|MANGO || GUAVA || GRAPE || LITCHI || BANANA || PAPAYA || SUGGESTIONS || CURRENT STATUS OF FRUITS IN INDIA|
Area & Production
The area under guava cultivation in India increased by 64% from 94 thousand ha. in 1991-92 to 155 thousand ha. in 2001-02 whereas the production increased by 55% from 11 lakh tones to 17 lakh ton n es. Major guava producing states include Uttar Pradesh , Bihar , West Bengal , Maharashtra , Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh
Table-1: State-wise Area, Production & Productivity of Guava during 2001-02
Source: Database of National Horticulture Board, Ministry of Agriculture , Govt. of India .
Guava is grown in both tropical and sub-tropical regions upto 1,500 m. above m.s.l. It tolerates high temperatures and drought conditions prevalent in north India in summers. However, it is susceptible to severe frost as it can kill the young plants. An annual rainfall of about 100 cm. is sufficient during the rainy season (July-September). Rainfall during the harvesting period deteriorates the quality of fruits.
Heavy clay to very light sandy soils having pH between 4.5-8.2 are suitable for cultivation of guava. Good quality guavas are produced in river basins. The crop is sensitive to water-logging.
Growing and Potential Belts
The state-wise growing belts are given in the following:
Source : Database of National Horticulture Board, Ministry of Agriculture , Govt. of India
Land is prepared during the summer season by ploughing, harrowing, leveling and removing weeds.
Plants are vegetatively propagated by budding, inarching or air layering.
Planting is done during the rainy season. June-July is the ideal time for planting the layers and seedling.
The importance of guava is due to the fact that it is a hardy plant, which can be grown on wide varieties of soils including shallow, medium black and alkaline soil. However, it grows successfully on well-drained soils with atleast 0.5 to 1m in depth. The soils should not be very deep, marshy, low lying, having hard pan or water table in the root zones. The pH should be between 5.5 to 7.5.
Guava is successfully grown under tropical and subtropical climate. The quality of the fruits is better in areas having distinct winters therefore guava grown near Allahabad is famous for the best quality fruits. Although guava tolerates drought, protective irrigation facilities are required. It grows best with an annual rainfall around 1000 mm restricted between June and September.
The plants are usually planted at a distance of 5-8 m. The exact planting distance is decided according to variety, soil fertility and availability of irrigation facilities.
Standard spacing is 6 m. x 6 m. accommodating 112 plants/acre. By increasing the plant density, productivity can be increased. In the model scheme, a spacing of 6 m. x 6 m. with a population of 110 plants per acre has been considered which was commonly observed in areas covered during a field study.
High density planting causes erect growth of branches making the plant tall, compact and also gives higher yield/unit area in early years of fruiting.
Square system of planting is generally adopted. Pits of 1x1x1m. size are dug before the monsoon and filled with a mixture of farmyard manure and soil.
Time of fertilizer application depends on the region and crop variety. In north India , fertilizer is applied in the first week of May for rainy season crop and in first week of July for winter season crop. The plants are manured twice a year, first during June-July and second by during October.
A fertilizer dose of 600 g. N, 400 g. K in Northern Region, 260 g. N, 320 g. P and 260 g. K in Eastern Region, 900 g. N, 600 g. P and 600 g. K in Southern Region and 600 g. N, 300 g. P and 300g. K/plant /year in Western Region is recommended.
It is suggested that a bearing guava tree should be fertilized with 300-400 g N, 250 g to 350 g each of P 0 and K O along with 30-40 kg FYM each year. 2 5 2 In case of young plants, the fertilizers may be applied in circular trench along the periphery of the root zone. In case of older plants the fertilizers may be broadcasted over a radius of 120cm from the base and forked in lightly without damaging the roots. The organic manure may be applied as mulch on the surface. Foliar spraying of potassium (as potassium sulphate 1.0 to 2.0%), calcium (as calcium nitrate, to 2.0%) has been found effective in increasing yield and improving fruit quality.
For the first four years FYM is applied in the month of June. Inorganic fertilizers are given in three split doses distributed equally in the months of July, September and February. During the bahar treament i.e. when the irrigation is cut off, along with FYM half dose of nitrogen and full dose of phosphorus and potassium are to be given. The remaining half of the N is given 1to 1.5 months after bearing of the fruits.
Guava is mostly grown under rainfed condition. During winter season, irrigation is provided at an interval of 20-25 days and in the summer months it is provided at an interval of 10-15 days by the ring method.
Amount and frequency of irrigation to begiven depends upon the type of soil, prevailing climatic conditions, especially rainfall and its distribution and age of the trees. No irrigation is required during the monsoon months unless there are long spells of drought. During the first year when the plants are very young with shallow root system, they should be watered even at 2-3 days interval in the dry season. Trees in the age group of 2-5 years should be irrigated at 4-5 days interval. The irrigation interval could be increased to 10-15 days for 5-8 years old plants during dry season. When trees are in full bearing stage, generally 2-3 irrigations are given after the fruit set which results in increased fruit-set and improvement in fruit size and fruit quality. It is advisable to irrigate the mango plants in basins around them to economizing water use.
Drip irrigation has proved to be very beneficial for guava. About 60% of the water used for irrigation is saved. Besides substantial increase in size and number of fruits is observed.
Training & Pruning
Training of plants in young stage is essential in order to build a strong framework and to avoid weak crotches. Fruiting trees are pruned to check overcrowding in the orchard. The plants are trained as low headed trees to facilitate multiple hand pickings. Pruning is usually recommended after harvesting or in spring. Summer pruning is generally avoided as the plants get damaged due to sun burn.
Weeds are usually removed by shallow cultivation. Green manuring is usually done during rainy season. Pre-emergence use of diuron (1.6 kg./ha.), oryzalin (1.67 litres/ha.), simazine (1.6 kg./ha.) or atrazine (1.6 kg./ha.) has been found to be effective in control of weeds in guava orchards.
The orchard should be kept always free from weeds. During rainy season, weeding is done periodically. Light harrowing can check the weeds effectively. The weed growth around the seedlings should be kept down and used as a mulch.
Vegetables and leguminous crops like peas, cowpea and gram can be successfully grown as intercrops
There are three distinct flowering seasons with corresponding harvesting periods-rainy, winter and pring. It is desirable to take only one crop in a year. In South India the rainy season crop is preferred even hough it is of poor quality, since the price is high at this time. In North India , winter crop is of better quality and the fruits also escape the attack of white flies. In Western India , root pruning of guava to regulate the season of harvesting, as is done in the case of mandarins, is recommended in heavy soils only. In lighter soils, withholding of water serves the purpose. This practice is known as bahar treatment .
Use of Growth Regulators
About 80-90 per cent flowers of guava set fruit initially of which 35 to 60 per cent reaches maturity. The formation of fruit-set is noticed after 10-12 days of flowering. Spraying of GA3 at 15 to 30 ppm increased the fruit-set.
Dry leaves or straw are used as mulching material. Mulching can also be done either with black polycthylene sheet or with organic materials. Mulching the soil at least twice a year helps in conserving moisture and improving the fruit quality.
Leguminous crops or vegetable can be grown as intercrops during the first three years of planting provided irrigation facility is available.
The winter crop is much superior in quality compared to the monsoon crop. Farmers often reduce monsoon crop by deblossoming to get a higher price. This is done by growth regulators like maleic hydrazide on spring flush of flowers. Growth regulators like NAA, NAD and 2, 4D have been found to be effective in thinning of flowers and also manipulating the cropping season.
Plant Protection Measures
The insect pests mostly observed are fruit fly, stem borer, bark eating caterpillar, thrips, nematodes, mealy bug and scale insect. Spraying with malathion (2ml.), phosphamidon (0.5ml. per ltr. of water), monocrotophos, dimethoate etc. has been found to be effective in most cases. Apart from that adoption of suitable cultural practices and destruction of infected plants needs to be done.
Fruit Fly ( Chaetodacus sp .) :
The adult of fruit fly lays eggs on fruit during monsoon. Later the maggots enter the fruit and feed on the pulp causing dropping of fruits.
Control : Harvesting fruits during the light green stage, raking soil under the tree, collection of the diseased fruits and bagging of fruit 3-4 weeks from fruit-set helps to minimise the pest attack. Spraying of insecticides like Malathion and Fenthion is also recommended.
Mealy Bug ( Ferrisia varigata, Planococcos citri ) :
The tiny small bugs usually suck sap from twigs, leaves and flowers. Infested fruits will have uneven shapes, poor quality, and are susceptible to secondary infections by pathogens.
Control : Soil application of Thimet and banding the tree trunk with polyethylene film will prevent the nymph to climb up from the soil. Spraying 400-ml neem oil with 50-ml liquid soap in 10 liters of water and repeating the spray after 10 days has been found effective.
Kajji Bug :
Scab (Kajji) like symptoms are observed on fruits due to the infestation of the pest. Wart like formation develops on fruits due to secondary infection caused by decaying organisms.
Control : Spray Carbaryl 50 WP 40g or Malathion 50 EC 20ml/10 liters in water, at early fruitset.
The main diseases reported are wilt, fruit canker, fruit rot, anthrachose and grey leaf spot. Application of Carbendazim / Thiophanate methyl (1g./l) or Kavach / Mancozeb (2 g/l) depending upon the type of infection has been found to be effective in controlling the diseases.
Wilt ( Fusarium sp ) :
A serious disease, the guava wilt, is sometimes encountered, especialy in alkaline soils. The symptoms are browning and wilting of the leaves, discolouration of the stem and death of the branches along one side. Sometimes the infection girdles the entire stem and the whole plant may wilt. In severe cases the entire tree may die.
Control : The infection can be minimized by soil drenching with Brasicol and spraying of Bavistin (0.1%) around the roots and leaves at an interval of 15 days.
Anthracnose ( Gloesporium psidii, Glomerella psidii) :
The affected plants showed signs of die back from the tip of the branch.
Control : Spraying the trees with Copper Oxychloride, Cuprous Oxide or Difolatan controls the disease.
Cercospora Leaf Spot (Cercospora sawadae) :
Water-soaked patches under the leaf are the characteristic symptoms of the disease.
Control : Spraying copper oxychloride at 0.3 per cent can reduce the infection.
Scab ( Pestalotia psidii ) :
The fungus mainly attacks the unripe fruits to produce dark scabby lesions, 2-4mm in diameter. The scab disfigures the fruits and their market value is considerably reduced.
Control : Application of Zineb 20g or Chlorthalonil-20g/10 litres of water at the time of flowering and then subsequent sprays at 15 days interval helps to control the disease effectively.
Fruit drop is a serious disorder in guava resulting in about 45-65% loss due to different physiological and environmental factors. Spraying of GA has been found to be effective in reducing the fruit drop in guava.
Bronzing of guava has been observed in places having low soil fertility and low pH. Affected plants show purple to red specks scattered all over the leaves. Under aggravated condition, total defoliation and fruits characterized with brown coloured patterns on the skin, with reduced yield are noticed.
Foliar application of 0.5% diammonium phosphate and zinc sulphate in combination at weekly intervals for two months reduces the bronzing in guava. Pre-flowering sprays with 0.4% boric acid and 0.3% zinc sulphate increase the yield and fruit size. Spraying of copper sulphate at 0.2 to 0.4% also increases the growth and yield of guava.
Harvesting and Yield
The plants start bearing at an early age of 2-3 years but they attain full bearing capacity at the age of 8-10 years. The yield of a plant depends on its age, cropping pattern and the cultural practices. A 10 year old plant yields about 100 to 150 kg. of fruits every year. If both rainy and winter season crops are taken, more yields may be obtained in the rainy season.
Guavas are harvested throughout the year (except during May and June) in one or the other region of the country. However, peak harvesting periods in north India are August for rainy season crop, November- December for winter season crop and March-April for spring season crop. In the mild climatic conditions of the other parts of the country, the peak harvesting periods are not so distinct.
Guava fruits develop best flavour and aroma only when they ripen on tree. In most of the commercial varieties, the stage of fruit ripeness is indicated by the colour development which is usually yellow. For local markets, fully yellow but firm fruits are harvested, whereas half yellow fruits are picked for distant markets. Fruits are harvested selectively by hand along with the stalk and leaves.