Amla or Indian gooseberry is the most famous traditional fruit of India. Rich in vitamin C, these fruits are widely used in medicinal field. From the traditional period, its pickle is very popular in India. Apart from that, it is used in several hair products and toothpastes as well. Hence its cultivation holds prominent place in India where large benefits are guaranteed. In India Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are said to have maximum production. Available in different varieties, amla is widely grown in tropical regions. So, lets see what are the favorable and unfavorable conditions for its cultivation.
Climate and Soil
- Amla is a sensitive plant mostly grown in tropical regions. It doesnt tolerate too much hotness and frost.
- According to farming experts an annual rainfall of 650 to 850 mm is ideal for its growth. For sowing, it requires a temperature range between 24 to 34oC.
- It grows in different soils, especially acidic and salt soils are well suited.
- Also soils with pH range of 6.5 to 9.5 are appropriate for its cultivation. But heavy soils and pure sandy soils are unsuitable.
- As usual land is ploughed to fine tilth and made sure that it is free from previous weeds and other wastes.
- A sufficient amount of Farm Yard Mixture is added at the last round of land digging.
- With 2.5cm deep and 15x15cm dimensions nursery beds are made. Later Pits of one square meter are dug and exposed to sun for two to three weeks to increase the fertility of the soil.
- Generally amla is propagated through budding process. For this, one year old variety with best quality fruit is selected.
- Usually carried in the months of July, these seedlings are transplanted in to the land at a distance of 4.5x 4.5m.
- For protecting the crop from diseases in near future, consult the farming experts and add necessary chemicals to the seedlings.
- Irrigation is must for well growth of this crop, especially at the age of 2 to 3 years.
- While in summer, irrigation should be carried at an interval of 5 days.
- In the period of October to December each plant requires nearly 30 liters of water per day.
- According to experts, drip irrigation would be the most apt one to save water and fertilizers.
- Apart from weed control, Pruning holds a prominent role in amla cultivation to gain a healthy crop. In this process, except top branches all the down branches are removed to ensure better growth.
- During land preparation add 10 kilograms of Farm Yard Manure with top soil followed by a mixture of 100 grams of nitrogen, 50 grams of phosphorous and 100 grams of potassium to every one year old plant.
- Coming to pest and disease control, Bark eating caterpillar is the main threat for disturbing its growth.
- While Rust disease has the potentiality to decrease the yield if proper care is not taken. Consult the experts to find the necessary solution for eradicating these issues.
Harvesting and Yield
- Amla cultivation, if maintained properly last for 60 to 70 years.
- Turning of fruits from light green to yellowish color is the indication of harvesting phase.
- Usually amla plant gets its harvesting age in between 4 to 5 years. But it acquires full maturity after 10 years.
- At an average 60 to 75 kilograms of amla fruits are yielded per tree.