Navel oranges prefer a temperate or subtropical climate.
Navel oranges prefer a temperate or subtropical climate. GomezDavid

Contemplate your navel oranges

Navel oranges are so named because they have what looks like a strange little belly-button on the base of the fruit. Different varieties ripen during different months, but there are a few trees, including Washington, Lane's Late, Cara Cara and Navelina, which are ripe for plucking in winter and spring.

Brightly coloured Washington navel oranges are dripping from trees during winter. They're sweet, juicy, easy to peel and seedless and make a fantastic citrus to grow at home.

Dwarf varieties of navels grow to around 1.5m tall, so they're easy to maintain (and you don't need a ladder to harvest) as well as being perfect for growing in a container.

To get the best out of home-grown navel oranges, find a spot that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day with well-drained soil.

Navel oranges prefer growing in a temperate or subtropical climate, though they will also handle cooler locations.

Feeding citrus regularly is the key to promoting the best possible harvest. Apply a liquid fertiliser weekly while oranges are still on the tree and then start feeding again in early spring when new foliage and flower buds start to emerge.