Arecanut-Inter cultivation

Arecanut palms cannot withstand water logging. Hence construct drainage channels (25-30 cm deep from the bottom of pits) between the rows and drain out water during periods of heavy rainfall to prevent waterlogging. In slopes, prevent soil erosion by terracing.

Sow seeds of green manure-cum-cover crops such as Mimosa invisa, Stylosanthes gracilis and Calapagonium muconoides in April-May with the onset of pre-monsoon rains. Cut and apply them to the palms in September-October.

The culling out of uneconomic trees and replacing them with good seedlings is important in maintaining a high level of productivity in the garden.

Organic manure @ 12 kg/plant is recommended per year per plant. In acidic soils, broadcast lime @ 0.5 kg per palm once in two or three years and incorporate into soil by forking during March-April.

The main cultural operations, such as light forking or digging to break the irrigation crust and to control weeds, are performed generally in October-November.

The fertilizers have to be applied in split doses at September-October and March-April. Magnesium sulphate @ 60 gram, borax and zinc sulphate @ 20 gram per palm/year can be recommended for yellowing affected palms.

Apply manures and fertilizers during September-October in circular basins of 15-20 cm depth and with a radius of 0.75-1.0 m from the palm. Apply the second dose of fertilizers around the base of palm after weeding and mix into soil by light forking.

Intercropping with elephant foot yam, pineapple, pepper, betel vine, banana, guinea grass, cocoa, ginger and cardamom can be grown in arecanut gardens. While planting cocoa, a spacing 2.7 m x 5.4 m is recommended. In all cases, the intercrops should be manured adequately and separately.

The palms should be irrigated once in 3 to 5 days, depending upon the soil type. About 175 litres of water is needed per palm per irrigation. The drip irrigation system should be adopted in water deficient areas. Irrigation is found to double yield.