VALENCIAS SUIT MANY TASTES

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | GARDEN - IN MY GAR­DEN WORDS: ANGIE THOMAS Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates.

If you like your or­anges sweet and juicy then va­len­cia is the va­ri­ety for you.

Orig­i­nally bred in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia, it was named af­ter Va­len­cia in Spain, which is renowned for grow­ing sweet or­anges. It’s a thin-skinned or­ange and is per­fect for juic­ing. The peak har­vest sea­son for valencias is late win­ter and early spring.

How­ever, a fan­tas­tic ben­e­fit of valencias is that the fruit can be left on the tree for up to six months. This in­creases the sweet­ness and al­lows you to har­vest home-grown or­anges well into sum­mer.

Va­len­cia or­ange trees will grow up to 5m tall and have beau­ti­ful fra­grant white flow­ers in spring. Dwarf grafted trees reach about 2m tall, which makes them per­fect for small-space gar­den­ers and also grow­ing in pots. They’re more com­pact trees but still pro­duce nor­mal-sized fruit. Seed­less va­len­cia or­anges are avail­able, but will still de­velop some seeds if grown near other cit­rus trees that flower at the same time.

Va­len­cia or­anges do best in a sunny lo­ca­tion with well-drained soil or a 40–50cm di­am­e­ter pot filled with qual­ity pot­ting mix.

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