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Nursery Management, Selecting of mother palms & seed nuts

Planting coconut seed nut directly on the field is not recommended and seedlings reached up to 7-10 months, laid in a nursery are only recommended for the field establishment. In this process it enables to grow seedlings vigorously and uniformly.

Method of Nursery Management

01. Selection of the Nursery Site. Proposed land should be flat and low gradient. Soil should be well drain sandy or sandy loam soil. Adequate amount of sunlight, scattered shade and water source in close proximity are fundamental factors in selecting the land. Uniform level of shade can be provided by establishing a Gliricidia fence.

02. Nursery Beds.
Width of the nursery should be decided based on the feasibility of management practices including routine activities. Length of the nursery can be determined by the length and shape of the lands. It is feasible to have 5 seedling layers per one bed. The seed bed should be averagely 15–25 cm above the ground level while distance among two seed nuts layers should be positioned at 25 cm distance. Seed nuts should be laid in trench in which the depth is 10-15 cm. The distance between two adjacent seed nuts should be 15 cm. Seed nuts place horizontally and simply cover with soil so that upper surface of the seed nut is merely visible. Seed nuts that are laid in any trench should be placed in to one direction and opposite direction to the adjoining rows.

03. Moisture conservation in Soil bed
Normally Coconut fronds or 3-5 cm dimension coir layers can be utilized as mulch for the seed bed. If in case coir dusts are used as a mulching material should rotate the material. In areas where above components are not freely available, can shift to saw dust, paddy husks and weed thrash as a mulching material.

04. Irrigation
Regular application of water is compulsory under dry weather conditions. Watering is necessary if there is no rain continuously for about 6 days, watering should be done at least once in four days (0.25 mm of rain is received it be considered as a rainy day).

05. Weed control
Weeding helps in moisture conservation of the seed bed and reduce the impact on seedbeds. Therefore it is essential to practice weeding once a month or twice corresponding with the prevailing weather conditions.

06. (I) Termites attack.
Considerable impact is done by termites in seed nurseries. Further, termites highly damage to seed nuts by attacking the kernel parts. Therefore great attention is required in this regard. Recommended pesticides Dosage

  1. Seed nuts should be soaked 3 minutes in 20 % cloropyrifos, 3-5 ml mix in one liter of water.
  2. Spread to the soil 15-25ml of 20% cloropyrifos mix in 5 litter of water is adequate for one square meter of land, to be spread

07. Removal of non germinated seedling
It allows to laid seed nuts for about 5 month time until it germinated in the seed bed. Seed nuts which are failed to germinate will be removed after 5 months time. It is believe to be that, 80% of seed nuts become germinate after 5 months from laying.

08. Removal of low quality seedlings Laid seed nuts start to germinate 2½ months from laying and allow them to grow until 5 months time. Once rejected seed nuts are removed from the field, germinated seedlings are removed after 7 months times from the laying when disease affected and low quality seedlings are removed from the nursery. Seedlings which are completed 7 months are recommended for field establishment.

09. Production of poly bags seedlings

  1. Nursery preparations of Seed nuts Seed nuts should be laid vertically in a pre nursery until they produce a sprout and transfer to poly bag.
  2. Mixture of poly bag seedling The mixture should compose of surface soil, cow dung and coir dust. Areas where coir dust is not freely available saw dust can be used instead of it. When using saw dust aware on fungal diseases which seedling are prone to be.Ratio of the mixture Top soil 3 Part Cow dung 2 Part Coir Dust 1 Part
  3. Material used for poly bag Black polythene with 12’’ 6’’ is used to prepare this poly bags.

Selecting of mother palms & seed nuts

In order to full the annual seedling requirement existing model gardens are not adequate. Therefore high quality seed nuts are selected from identified seed gardens. Approved types of hybrid seedling by nurseries of the board
  1. Tax x tall - DT
  2. Tall x tall - TT
  3. Morock tall - MT
  4. Plus palms - PP
This procedure is as follows.
  1. First identity high yielding lands.
  2. Out of them find out high yield blocks.
  3. By applying relevant agronomic practices for that block select high yielding plants.
Morphological features of a good palm.
  1. Stout, sturdy & straight (erect) stem and closely set leaf scars.
  2. Short leaves in the crown should be in a spherical orientation should compose with 25-30 fully opened fronds with bunches in different ages.
  3. Petiole of seed bunches should not be lengthy and should strong enough to hold bunch of seed nuts by fronds and medium sized sufficient number of nuts should be in a bunch.

Lands which composed of above mention palms should process below mention criteria.
  1. Land extent more than 5 acres.
  2. Production of 3500 nuts per acre per year and 55 mature palms per acre should be remaining in the land.
  3. Bearing palms with the age of 15-45 palms.
Selecting mother palms done methodically after a studying of all factors above mention.
  • Exclude palms which shows unusual morphological futures.
  • Collect 03 seed nuts randomly from those palms and record the weight of a seed nuts (husk is removed) and should be more than 2100g.
  • Palms which are selected in that should be marked properly as plus palms.
  • Selecting of the nursery.
  • After selecting high quality palms. Pick seed nut separately from selected palms (Never allow to mix the selected seed nut with seed nut which harvest from un selected palms).
  • Next pest attacked seed nuts should be removed and cover to protect from sunlight until send them to the nursery.