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.
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.
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.
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.