Package of Practices  
 
 

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*PACKAGE OF PRACTICES OF COCONUT

1. Introduction
2. Climate and Soil
3. Varieties
4. Planting Material
5. Site Selection
6. Preparation of Land & Planting
7. Spacing & Systems of Planting
8. Time of Planting
9. Planting
10. Care of young Palms
11. Manuring
12. Irrigation
13. Inter-cultivation
14. Husk Burial
15. Green Manure and Cover Crops
16. Mixed/Inter/Multi-species cropping
17. Mixed farming
18. Plant protection
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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.

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11. Manuring

ManuringRegular 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:-

    Quantity of fertilizer to be applied (gm)
Age of Palm Nutrient dosage Ammo. Sulphate Urea Super Phosphate (single) or Ultraphos/ Rock Phosphate Muriate of Potash
1. General recommendation: 
(a) Average Management:
3 months 1/10 of full dose 165 75 95 60 115
1 year 1/3 of full dose 550 250 320 200 380
2 year 2/3 of full dose 1100 500 640 400  760
3 year onwards full dose 1650  750 950 600 1140
(b) Good management:
3 months 1/10 of full dose 250 110 180 115 200
1 year 1/3 of full dose 800 360 590 380 670
2 year 2/3 of full dose 1675 720 1180 760 1340
3 year onwards full dose 2000 1080 1780 1140 2010
2. Hybrid and high yielding palms: 
a. Under Irrigated condition: 
3 months 1/10 of full dose 490 220 280 180 335
1 year 1/3 of full dose 1625 720 930 600 1110
2 year 2/3 of full dose 3250 1450 1850 1200 2220
3 year onwards full dose 4880 2170 2780 1800 3330

(b) Under rainfed condition: 

Same as that of good management under general recommendation. 

The full adult doze recommended for the rainfed tall is 0.34kg N, 0.17kg P and 0.68kg K. For the hybrids and irrigated talls the general recommendation is 0.5kg N, 0.34kg P and 1.0kg. K subject to changes in accordance with soil test and/or foliar analysis data. 

In addition to the above dose of fertilizers two to three kgs. of finally ground dolomite lime stone or 0.5 kg. Magnesium sulphate per palm per year is also recommended for use in acidic soils, light sandy soils and in root wilt affected tracts in Kerala. The dolomite may be broadcasted prior to the onset of monsoon in the basins and forked in and should not be applied along with other fertilizers. There is however no harm in applying magnesium sulphate along with other fertilizers.

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12. Irrigation

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.

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13. Inter-cultivation

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.

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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.

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15. Green Manure and Cover Crops

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.

  •  Crotalaria juncea (Sunnhemp)
  •  Tephrosia purpurea
  •  Gliricidia maculata 
  •  Calapagonium muconoides 
  •  Mimosa invisa

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.

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16. Mixed / Inter / Multi-species Cropping System in Coconut Garden

Mixed / Inter / Multi-species Cropping System in Coconut GardensSchedule 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. 
However, these inter/mixed crops are to be adequately and separately manured in addition to the manures applied to the coconut palm

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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.

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