Why don’t all seedlings survive?

At Naranjas del Carmen we carry out two counts per year of all the trees that are sponsored, this is where the photo team transmits the first count of dead trees to the technical team. Afterwards, one of the agronomists of the technical team verifies with the photo team each of the trees that have been marked.

Where do the seedlings come from? 

The plants normally used are grafted onto seed rootstock. An organoleptically interesting variety is grafted onto a rootstock that is resistant to diseases and adapted to the soil conditions. Each plant is identified by a label that is equivalent to a certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture, which specifies: variety, rootstock, nursery that produces it and the state of health of the buds used in the grafting.


When do we plant them? 

As far as the planting time is concerned, at Naranjas del Carmen we have established as the best time the beginning of spring, when temperatures are mild and the seedling has favorable months ahead of it for its development. If it is planted in autumn, the risk of winter frosts can be an insurmountable problem for a seedling in its early stages of development.

What are the risks?

The weakness of the seedling is accentuated at the time of planting, where any danger is maximized. Not completely burying the root ball of the seedling, over- or under-compacting the soil, over- or under-watering the seedling or any other kind of damage can lead to its death. At Naranjas del Carmen, we prune all the leaves of the seedling before planting to avoid losses due to evapotranspiration and to encourage root growth. Correct rooting of a seedling can make the difference when it comes to having to support future sprouting. Therefore, after planting, all seedlings receive abundant watering to stimulate root growth. 

During the first years, stem protection is essential. At Naranjas del Carmen, rodent damage to the stem is the main cause of death among the seedlings. By gnawing the bark, they break the vascular tissues that transport nutrients, preventing the seedling from ever developing. 

Finally, seedlings are very sensitive to pests and diseases, as they do not have sufficient reserves to cope with these biotic stresses. At such an early stage of development, the plant is susceptible to attack by a wide variety of living beings, especially insects. 

In conventional crops, this is a point that can be easily solved by applying phytosanitary products to control the pests that appear. In organic crops it is much more complicated as general products are more effective for prevention than when the pest is already established . 

However, we are still committed to an ecological and regenerative philosophy, and that is why, although agricultural management is more complex, we are willing to use all possible resources to produce the product we believe in: organic fruit and vegetables that help to regenerate agricultural ecosystems and our own bodies.

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