Coconut-Inter cultivation

Keep the pits free of weeds by periodical weeding. Remove the soil covering the collar of seedlings. As the seedlings grow fill up the pits gradually by cutting the sides.

The transplanted seedlings should be shaded and irrigated adequately during the summer months. Also provide staking so that winds may not uproot the young seedlings. For the first two years after planting, irrigate the seedling twice a week during the dry summer months.

Only minimum tillage is required for coconut especially during summer. Inter-cultural operations are mainly intended to control weeds and to provide aeration to the soil. If these objectives are met, any tillage system (ploughing / digging, making mounds) is as good as another.

Burying fresh or dried coconut husks around the palm is a very beneficial practice particularly for moisture retention especially in drought prone areas.

In level lands, during rainy season excess water may be conserved in small trenches dug out in the plantation.

The husk can be buried with concave side up either in linear trenches taken 3 m away from the trunk between rows of palms or in circular trenches taken around the palm at a distance of 2 m from the trunk. The trenches may be dug at 0.5 m wide and at the same depth. Instead of husk, coconut pith can be buried @ 25 kg/palm/year.

Sow the green manure / cover crops during April-May with the onset of pre-monsoon showers. The green manure crops should be ploughed in and incorporated in the soil during August-September. Mulch the basin with green or dry leaves during October-November.

Organic manure @ 25 kg/plant is recommended in ever year. Lime or dolomite @ 1-2 kg/palm has to be applied in acid soils two weeks ahead of fertilizer application.

The first dose of fertilizer has to be applied in April-June. The second dose has to apply in September-October. Under irrigated conditions, the fertilizers can be applied in 3-4 equal split doses.

Apply fertilizers and manures in circular basins at a radius of 2 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.

Application of MgSO4 @ 500 gram/palm is recommended in areas where intervennal yellowing s prominent.

Generally, an adult palm requires 600 to 800 litres of water once in four to seven days. Irrigate in basins of 1.8 m radius and 10-20 cm depth. In coastal sandy soils, sea water can be used for irrigating adult palms. Through drip irrigation, water requirement for an adult palm can be reduced to 40 liters per day.

In irrigated gardens interruption of irrigation would lead to serious set-back in yield and general condition of palms. Hence, when once started irrigation should be continued regularly and systematically.

During summer, lower most 3-5 leaves may be cut and removed. This reduces transpiration loss considerably. Application of lime solution up to a height of 2-3 meter may also be done in summer to prevent sun scotch.

The leaf axils of young palms should be filled with neem cake and sand in equal proportion to control beetle attack. This should be repeated in every three months.