Fertilizer Application in Coconut Gardens


Fertilizer recommendation for coconut





1 General recommendation
(a) Average management
(b) Good management
2 For reclaimed clayey soils ( as in Kuttanad) 0.25 0.35 0.90
3 Red loam soils (southern Kerala) 0.68 0.23 0.90
4 Hybrids & high yielding palms
(a) For irrigated areas
(b) For rain fed conditions
Time, frequency and method of fertilizer application Under rainfed conditions, apply fertilizers in two split doses, 1/3 at the time of early southwest monsoon showers in April-June and 2/3 in September-October.

Under irrigated conditions, apply fertilizers in three or four equal doses in April-May, August-September, December and February-March.
Apply lime or dolomite during April-May, magnesium sulphate during August-September and organic matter during June-July. For an adult palm 1 kg dolomite or 1 kg lime + 0.5 kg MgSO4  is required per annum.

Apply fertilizers and manures in circular basins at a radius of 2.0 m from the base of the palm and 10 cm deep, opened after the onset of southwest monsoon. Split doses can be applied with irrigation water in summer months.

Tips on fertilizer application
  • Under irrigated conditions, fertilizers can be applied in 3-4 equal split doses.
  • In the case of low-lying areas, apply fertilizers in one single dose after water table recedes or in two split doses as conditions permit.
  • The application of organic materials such as forest leaves, cattle manure, coir dust or coconut shredding at 10 kg per pit in the first three years and 15-25 kg thereafter will be useful to obtain better establishment of coconut palms in sandy soils and in coastal situations.
  • In situations where the available P2O5 status of the soil is more than 10 ppm, application of phosphatic fertilizers can be skipped for a few years until the status of P2O5 reaches 10 ppm.
  • For sandy and sandy loams of Onattukara and similar situations and also for hybrid palms grown in root (wilt) affected areas, apply 500 g N + 300 g P2O5 + 1000 g K2O along with 500 g MgSO4 / palm / year.
  • Application of MgSO4 to coconut palms earlier confined to root wilt affected areas is recommended for the whole state (ad hoc recommendation).
  • The N:P2O5:K2O recommendation given for high yielding palms is, in general, sufficient for palms yielding up to 100 nuts per year. For palms yielding more than 100 nuts per year, an additional dose of 10 g N, 5 g P2O5 and 15 g K2O may be supplied for every nut exceeding 100 nuts (ad hoc recommendation).
  • In laterite soils, 50% of the K2O requirement of coconut can be substituted by Na2O supplied in the form of sodium chloride.

References Kerala Agricultural University. 2011. Package of Practices Recommendations: Crops. 14th edition. Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur- 360 p.