PACKAGE OF PRACTICES OF COCONUT
10.Care of young Palms
The transplanted seedlings should be shaded and irrigated adequately during the summer months. Also provide staking so that winds may not uproot the young seedlings. For the first two years after planting, irrigate the seedling twice a week during the dry summer months. Shading is a must to the transplanted seedlings.
Regular manuring from the first year of planting is essential to achieve higher productivity. For coconut 20 - 50kg. organic manure should be applied per palm per year with the onset of south west monsoon, when soil moisture content is high. Different forms of organic manures like compost, farm yard manure, bone meal, fish meal, blood meal, neem cake, groundnut cake etc. could be made use for this purpose. In addition to this the following Fertilizer Schedule is recommended.
The fertiliser schedule recommended for the palm at different stages is as follows:-
Soil moisture very often limits coconut production in those areas where long spell of dry weather prevail or where the rainfall is scanty and ill-distributed. So irrigate the palms during summer months in basins around the palm. The irrigation requirement varies according to the soil type and climatic condition. Generally, an adult palm requires 600 to 800 litres of water once in four to seven days. Irrigate in basins of 1.8m radius and 10-20 cm depth. In coastal sandy soils, sea water can be used for irrigating adult palms. Do not irrigate seedlings and very young palms upto 2 year with sea water. In irrigated gardens interruption of irrigation would lead to serious set-back in yield and general condition of palms. Hence, when once started irrigation should be continued regularly and systematically. Drip irrigation is the best suited method of irrigation for coconut. It saves water, labour and energy.
Only minimum tillage is required for coconut. Inter-cultural operations are mainly intended to control weeds and to provide aeration to the soil. If these objectives are met, any tillage system (ploughing / digging, making mounds) is as good as another and can be followed depending upon the local conditions.
14. Husk Burial
Burying fresh or dried coconut husks around the palm is a very beneficial practice particularly for moisture retention especially in drought prone areas. The husk can be buried either in linear trenches taken 3 m away from the trunk between rows of palms or in circular trenches taken around the palm at a distance of 2 m from the trunk. The trenches may be dug at 0.5 m wide and at the same depth. The husks are to be placed in layers with concave surface facing upwards and covered with soil. The beneficial effects of husk burial will last for about 5-7 years.
15. Green Manure and Cover Crops
This will help to increase the organic matter content of the soil and also will prevent soil erosion in coconut gardens. The following Green manure / cover crops are recommended for cultivation in coconut gardens.
Sow the green manure / cover crops during April-May with the onset of pre-monsoon showers. The green manure crops should be ploughed in and incorporated in the soil during August-September.
16. Mixed / Inter / Multi-species Cropping System in Coconut Garden
for inter-mixed cropping may be drawn up based
on the canopy size and orientation of palms. A
variety of intercrops like pineapple, banana,
elephant-foot yam, groundnut, chillies, sweet
potato, tapioca and different vegetables can be
raised in coconut garden. In older plantation
cocoa, cinnamon, pepper, clove, nutmeg etc. can
be grown as mixed crops.
17. Mixed Farming
Mixed farming by raising fodder grasses such as Hybrid Napier or Guinea grass along with leguminous fodder crops such as Stylosanthes has been found to be profitable. Raising the above crops in one ha. of coconut garden can support three to four diary animals. The animals supply large quantities of cattle manure which when applied to the soil will improve its fertility status. This sort of mixed farming will improve the yield of the palm.