Custard Apples are the most essential seasonal fruits liked by all section of people around the world. These fruits are very rich in carbohydrates and mostly grown in tropical climates with cool conditions. Except the kernels of the seeds every part of the fruit is very helpful for our health. In India its cultivation is carried in almost 5500 hectares of land. Most commonly farmers grow these plants on hilly areas. Its cultivation is very easy and more profitable. So lets see what are the different phases of its cultivation in detail.
Climate and Soil type
- Custard apple suits for different climates, especially hot and dry climates give more yield. But at the time of fruiting, it generally requires high humidity levels.
- This crop even with stands in high drought conditions as well as rainfall areas. According to farming experts annual rainfall of 55 to 85 cm is said to be ideal for these crops.
- On to soil type, custard apple grows on almost every land except the lands that are not well drained.
- To get more yield, farming experts suggest to consider the deep black soils as they possess good drainage capability.
- Custard apples are generally propagated by seeds. In recent times so many methods like budding are invented to obtain the seedlings more quickly with high yield.
- Usually the planting of custard crop takes place during rainy season. At this time, the land also becomes more fertile giving rise to more yield.
- Depending on the soil type the pit sizes are made, most commonly farmers suggest to dig the pits of size 5x5m. At this rate you can plant at most 400 plants per hectare.
- Later each pit has to be filled with sufficient farm yard manure with single super phosphate and neem to ensure more fertility.
- Custard apple does not require heavy watering as it is a rain fed crop.
- But at the time of flowering consistent irrigation is required till the monsoon starts. Also make sure that the land is out of low humidity as it decreases the pollination and fertilization levels in the plant.
- For healthy growth of the fruits farming experts suggest to adopt drip irrigation method so as to increase the level of humidity in the soil.
- A rain fed crop like custard apple does not require any additional fertilizers but adding sufficient biomeal ensures high production.
- At an average 250 grams of nitrogen, 125 grams of phosphorous and 125 grams of potassium is required per plant during rainy season.
- After the plant reaches to 5 years of age, experts suggest to treat each plant with 450 grams of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium.
- Weeds show great impact on the plant growth, hence every time make necessary arrangements to eradicate this problem.
- To ensure maximum yield and well being of the plant, adopt different inter culture crops like ground nuts and grams at every season of the crop.
- Make sure to avoid different birds and squirrels as they decrease the count of output drastically.
- Apart from that, pests like Bacterial Canker, Silver leaf, Drills and diseases like rust, gummosis, Powdery mildew also affect the yield at higher levels.
- Consult the experts and take necessary steps to avoid the above said pests and diseases.
- It is the crucial stage for this crop and should be done with more care and proper study. Usually most of the farmers start harvesting during the months of August to October.
- According to experts, start this process when the fruits turn more fleshy with slightly yellowish color.
- At an average a well grown tree gives 90 to 110 fruits weighing nearly 250 to 450 grams.
- The fruits ripen within 2 to 3 days of harvesting and one should market before that period itself.