Preparation of Field for Planting


Site Selection Shallow soils with underlying hard rock, low lying areas subject to water stagnation and clayey soils are to be avoided. Proper supply of moisture either through well distributed rainfall or through irrigation should be ensured before planting.
Preparation of the Field The nature of preparation of land before planting depends upon topography of land, soil type and other environmental factors. On slopes and in areas of undulating terrain, prepare the land by contour terracing or bunding. In low-lying areas and rice fields, form mounds to a height of at least 1 m above water level. In reclaimed kayal areas, planting can be done on the field bunds.
Making of pits

The size of pits for planting would depend upon soil types and water table. In loamy soils with low water table, pit size of 1 x 1 x 1 m is recommended. In laterite soils with underlying rock, take larger pits of size 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 m. In sandy soils, the size of pits may be 0.75x 0.75 x 0.75 m. The pits may be filled up with topsoil to a height 60 cm below the ground level. In low lying lands, take shallow pits and as the plant grows, raise the ground level by adding silt and sand so as to cover the entire bole of the palm. The same procedure can be adopted when planting is done on mounds or bunds. Burial of two layers of husks in the floor of the pits will be useful for moisture conservation. The husk is to be buried in layers with concave surface facing upwards. After arranging each layer, sprinkle carbaryl 10% dust on the husk to prevent colonization by termites.

Note: In lateritic areas, common salt at the rate of 2 kg per pit may be applied on the floor of the pit to improve soil conditions. Common salt is to be applied about six months prior to planting.

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