Planting of Coconut in the Field


Selection of seedlings Remove seed nuts, which do not germinate within 6 months after sowing as well as those with dead sprouts. Select only good quality seedlings (9-12 months old) by a rigorous selection based on the following characteristics.
1. Early germination, rapid growth and seedling vigour.
2. Six to eight leaves for 10-12 month old seedlings and at least four leaves for 9 month old seedlings.
3. Collar girth of 10-12 cm.
4. Early splitting of leaves.

Note: The recovery of quality seedlings will be about 60-65%. Since early germination is one of the criteria for the selection of seedlings, the storing and sowing of seed nuts should be in lots rather than in a staggered manner.

Deciding time of planting Seedlings can be transplanted in the beginning of the south west monsoon. If irrigation facilities are available, it is advisable to take up planting at least a month before the onset of the monsoon so that the seedlings get well established before heavy rains. Planting can also be taken up before the onset of the north-east monsoon. In low-lying areas subject to inundation during monsoon period, transplanting may be done after the cessation of the monsoon.
Spacing and system of planting Spacing depends upon the planting system, soil type etc. In general, the following spacings are recommended under different systems in sandy and laterite soils. In lateritic gravelly soils, under rainfed conditions of north Kerala, a closer spacing to accommodate 250 palms per ha is more economical.

 Spacing for coconut
Planting system Spacing Approximate number of plants/ha
Triangular 7.6 m 198
Square 7.6 to 9 m 170-120
Single hedge 5 m in the rows 9 m between the rows 220
Double hedge 5 x 5 m in rows 9 m between pairs of rows 280

In the hedge system of planting, the rows should be aligned in north-south direction and the seedlings planted as in the triangular system.

Planting in the field Before planting the pits are filled up with top soil and powdered cow dung / compost up to a depth of 50 to 60 cm. Then take a small pit inside this, so as to accommodate the nut attached to the seedling. Plant the seedling inside this pit and fill up with soil. Press the soil well so as to avoid water stagnation. If there is chance for white-ant attack apply Sevidol 8G(5gm.) inside the small pit before planting.

In laterite areas apply 2 kg common salt per pit for improving the physical condition of the soil. Burying 25 to 30 coconut husks per pit in layers will be useful for moisture conservation.

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