Strong Roots…New Growth

We’re planting a new Honeybell Grove at Dooley Groves. It’s been 5 long years since we’ve had citrus on the original homestead. It’s finally here!

Mike and Dooley Houghtaling

This photo was taken in better days, before citrus canker caused the original 200 acre grove to be taken. Father and son, Dooley and Mike Houghtaling welcome customers to Dooley Groves. They are 3rd and 4th generation citrus growers on this land. Mike learned to be an expert Honeybell citrus grower from both his father and grandfather. They’re gone now, so Mike is replanting with the help of his son, Dave.

The land is cleared and ready for the new grove

The land is cleared of debris, left after the grove was burned. Then, it was smoothed, surveyed and leveled, so it would hold the maximum number of trees.

Mike making the grove beds

Mike creating the beds necessary to plant.

Mike making the grove beds


The soil was given composting and iron humate, soil amendments to assure wonderful, healthy green trees and delicious fruit.

Sunset on the grove

The Sun sets on a beautiful Autumn day. The irrigation system is next to be installed.

Florida citrus grove

The trees will be ready for their first harvest in only three seasons. This is what they’ll look like at that point.

Grove irrigation system

The irrigation system is installed. Black tubing was laid down each row and the orange colored emitters were attached. This drip irrigation system puts water directly where it is needed, without wasting precious water.

New trees

October 25, 2010 — Planting Day

Tractor in new grove


Mike Houghtaling planting the first new tree

Mike Houghtaling, President of Dooley Groves and long-time citrus grower, carefuly plants the first Honeybell tree. They’ll be about 3 feet high by next year!

Planting crew at work

Planting crew in the new grove

The planting crew is doing an excellent job!

MIke, Dave, and Connor Houghtaling planting a tree

Three generations! Mike Houghtaling with his son, David and David’s son, Conner, plant the last tree.

Mike Houghtaling in the new grove

Mike is a happy man. He’ll tend to these trees daily for the next 3 years before they produce rare and delicious Honeybells. More citrus trees are to be planted in the Spring of 2011.