Q: I want to grow some oranges for juicing. What are the best types to grow in Northeast Florida?
A: There are two juicing oranges which grow best in our area and they are Hamlin and Pineapple oranges. Hamlin oranges are generally harvested from October through early January. Pineapple oranges are harvested from December through February. You might try a Parson Brown also which can be harvested from late October through January. Hamlin is the preferred orange for juice because it produces very few seeds. Parson Brown may have 10 – 20 seeds per orange and Pineapple oranges may have more at 15 – 25 per orange. Hamlin may have only 6 seeds per orange, but often none. I mentioned the seed amounts as they can be a nuisance when juicing any citrus. Some people have been successful in growing Valencia but these oranges mature later in the year when we often experience freezing temperatures. This puts the ability of the fruit to mature at risk. Valencia oranges also have very few seeds. Since Valencia requires a little more care, I usually do not recommend it for this area – especially to a novice home grower. Refer to this University of Florida publication regarding citrus for home landscapes: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/HS/HS13200.pdf