if possible) achieve maximum sweetness?

I know this won't help anyone who has trees already, but I think I read that certain rootstocks might contribute to sweeter fruit. I wonder if that holds for grafted (fruit salad type) trees as well?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Citrus Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here