The mandarin is a tree smaller than the orange tree, more resistant to cold, more tolerant to drought but with more sensitive fruits. Mandarins are small and orange fruits , easy to peel and very pleasant to taste. We are going to discuss the ideal ways to water it, as well as its varieties and the ideal land.
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Irrigation depends on the season of the year and the climate, but in the Mediterranean area the hot months can produce an imbalance between soil moisture and evaporation and transpiration of the plant that directly affects production and quality.
Irrigation control in mandarins is essential and water stress should be avoided for several reasons:
- It has important consequences for the flowering and fruit setting of mandarins in the spring season. If watering is excessive, the number of flowers increases and affects late fruits. If it is scarce, they will give less production due to the serious alterations in the reproduction of meristems or stem cells that give rise to flowers and new shoots.
- It influences the size of mandarins if it suffers from water stress in summer and autumn .
- Decrease the juice of the fruit.
- The metabolic and anatomical functions of the tree are altered and as a consequence the acids and sugars are altered.
- Control is necessary throughout the year, since the plant is evergreen and therefore suffers from perspiration in all seasons.
- An uncontrolled heat stroke causes the stomata to close and impairs the photosynthesis of the plant. It can make the sheet roll up and perspiration does not occur.
- It influences the growth of the fruit and the seeds.
- Alters skin texture, flavor and color.
- Overwatering causes lack of oxygenation and alterations in the roots.
- Poorly controlled irrigation increases the risk of salinity with serious alterations in the development of the mandarin.
Measurement of soil moisture and salinity is therefore essential for quality and quantity control.
Plantae moisture sensors offer real-time information that the farmer needs to obtain a quality product and increase the quantity.
Correct irrigation control means that the plant has a constant rise of water from the roots to the leaves, producing perspiration through the stomata and favoring the flow of salts and sugars necessary for the ideal growth of the plant.
It is important to use the weeds and pruning remains to cover the soil and help its natural nutrition while serving to store moisture. Tillage is also recommended so that we get a nutritious and oxygenated soil.
In addition, mineral contributions are convenient, mainly from:
- Nitrogen: is one of the most important minerals in the growth of the mandarin, its flowering and the setting of its fruit.
- Phosphorus: helps the formation of sugars and provides quality to the fruit.
- Potassium: favors the development of the fruit.
They are not very demanding with the type of terrain, but it is convenient that it is not very sandy and better deep so that the tree roots more.
Production of mandarins in Spain
The mandarin tree adapts to the Mediterranean climate and its cultivation makes Spain the world's leading exporter.
The main producing community is Valencia.
Advantages of mandarin production
- It is on the market before the orange. Autumn surprises us with its color and flavor.
- Production is more uniform.
- It adapts better to drought although controlled irrigation favors it, as we will comment later in detail.
- It is quite tolerant to pests.
- It adapts well to crops with distances of 6 × 4, 5 × 4 or 6 × 6 meters, depending on the type of terrain, more or less sandy.
Varieties of mandarins
The Tangerine is a fruit full of segments with or without seeds, smooth , flattened or more rounded and very sweet. Rich in vitamins A and C.
There are many varieties but three large groups can be made:
- Satsuma : from Japan and grown in Spain with early production. Since the end of September we can enjoy them. Very juicy and less sweet, which is why they are usually used in juices when other sweeter varieties appear and therefore more requested for fresh consumption. They do not usually have seeds. The tree is resistant to cold.
- Hybrids or a mixture of other varieties, highlighting the reddish ones, very sweet and juicy.
- Clementine : it is a cross between common mandarin and orange, it is small and sweet but with variable production. It is seedless and easy to peel. Very consumed in Spain. It has many varieties, some earlier than others. It is collected from November to January.
- Clemenvillas : bigger and with a lot of juice. It is usually seedless and we enjoy it from September to February. Some varieties can be found until March or April.
The mandarin and orange flowers have 5 petals, which is one of the numbers in the Fibonacci series, (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ...).
They also form a pentagon that also bears the golden number.
The number of segments ranges from 8 to 13, and their structure is symmetrical with circular sectors. The circle is the most perfect geometric figure.