BAMBOO CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

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Bamboo can be planted by using culms or poles. It can be planted anywhere because it easily adapt to the kind of soil that has moisture content. Bamboo can be raised with zero mortality if planted along the banks of the river, swamps and creeks in the mountain where the plants were shaded by trees. Bamboo prefers a loose sandy loam soil with good pH level.

Planting bamboos without rhizomes will have a bitter taste. Select a good variety of bamboo that can be served as food and durable materials for many uses. Planting bamboo with the purpose of producing good shoots need to be planted in a hole of 2-1/2×2-1/2×1 meters in dimension, filling it with water. Pre-rooted cuttings should be taken from a year old culms to ensure highest rate of recovery. The best internodes as planting materials should come from two nodes. Internodes that are not hollow is the best.

The recommended distance should be 8×8 meters to allow better spacing. For horizontal planting, the culling are laid in the hole with the eyes at the side, to be covered by 2/3 layer of soil. The vertical planting is done by burying the lower nodes 5 cm below the surface of the nodes. The soil covering should reach the upper half of the next internodes.

Controlling pest and disease is not much of a problem. It can be treated by spraying effective insecticides for pests and fungicides for the disease. Once the planting materials started having leaves, management can only be done once in a while. The plants can easily manage any harsh condition during the time of its growth. Bamboo is a water-reliance plant. They can grow well with plenty of water for the roots to take.

Avoid planting bamboo along other kinds of crops where the presence of bacterial disease is common. Recommended fertilization rate is 150 kilograms nitrogen, 40 kilos phosphorus, 100 kilos potassium per hectare. But it does not follow if you only plant less than a hectare. Pro-rating will be done for those few trees being planted.

Weeding around the planting materials should be done on regular time. If the soil is lack of needed nutrients for the effective growth of the bamboo, then supplying fertilizer to the soil is a necessity. If the soil is very fertile then the application of fertilizer is no longer necessary. Other alternative is putting organic fertilizers, a natural way of enriching the soil by using other means like compost, rotten plants and others. It can be placed under the soil in a hole near the cuttings.

To avoid drying the area where the cuttings is planted, mulching is best to the roots and rhizomes. Let the leaves of trees cover the plants and the surface around it to prevent the moisture to slip away. Using dried grass as mulch is also helpful. It is rich in nitrogen and silica for use as ground cover.

Bamboo can be planted any day of the year. To control the spread of bamboo to another place especially if it started to bear new shoots, the use of concrete barrier about 30 feet deep is the solution. If the rhizome encounters the barrier, it will turn and go down. In filling the hole after placing a barrier, compact the soil next to the barrier. Any soil changes can be added only as top coat.

Most bamboo has tiny leaves losing a lot of moisture by transpiration. Watering is a must in the first month of its growth. Daily watering it yields a better result. Always keep the roots and leaves moist. You can do shading of the bamboo from the heat of the sun.

LEMON CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

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Lemon can’t tolerate extreme cold. They are over-sensitive to the damaging temperature. The can survive during wet and dry weather.

They are well-adapted to different soil types. Provide the site with enough internal drainage. Look for a site that is not prone to soil-borne diseases. See to it that the field can easily be irrigated to provide enough water for the plant.

They are slow to grow in heavy clay soils but respond best in a soil that contains heavy concentration of organic matter, animal manure and compost. They will attain optimum growth and high-yielding capacity.

Look for a variety that can tolerate extreme weather condition, fungal diseases and pests infestation. Look for a variety that can bear larger and seedier fruits and less acidic are mostly preferable.

Although costly, the easiest way to have propagation materials is to buy in commercial nursery with the age of growth ready for planting. You don’t have to wait enough time to propagate. But if you intend to economize then budding is the best choice to serve as planting materials.

You can use sour orange as rootstocks. If not available, you can look for another class of orange that is suitable as rootstocks materials. Seedlings can also be used but more slower to grow.

Make elevated rows in one-hectare field. Furrows will serve as drainage or canal during the irrigation effort. In planting the budded seedlings, make a hole enough for its size quite deeper for the root to position properly. Remove the polybags containing the seedlings and place it on the designated hole in the row.

Sprinkle, gently jet water to the potted seedlings to have enough moisture before in contact with the soil. Raise the soil to form a mound around the planted seedlings for protection against over-watering.

Don’t form water ring around the plant permanently. This is to avoid development of soil-borne diseases (foot root) to cause the plants to wither and die. Be sure that the bud union should not be covered by the soil. It should be higher from the surface.

It is better to have mixture of topsoil, compost or manure in the hole before putting the budded seedlings. It will help the seedlings to have enough organic matter in the soil to grow fast as organic materials are natural fertilizers in itself. Put soil half-way in the hole after planting and water the hole so that it can be absorbed slowly by the soil. Then close the hole and mound the soil.

No pruning is necessary as it has the ability to develop its natural foliage without affecting the general structure of the plants.

Water the plants every few days for the period of one or 3 weeks then increase the watering every 9 days for the next several months. The purpose is to induce the plants to have firm stand on the soil and help the peripheral roots to take deeper to the soil and form additional subsidiary roots. Watering should be done slowly and thoroughly in couple of weeks.

Eliminate all kinds of weeds completely to prevent competition on moisture and soil nutrients. The newly planted seedlings need all the requirements to be able to establish position in the soil. You can use herbicide to the soil to kill all the emerging weeds but be sure that the herbicide will not in contact with the stems and leaves of the plant. It should be applied away from the seedlings.

For greater protection, make a shield around the plant by using heavy aluminum foil or polyethylene plastic during the spraying of herbicides. Cover them completely. Point the sprayer directly to the ground. It should not be in higher position to avoid the mist from the sprayer to be in contact to the plants.

Be sure there is no wind around that will bring the mist closer to the plants. Do not use mulching. It was the main cause the plants contracted soil-borne diseases.

Before applying fertilizer, bring the soil in your farm to the Bureau of Soils (government agency) to analyze the pH level so that the right kind of fertilizer is used to correct any soil deficiency to save time and effort of applying fertilizer that is not effective for the plant.

In case the deficiency is ammonium sulfate (21-0-0), use 1 cup to split the application into 4 during the first year per plant. You need enough fertilizer to be able to fertilize all the growing seedlings in the field.

Use 2 cups of ammonium sulfate fertilizer (21-0-0) on second year, 3 cups in 3rd year split into 4 applications for one seedling only.  The method is to scatter the fertilizer on the ground around the tree not very close to them and water thoroughly for absorption.

Lemon tree will mature when the color of the skin becomes yellow but the best juicy part is before it changes its color. The fruit can stay longer in the tree even  they are already fully matured. But to have better marketing value, it should be harvested immediately.

Please note that the fruits is very sensitive to bruising, thereby shortening the life of the fruits. Pick the fruits early in the morning or late afternoon carefully. Do not harvest during the onset of rain or raining. If the fruit is wet, wipe slowly to remove the water but not to bruise the skin.

 

 

 

TURNIPS CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

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It is a root crops. The color of the leaves are usually light green, hairy in form and thin. The roots has no neck with distinct tap roots. They can grow in normal cool weather condition (temperature) where they can tolerate. They are cool-season crops whenever they can survive in even in relatively low temperature.

Best to plant in friable, moderate deep but with high concentration of fertile soil, containing lots of organic matter (compost, animal manure). It has maintained pH level of 6.0 to 6.5. Subject your farm to soil testing to determine the kind of fertilizer.

Choose a variety that are tolerant to pests and diseases. Choose a variety that are high-yielding, can be harvested early.

Prepare the land thoroughly. Plow and harrow the field 3 times until better soil texture is attained. Good cultivation removes all the emerging weeds. The dormant weed seeds will be prevented to germinate. To avoid water logging, prepare small drainage canal between elevated rows for easy passage of water especially during rainy season. Remove all the blockage in the canal especially weeds. Remove them and keep the area clean.

Use multiple rows in raised seedbed to utilize the planting field to maximum potential. The measurement of the raised bed is 5 feet wide. Drill the seed 1/2 inch deep and 4 inches in row. Distance between rows is 15 inches apart. With the distance, it will give uniform growth and better pathway during harvest. If thinning is needed thin the plants 4 inches apart in the row. Secure a seed that is already treated with chemicals for the prevention of pests and diseases.

For an effective fertilization to the plant, it is highly recommended to undergo soil testing. It is the only way to have correct assessment of the condition of the soil in your farm. Once determined, the best type of fertilizer will be used.

If the soil deficiency is being acidic, application of lime will restore the balance in the soil and ready for planting. The assistance of the local agriculturist in your area will ensure that fertilizer application will be carried out based on the established guidelines for the plants to grow well, healthy and in marketable quality.

To control emerging weeds, do a shallow cultivation around the plants. Too deep will damage the root system. Take extra care in loosening the soil. See to it that the rows are always clean to discourage pests to inhabit. If your cultivation effort is not enough due to the size of the farm, you can use herbicides to assist in preventing the weeds to grow.

Point the nozzle of your sprayer directly to the weeds but away several inches from the plants. See to it that the plants will not touch the chemicals. Put the concentration of your spraying closer to the ground so that the mist of the chemicals will not affect the plants.

Water the plants every 7 days from the day it was planted until they mature. The soil should be given abundant supply of water as required. The plants are dependent for fast growth and high quality harvest.

An effective control measures can prevent aphids, beetles and maggots to become a serious threat to the plants. Use an effective but mild insecticides not harmful to humans. Follow the proper rate of application found in the label of the bottle under manufacturer’s recommendation. Don’t deviate to the existing guidelines instead dispense it consistently the to the schedule given.

As preventive measures, as the plants grow, starts using fungicides so that the disease will not develop. Most often, the common diseases are anthracnose, leaf spot and root knot that if not attended at the first sign of the disease will affect the entire population of the plants resulting to lower yield and unmarketable quality. If the contamination is severe, you have to remove all the affected plants and burn them so that the spread is controlled.

Harvest the plants as it reaches 2 inches in diameter for bunching. Turnips that are topped should be harvested upon reaching 3 inches in diameter. Its tops are washed and tied in bunches (6 plants per bunch). Topping is the removal of the leaves from the fleshy roots. Harvest before pithiness begins.

 

 

CULTURAL MANAGEMENT OF MANGO

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Best to be planted in tropical areas. It has colorful, large and very delicious to eat. It has rounded canopy, low in height, dense foliage upright with branches uniformly structured.

Well-adapted in sub-tropical and lowland tropical environment. Dropping of temperature during rainy season may affect the growth of small branches, twigs and leaves of the plant. If the temperature to drop even more, the flowering and fruiting of the tree will be severely affected and damaged. It can tolerate normal winter season.

Mango tree will grow in its natural state as long as there in good drainage system in the field. Too much water in the soil can be drained out of the field. What remains is the soil moisture enough only on the growing plants. Too much exposure to water will give the soil-borne disease to take advantage and prosper.

The best soil type noted to give mango the liberty to grow unhampered, robust and health if it is sandy loam soil or any other type of soil that has enough organic matter (compost, manure).

The mango tree can tolerate minor flooding in temporary nature. The only weakness of mango tree is soil that is acidic and composition. Its sensitivity to extreme cold put mango to a halt but once the weather condition is good under full sun or during dry season, the tree will recover and kick a new start.

There are many varieties of mango. The best variety grown by commercial growers is carabao mango. It has thin skin, perfectly formed in medium size, the sweetest of all the sweets if fully ripe. It has better eating quality, higher yield and strong sweet aroma. The color will begin to be heavy green then light green and in full maturity (ripe) is yellow. They are susceptible to many soil-borne diseases but it can be controlled as long as action be done immediately to treat the first sign of disease. It is only a matter of management habit to care the plants properly and religiously.

The best propagating materials to raise mango is through grafting. It can be done after there are enough seedling rootstocks from any mango variety whose root system is hard and well-structured.

The first step is to prepare seedling root stocks. Procure seeds from any variety, grow them in the nursery. The seeds were placed in the polybags of enough size. Let them grow until they can attain the required size to become rootstocks. This is then grafted to the scion of the carabao mango until the process of grafting is finish, careful management should be observed until the attachment is fully healed and the scion will start growing new leaves and branches dependent on the rootstocks of other kind of mango.

The advantage of grafted mango is that it can grow fast and beat fruits in earliest possible time. In the planting the seeds as rootstocks, the pit (fibrous stone) should be removed from the seeds. The seeds are planted where in concave edge should be down an inch deep in the potting medium. Use good kinds of soil to avoid stunted growth.

It will germinate two to three weeks. It needs 6 months to have enough grafted seedlings when the diameter of the plant will reach quarter of an inch.

Spacing should be 12 feet x 15 feet between trees to give enough nobility of the trees to have its natural foliage without crowding branches of other trees. Transplant the grafted seedlings if enough leaves are developed. Make a hole enough to place the seedlings. Remove the polybags out of the seedlings to expose his root system.

Be sure that the peripheral roots touches the soil. Cover the hole with soil halfway (temporary) to facilitate watering. The water will slowly seep by the soil underground reaching the root system to have the needed added moisture to start to establish.

Close the hole completely then raised the soil around it to form as a mound. This action is to avoid the water to accumulate and stay longer around the plants especially during rainy days. Watering to the plant should be controlled to avoid soil-borne diseases to formed.

Water the transplanted seedlings 2 to 3 times in the first week. Then reduce the frequency twice for several weeks. Check the condition of the new planted trees. If it needs more water to establish a better firm stand then water the plants as often as needed.

Construct a temporary water ring around the plants, few inches away from the plants just for the purpose of watering. The advantage is that the water is confined only on the water ring. It conserve moisture and avoid wastage of water. It can easily seep underground slowly. Then remove the water ring to form part of the mound.

Subject your land for soil analysis. Determine what kind of soil it has, the pH level of the soil, its soil deficiency. This will be your basis to apply the right kind of fertilizer. If the deficiency is about ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) then fertilize your land following the established schedule: 1/2 cup monthly in the first year of growth, 1 cup per month for the second year and 2 cups per month on the 3rd year. This fertilization is for 1 grafted seedlings only. You have to procure enough ammonium sulfate to be able to serve all mango seedlings in your field.

Scatter the fertilizer few inches away from the plants. Water the plants slowly and thoroughly so that it will seep deeper to the ground. The root systems needed water the early days of their growth.

The watering schedule to the new planted grafted seedlings is these: 2 to 3 times the first week of growth, 1 or twice per week for several weeks. Construct temporary water ring in circle around the plant few inches away. Put water to it. The water will be seep slowly.

The purpose of the water ring is to shield the water from spillage while seeping deeper on the ground. It has advantage to avoid wastage of water. Then return the soil in the water ring to form part of the mound. This is to avoid unwanted holding of water during rainy days. Waterlogging is the favorite place of the soil-borne diseases to proliferate. It is one of the preventive measures for this diseases.

Eliminate all emerging weeds after transplanting to prevent weeds to compete with the plants in getting soil moisture and nutrients. Make periodic cultivation to the vicinity of the plants few feet away to loosen the soil as the tree grows.

If the weeds persist to control the field then its time for you to apply herbicides by spraying. Be sure the end point of your sprayer should be directed directly to the ground and not to the plant. Minimize the mist not to affect the leaves of the plants or they will die. One good protection is to shield the young trees by using polyethylene plastics. It is a good cover to prevent accidental misting to the young plants.

Using organic mulch like rice straw is very helpful to eradicate weeds in the soil and weed seeds to germinate.

Any sign of pests infestation should be observed. Apply the recommended insecticides rate of application to prevent the pests to damage the new leaves of the plants. Powdery mildew is very damaging pests.

Any sign of disease (fungus) contamination should be handled without delay before the disease destroy the flower panicle, twigs and the developing fruits. Apply fungicides following the recommended rate of application.

Pruning is not necessary. Mango tree will form its foliage in natural state without using pruning. The only activity to be made is getting dead small branches and twigs.

The grafted trees will begin to bear fruit in the 3rd year of its growth. The matured trees will produce fruits every year increasing its yield. It only needs 100 to 150 days for the fruits to develop from flowering up to maturity when the fruits are ready to harvest. The best color to commence harvesting is when the skin turned from green to light yellow but not ripe.

The sweetest taste of the mango are those that ripen on the tree. For commerical purpose, mango fruits should not be allowed to ripen in the tree to prevent unmarketable value.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALAMONDIN CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

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A small tree that stands erect with upright branches. It has oval, broad and dark green leaves. Each fruit has average of 8 segments. The rind is very thin. The juice is not pleasing to taste because of its acidic nature. It is good to use in flavoring smoke fish. The fruits are small and beautifully rounded. Its height will reach 8 meters for matured tree.

Good to plant in sandy soil with rich organic matter. It is easy to raise them. They preferred in cool environment. It is ideal to plant in elevated areas, hilly portion of the land because they are not tolerant of waterlogging. Too much moisture will damage the root system of the plant and most often they die because of fungal disease called root rot.

If planted in hilly areas or elevated portion of the field, do hand cultivation if plowing or harrowing is not possible. Be sure to cultivate the soil properly. If planted in plain field, plow and harrow the field 3 times to loosen the soil finely for good soil texture. Good cultivation can remove all emerging weeds, grasses and weed seeds to germinate.

Construct elevated rows or beds to where seedlings are placed. Makes small internal drainage or waterways, small canals in between the line of rows. The land should be near the water source (rivers, water pump, well) easy during the watering of the plants.

It is propagated by seeds. It can also be budded or grafted. Grafted or budded seedlings can be bought in commercial nursery. A plant raised by seeds can live longer. It can’t bear fruits in short span of time because of the nature of its planting materials.

A budded or grafted seedlings can bear fruits in the matter of few years with higher yield. But the lifespan is shorter compared to seedlings. It may take several years before the seeded tree can bear fruit. But once it started to flower it will continue to fruit the whole year round.

If seeds are used, broadcast the seeds to wooden seedbed. The soil to use should be fertile  soil. If the seeds grow enough for several months, transfer individually or two in every polyethylene bags or bagging medium. It needs several months to care by fertilizing and watering. Any emerging weeds in the bagging should be remove. Place the seedlings in raised wooden platform easy to care for the duration of its growth.

A good maintenance care can produce seedlings that are healthy and robust. If they grow enough, prepare the bagging for scheduled transplanting. If budded or grafted trees are used, purchase it from fruit nursery nearest your area. Although quite costly especially you have to procure enough planting materials for your one hectare lot but you can assure that you will no longer wait for the budded and grafted tress to grow, you can immediately plant them without delay.

If you want to have the initiative to make your own budded or grafted trees, its alright if you know how to bud or graft. If not, don’t try, it’s laborious and delicate to raise them. It has low success rate to propagate them especially if you don’t know how to do it properly. Only those professionals can raise them successfully.

It is better to plant in the beginning of rainy days to save watering. Dig a hole 40 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters deep. Remove the polyethylene plastic bags or the bagging medium from the seedlings to expose the root system.

Put organic soil mix with compost. Put the seedlings inside the hole. See to it that the root system is in touch with the soil. Fill the holes completely. Form a mound around the plants so that the water from any source will not water log the root system of the plants.

If planted during dry season, fill the holes only halfway during the planting so that you can water the plants effectively. The water will be seep underground slowly penetrating the roots of the plant then seal the holes completely with soil then mound.

Plant the seedlings in elevated rows in the field.The planting distance is 5 meters between plants. In between should be spaced more to allow the construction of small canal in between rows of plants. A good internal drainage can easily remove excess water in the field. It is also to facilitate easy mobility during the weeding. No need to make a canal if the seedlings are planted in the hilly or elevated areas.

One month after planting, start your fertilization of the plants. Apply 50  grams of ammonium sulfate around each plant. Your other option is to use complete fertilizer (14-14-14) NPK to ensure that soil deficiency is corrected. Fertilizing the plants should be done every 4 months. During the second years of growth, increase the quantity to 200 grams every tree.

The same quantity will be used per tree every 4 months. As the trees reaches 4th year, apply complete fertilizer (NPK) 14-14-14 to condition the plants during the fruit bearing stage and to increase its yield during the fruiting. Use fertilizer 500 grams per tree.

At the start of eight years of fruiting, the fruit yield will slowly decrease. It is now time to assist the plants with complete fertilizer to boosts up its yielding capacity. Use 2 kilograms per tree in the period of 3 times every year (during rainy season, before flowering, 2 months after it flowers and after the harvest.)

Supporting the plants with nutrients will continue the plants to have good bearing capacity. When fertilizing, dig small hole few inches distance not too close to the plants and then close the hole to avoid fertilizer to waste during watering.

A better pest and disease prevention is the only solution to prevent them to damage the plants. A diseased tree can be known by the following signs: rugged edges on the bark, retards their growth, sucked the sap of the tree to cause the leaves and fruits to fall, the tree started to wither and later on die prematurely, savaged cuts and zigzag marks on the bark of the trees and the pests feed the leaves of the plants.

If visible sign of pest infestation found the apply the recommended application of pesticides to kill aphids population and others like purple and clover scale, citrus bark borers.

If visible sign of disease contamination is found, apply fungicides under the recommended application to control the spread. If severe, cut and remove the tree and burn them somewhere to kill the disease or parts of the tree that are severely affected especially if the branches are severely affected from citrus canker, scabs and gummosis.

In case the pest damage the bark of the tree that cause a disease called gummosis, a dark sticky substances or oozing out gum either the trunk or branches, remove the affected ones. If the trunk is severely affected, remove the tree. If not, spray it with chemicals directly to the damaged parts.

Your regular spraying schedule should be: during the new flushes of growth were developed, during the flowering or blooming period, until the fruits are half-mature.

The plants needs sufficient moisture during the period of their growth. Make watering schedule after transplanting. To effectively and slowly absorb the water underground, make temporary water ring made of soil few inches away in circle around the plant. Water the plants inside the ring. As soon as the water is completely seeped in, the soil in circle will now part of the mound around the tree.

Do not over-water the plant. Water only as necessary especially during hot weather (dry season). The plants can’t tolerate water logging. They can easily get soil-borne diseases. During rainy days, remove the water that hold in the drainage canal. Drainage should be free from standing water. Observe the condition of the plants. Evaluate the soil moisture. If too dry, then water the plants regularly. Controlled watering is the only way for the plants not to get the disease.

Remove all dead branches or twigs in the plants so that it can regrow into new one.

Cultivate the rows of plants from the emerging weeds as often as necessary. Don’t allow the weeds to hamper the growth of the plants.

Loosen the soil around the plants so that whatever weed seeds are trying to germinate, it can be prevented through hand weeding. The drainage canal should be clean at all times free from any debris.

In case the hand weeding effort is not enough to clean the entire field then apply herbicides to the remaining concentration of weeds. Spray directly to the weeds. The nozzle of the sprayer should be away from the plants during spraying. Avoid too much misting. One way is not to spray during windy period for the air not to carry the mist to the plants.

For better protection of the transplanted seedlings, cover them with polyethylene plastic during spraying to avoid the chemicals to contact with the plants. Cut the grasses adjacent to the planting field close to the ground. Remove the materials (debris) out from the land to avoid accidental fire.

By cutting it deeper to the ground will discourage the pests and other harmful insects to take residence. Fewer or no weeds around will mean fewer insects to inhabit the area.

The fruiting stage is one year or more after planting (budded/grafted). For seeds are much longer. Use sharp scissor to remove the fruits. Prevent bruising the fruit’s skin as it cause to rot. Ensure that the leaves and branches of the trees are not damage during the harvest. Include few inches of stem attached to the fruits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAGONFRUIT CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

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Prepare the land thoroughly. Plow and harrow the field 3 times to have good soil tilt. Make the soil has finer texture. Good cultivation can remove all the emerging weeds and weed seeds. Construct smaller drainage canals in between rows to keep the field from waterlogging.

Subject the soil in your farm for soil testing and analysis. The Bureau of Soil in your area can help you determine its specific pH level and the type of soil deficiency. With these, you can apply the correct fertilizer to the plants.

Use good fertile soil. It should be rich in organic matter with pH level between to t0 6. Prepare seedlings. Use plastic bags as bagging. Put 2 seeds in the potting medium. Use top soil during the bagging. Water the bagging daily for fast germination. Allow several weeks until the seedlings have ideal measurements for planting.

Before planting, prepare wooden posts as poles. It is necessary as the plants have shallow rooting system. The concentration of roots are at the top about 30 centimeters of the soil. The transplanting distance should be 3 meters between wooden poles and 4 meters between rows. Plant 4 seedlings around each post. The distance of the plants to the post should be few centimeters at the angle leaning toward it and not away from it. If the seedlings have well-formed and extensive root system then plant 15 centimeters away from the post. Select seedlings that have good rooting system and make necessary adjustment to be near or away a little from the post.

As usual, apply organic fertilizer during the planting. The net application of fertilizer should be 3 months after. Use only handful quantity of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) to the transplanted seedlings. Application of fertilizers will continue every month as the plants are growing. As optimal requirement, use spray foliar fertilizer every 2 weeks during its vegetative growth, the highest point of its development.

As the plants are approaching one to 2 years old, another application of fertilizer per plant every year with the quantity of 200 grams nitrogen, 100 grams phosphate and 15 grams of potash. If the plant reaches 3 years, the rate of application should be 500 grams nitrogen, 200 grams phosphate and 500 grams potash each plant. As it reaches 4 years old, rate of application should be 1,000 grams nitrogen, 500 grams phosphate and 800 grams potash per plant every year because of its increase nutritional requirements.

Use insecticides in the event of insect infestation that will destroy the health of the plants. Schedule of spraying of insecticides will depend on the degree of its damage. As preventive measures, spraying once a month is recommended.

As the plants are already fully grown, start pruning to have open, manageable and productive umbrella-shaped canopy as the starting point for the plants to flower. Maintain weeding as often as necessary in radius 30 centimeters in diameter from each post. It is helpful to prevent insects and other harmful pests to take residence to the leaves of the plants or to overgrown grasses.

During the next season of planting, use cut stems as planting materials instead of seeds. It is best if there are already enough trees to where planting stems can be taken. The duration of training them ready for transplanting is short compared to seeds.

Watering is important during the growth of the plants especially if the seedlings are newly planted and root system has not yet establish in the soil. If the rooting structure is already solid and firm, the frequency of watering will be reduced. Water the plant during fertilization and when the plant has signs of fruiting. For new planted seedlings, watering will commence after few days when soil started to dry to prevent collar rot.

During harvest season, the fruits should be in red color and the navel end is showing sign of swelling or cracking. Another indication is more or less 30 days after the flowering stage. Each plant bear less than six fruits a year. After harvest, the fruits can be stored for 40 days with relative humidity of 90 percent.

APRICOT CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

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Please note that there are many soil types in different areas of the filed that can’t be known visibly. Soil analysis is important to determine pH level more appropriate to the growth of the plants. Whatever your decision will be based on facts the nature of the soil and not a wild guess that somewhat costly in terms of management of time and effort.
Apricot is best suited to a well-drained soil, deep and has better tilt. It was found that any of this soil types are best for its fast growth and development: clay loam, loamy, combination of sand & loam (sandy-loam) and loamy sand. There are other soil types that are difficult to manage especially in handling soil moisture.
The fruit will severely affected by high concentration of salt. Others are susceptible to bacterial and fungal disease. It is wise to know all of it first before making your choice. With better soil analysis, you can expect better management practice and higher yield. High percentage of nematode infestation can be prevented that will cause the trees to have stunted growth and poor fruit quality and yield.
Cultivate the land thoroughly. Plowing and harrowing should be done thrice to be able to have good soil tilt free from the emergence of weeds and an even soil surfaces with fine texture. The cultivation should be deep enough to have better mixture of tap soil and the deeper level of the soil for good combination and promote good distribution of water to the field.
Look for variety that doesn’t need pollination as it can self-fertilize its own. It should be a variety has that can give higher yield and availability of fruits most of the time. The growing trees can be handled easily during thinning and pruning. The rootstocks should be more tolerant to sudden change of weather condition and more tolerant against bacterial diseases.
Prepare the nursery several months before effecting land preparation. The purpose is to have enough seedlings for transplanting ready for your selected farming schedule. It is also to give time to produce a variety more desirable for planting. Getting a suitable variety and healthy root stocks will produce healthy plants for better yield.
Better spacing of plants in the row can accommodate higher densities of plant population and shorter trees. It was highly recommended spacing of 20 x 20 feet or 22 x 22 feet. Develop 18 rows in 1 hectare land with spacing of 14 x 16 feet distance between planted trees. Avoid overcrowding that will only affect the growth of the plant.

With shorter trees, it is easy to maintain during thinning, pruning and harvesting. Conduct close supervision during the entire period of growth of the plants most preferably planted during warm and dry season. Wet condition during planting growing period will be susceptible to many kinds of diseases especially in the leaves and fruits of the plants.
Irrigate the plants in the row evenly.

See to it that the quality of water should be clean and free from unnecessary debris, free from toxic elements especially sodium and boron. Water the plants the early days of transplanting until the plants have firm and structured stands watering may slow down based on the normal watering schedule.
It is best to have raised bed of the plants in the row so that water flooding in the lower level of the beds can accommodate enough water for distribution especially during hot and dry season where the plants are mostly needed of water. Hot weather during fruit development will cause premature softening and ripening if watering is not enough.
Remove all the competition of soil nutrients. Uproot all emerging weeds that can slow the growth of the plants especially growing young trees.

The middle row or the center of the raised beds should be mowed and cultivated thoroughly to remove weed seeds that will start to germinate during watering. Planting cash crops between the rows of the trees is helpful to provide shelter of useful insects against the pests of the plants.
Fertilize the soil as soon as there is abnormality in the color of the leaves of the plants as indication of its soil deficiency. Application of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) NPK is warranted if needed especially during the period of the plants growth. Apply foliar spray of zinc to restore deficient soil. Apply potassium fertilizer every 4 years or earlier.
Early sign of pest infestation should be closely recorded. Monitor and evaluate the degree of the damage and apply early control measures to prevent the spread. Most of the disease appeared during wet season. Enough preventive action should be done especially during blooming and fruiting stage. Common diseases are brown rot and twig blight. Apply fungicides and pesticides based on manufacturer’s recommendation. Make the field clean from weeds anytime. Remove all grasses around the field that will serve as habitat of damaging pests.
Pruning is important to prevent the trees to go to unwarranted height. Train the plant to develop strong foundation of branches to support the fruits. Prune the trees every year. It will develop a good, healthy, consistent and uniform yielding of fruits with better fruit size. If the branches of the trees are heavily laden with fruits, make enough support by using bamboo poles tied with a rope to protect the branches to break.
Put fungicides to the pruned stem or branches to protect the wound from possible infection during rainy season. If possible do the pruning during dry season for the wounds to heal easily. Prune the branches to control heavy foliage that will serve as habitat of pests. Thin the fruiting branches to have better and bigger fruit size. Too much fruits concentrated in one branch will only lessens the size of the crop or smaller fruits are common.
Pick the fully matured fruits based on size, color. Make the harvesting early in the morning to protect the fruits from heat to minimize fruit bruising. Separate the smaller one from the bigger market size fruits.