Basic Field Operations in Coconut

 

Importance of inter-cultivation

Next to manuring and irrigation, inter-cultivation is the most important operation. Intercultural operations increase the yield not only through weed control per se, but also by providing a soil rhizosphere environment favorable for mineralization and soil moisture conservation.

Inter-cultivation in young palms Keep the pits free of weeds by periodical weeding. Remove the soil covering the collar of seedlings. As the seedlings grow and form stem, fill up the pits gradually by cutting the sides.

Inter-cultivation in old palms

Proper inter-cultivation provides control of weeds and creates soil mulch. Any tillage system (ploughing, digging, raking or forming mounds) that provides soil mulch and control weeds may be followed depending upon local conditions. For laterite, sandy and red sandy loam soils give two ploughings or diggings in May-June and September-October and one raking in January. In areas where surface run off is more, form mounds in September-October and level them in November-December. Prepare basin before rain starts and closing it after rain help a lot in water conservation.

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