Things to do on a Monthly Basis in Coconut Farms: April to May
- April :
Ensure the soil suitability by digging of a profile pit of 3x3x3 ft. Observe the soil for presence of any calcareous nodules or sheet rock. If present, avoid such soils for taking up plantations. Avoid water logging or ill drained soils. Collect soil sample for every one feet depth of the dug out profile pit soil for test. If the soil PH is 7.0 to 8.0, it can be considered as suitable.
- May :
Take up summer ploughing with MB plough twice, and level the land. Make alignments and peg marking for pit digging at 8X8 mtr. Spacing between the rows and plants (60 plants/acre) or 7.5×7.5 mts (70 plants/acre) should be given. Precaution to be taken while digging a pit with a 90x90x90 cms size, includes placing the dug out top soil (1 ½ ft.) to the right side of the pit and bottom (1 ½ ft.) to the left side of the pit.Allow the pit to expose to sun at least for two weeks before filling the pits to control soil born pest and diseases. Make arrangements for procurement of plant material from reliable places, preferably from Govt. nurseries or those recommended by department of horticulture.
- June :
Fill the pits with top soil mixed with 25 kgs of Farm Yard Manure (FYM) + 1 kg Single Super Phospate + 1 kg Neem Cake and 100 gm. of 10% Follidol dust per pit. Again with the soil at least 6″ above the ground level, so that when the soil settles it will be at the ground level at planting.Ensure thorn fencing or with any thick growing live fence to control cattle trespassing. Give mark out for trench cutting and complete the trench cutting for drip installation. With the onset of monsoon farmers can sow green manure crops or inter crops.
- July :
Procure the plant material from the selected nurseries by the farmers in coordination with CIG group members. At the time of procurement ensure that quality of plant material is selected to avoid losses in future. Select the plants which have sprouted early in the nursery bed and vigorous growing. The plant should be at least 1 year old with more number of leaves, stout stem at the base, healthy and free from Ganoderma and Tatipaka diseases.
Arrange for transportation of plant material from nursery to the planting site. Keep the saplings in a trench near water source and water them regularly till planting is done. If there is any delay in receipt of good rains, the pits should be soaked by giving irrigation or by running the drip system. Take up planting the saplings in the centre of the pit, and water the plant immediately after planting. Irrigate at every 5 to 7 days interval during the first month, and later at 8 to 10 days interval, if there are no rains during the initial two years.
- August :
Weeding should be done at least once in a month during monsoon season to control weeds. Simultaneously the basins around the plant should be made to retain water.
- September :
Apply 10 gms of Carbofuron – 3g granules in the leaf whorls to protect the plant from the attack of Rhinoceros beetles, Black headed caterpillars and Red palm weevil. If slug caterpillars are seen before defoliating the leaves, control them by spraying any contact poison like Carboral 3 gms/ lt or Monocrotophos.
- October :
If any gaps are noticed due to death of plants, it should be replaced by taking up gap filling, which can be done in October or November. If inter crop during June-July is not cultivated, farmers can sow inter crops for rabi season during this month. Observe for the typically V-shaped damage of the crown leaves, which indicates the damage due to Rhinoceros beetle. Control it by hooking it out from the crown and filling the holes with Linden dust and sand vesture.
- November :
Soil working in the basins and mulching to be done with coconut, husk or any other dry leaf matter. Irrigate the plants regularly at 7-10 days intervals. Give first trop dressing in the basin with 125 gms of urea + 250 gms Super phosphate + 425 gms of MOP and irrigate immediately.
- December :
Keep the basins weed free by hoeing and mulching the soil. If Termites are seen at the base of the trunk, control them by spraying Chloropyrephos @ 5 ml/lt. Observe each and every plant for the appearance of small circular holes on the stem with brownish fluid oozing out, and appearance of chewed up fibers in the leaf axils and toppling of crown. It indicates the attack of Red Palm Weevil. Control it by root feeding with Monocrotophos 10 ml / lt of water and prompt removal of the dead and dying plant.
- January :
Ensure regular irrigations at 7 to 10 days interval, and mulch the basins with coconut fiber or husk.
- February :
Ensure regular irrigations at 7 to 10 days interval.
- March :
Apply the fertilizers at least 6’’ away from the plant. Irrigate the pits immediately after application of fertilizers. Apply one basket full of mulch material to control evaporation/transpiration loses and weed growth in basins.
- April :
Ensure regular irrigation through drip or at least once in 5 days interval through basin irrigation.
- May :
Ensure regular irrigation through drip or at least once in 5 days interval through basin irrigation, as well as working the soil to create soil mulch.