Coconut - Organic Farming in Tamil Nadu

Organic coconut farming in Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu, India

About Coconut farming

  • Coconut trees are lovely plants that produce tasty fruit.

  • They grow naturally in tropical climates, but you can also plant one at home.

  • It’s an easy process that will produce a charming addition to any yard or home.

  • The coconut palm grows well in a equatorial climate.

  • The long spells of hot and dry weather, severe winters and extremes of temperatures are not favourable for coconut growing.

  • However, it thrives well upto 1000 m above the sea level

  • The well distributed rainfall ranging from 100 to 300 cm is favourable.

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How to plant coconut tree for organic coconut farming in Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu, India

How to plant Coconut saplings in the farm:

  • Adopt a spacing of 25' x 25' (7.5 x 7.5 m) with 175 plants/ha.

  • For planting in field border as a single row, adopt 20' spacing between plants.

  • Dug pit size of 3’ x 3' x 3'.

  • In the pits, Fill the pit to a height of two feet (60 cm) with FYM, red earth and sand mixed in equal proportions.

  • At the center of the pit, remove the soil mixture and plant the seedling after removing all the roots. 

  • Press the soil well around the seedling and provide the seedling with shade by using plaited coconut leaves or palmy leaves.

  • Keep the pits free from weeds.

  • Remove soil covering the collar region.

  • As the seedlings grow and form stem, fill up the pits gradually by cutting the sides.

  • Proper supply of moisture either through well distributed rainfall or irrigation and sufficient drainage are essential for coconut.

  • Coconut can be grown in soil with pH of 5.2 – 8.6.

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Organic Fertilizer for Organic coconut farming in Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu, India

How to fertilize Coconut tree

  • To get a good yield, palms should be fertilized regularly and with a quick frequency,

  • Bimonthly applications are more beneficial.

  • From 5 th year onwards, apply 50 kg of FYM or compost or green manure in two equal splits during June – July and December – January.

  • Apply manures and fertilizers in circular basins of 1.8 m from the base of the palm, incorporate and irrigate.

  • During 2nd, 3rd and 4th year ¼, ½ and ¾ doses of the above fertilizer schedule should be adopted

  • Sufficient moisture should be present at the time of manuring.

  • Fertilization may be done at monthly intervals with 75% of the recommended dose of the above fertilizers.  

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2 years old Organic coconut farming in Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu, India

How to irrigate Coconut tree

  • The coconut palm requires large quantities of water for its normal growth and timely production.

  • In normal conditions and in absence of rains every palm needs about 16-18 litre water daily.

  • Regular irrigation helps to increase the fruit set, improve size and copra content.

  • However, stagnation of water and ill drained conditions should be strictly avoided.

  • Coconut palm responds to summer irrigation.

  • Production of female flowers and setting % increases considerably due to irrigation.

  • Since spadix initiation to ripening of nuts takes nearly 42 months, the full benefit of irrigation can be felt only after 3 years.

  • Burying the Coconut husk or coir dust is one of the most effective ways of conserving soil moisture.

  • These husks coir dusts can act as sponge and absorb and retain moisture about 6-10 times respectively to their own weight and slowly relative to the coconut trees during dry periods.

  • As the husk or dust breaks down slowly, their effect will last for 4-6 years and 8-10 years respectively.

  • On decomposition they also add potash to the soil.

  • These husks or dusts can be added in pits / trenches taken in between the trees but in all the cases depth should be 0.6m and 1.8m away from the bole.

  • Husks / dusts can be added in alternate layers with soil.

  • Each palm requires 55 to 120 litres of water every day.

  • Since availability of irrigation water is scanty, for judicious utilization of this resource, adoption of drip irrigation system is most ideal.

  • Drip irrigation is known to save about 30 – 40% water with 38% - 40% increase in yield compared to basin irrigation system apart from conserving soil and reducing the competition from weeds for water and nutrients.

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