Irrigation Details

.Nutritional Value Date Palm Fruits:

 

 Date fruits assume great importance in human nutrition owing to their rich content of essential nutrients which include carbohydrates, salts and minerals, dietary fibre,vitamins, fatty acids amino acids and protein. They have enormous scope and potential for use as food for generations to come due to their remarkable nutritional, health and economic value. The nutritional value of dates is due to their high sugar content (around 50-60%), potassium (2.5 times more than bananas), calcium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins (Bi , B2) and Niacin. Dates are natural and healthy, have a high energy level and zero cholesterol. Dates in comparison to other fruits offer a good source of energy.

 

Area/Climatic/Soil Conditions Required:

 

Date palm is cultivated in arid and semi arid regions which are characterized by long and hot summer with very low rainfall and relative humidity during the ripening period. A long summer with high day temperature, mild winter without frost and absence of rain at the time of flowering and fruit setting with low relative humidity and plenty of sunshine hours with very good source of water for irrigation are required for its successful cultivation.

    Date palm is not selective in its soil requirement. For higher production it requires well drained sandy and sandy loam soil with good moisture holding capacity. Soil devoid of proper drainage and aeration is not suitable. Among fruit crops date palms are most tolerant to salinity (upto 3.5mmhs/cm). Optimum soil conditions are found where water can be penetrate to at least 2 meters depth,Ec of 4 mmhs/cm and pH < 8.5 can be suitable.

 

SPACING AND PIT PREPARATION:

 

lt is difficult to prescribe definite plant spacing but there are specific factors influencing the spacing such as:

To allow for sufficient sunlight when palms are tall; To allow for sufficient working space within the plantation; and To provide sufficient space for root development.

The modern commercial Date Palm plantations in Middle east and other regions are using a plant spacing of 9 m X 9 m (121 palms/ha) or 10 m X 8 m (125 palms/ha). However in India the growers have succeeded in planting a spacing of 7.25m X 7.25m (190 palms/ha).lt is recommended that a pit of 1 m X 1 m X 1 m to be prepared and the top soil from the pit be mixed with 10 Kg FYM + 2 Kg vermicompost, 20 Kg organic fertilizer (cakes), 2 Kg SSP/Gypsum, 2 Kg DAP (The exact amount and types of fertilizers to be applied will be determined by soil analysis). The soil mix is then put back in to the pit, where after the site is clearly marked for positioning of the small date palm plant and keep about 15 days with watering before planting.

 

SELECTION OF TISSUE CULTURE DATE PALM PLANTS&TIME OF PLANTING:

 

Tissue culture plants with 2-3 pinnate leaves, having good root system are excellent for transplanting. TC Plants can be planted throughout the year except very cold winter months i.e. December-February. The planting depth is critical because the "heart" of the plant should never be covered with water. The  golden rule is to ensure that the greater diameter of the bulb of the plant is at the same level as the soil surface after transplanting and to ensure that the water does not go over the top of the plant

Immediately after transplanting, a basin is prepared around the palm to prevent run-off and to ensure a sufficient supply of water to the plant. When using a micro irrigation system, it is recommended to have a basin of approximately 3m in diameter and 20-30 cm deep. The basin should have a slight downward slope towards the plant to allow the water to reach the root system of the young plant.The young plant should be protected from harsh climatic conditions and animals for the first year. The use of a shade net cover or a tent of date leaves is recommended.

 

IRRIGATION AND WATER REQUIREMENT:

 

Date Palm is a water loving plant, but it can tolerate salinity to its highest level. Immediately after transplanting the palm should be irrigated to limit transplanting stress. The irrigation frequency is soil type dependant, but on very sandy soil it requires daily irrigation during the first summer (30-40 liters/plant). Heavy soil will require irrigation once or twice a week, while in most soils irrigation is required every second or third day. The frequency of irrigation varies according to the climate. The following schedule can be adapted: 1-2 years (30-40 lits./Day),2-3 years (50 lits.) 4 (100 lits.) 5(150 lits.) 6 (200 lits.) 7 (300 lits.).

 

POLLINATION:

 

The female inflorescence will emerge in the month of February to March and Pollination can be done by dusting male inflorescence over fully opened female spathe (within 2 days of spathe opening).Keeping 2-3 standards of male inflorescence in the female  spathe also desirable Normally pollen from one single male tree is sufficient to pollinate 10 female trees. The mature male spathes (about to open) are cut from the tree remove the cover and store in shade for 24 hours. The pollen will be detached, which is ready for pollination.

 

PLANT PROTECTION METHODS:

 

Red palm weevil is most important hidden enemy of the palms. Young palms are more prone to weevil attack and point of attachment of offshoots to mother palm is the entry point in majority of the cases.Regular scouting is very much needed as there are no external symptoms initially. Adult weevil lays eggs and the exposed tissues. The grubs penetrate inside and chewed fibers will be thrown out with a oozing of a viscous brownish liquid in later stage is the only external symptoms. lf detected early, the palm can be saved by removing all the grubs and keeping either Aluminum phosphide tablets or cotton swabs dipped in DDVP and plug the hole with clay for air tight. Keep the orchards clean and spray insecticides Q (Chlorpyriphos 0.1% or carbarayle 0.1% or cypermethrin 0.1% ) after every horticultural operations.Pheromone traps can be installed with proper food bait, which will help to monitorthe insect.

POTASSIUM-609.0mg

MAGNESIUM-60.0mg

SODIUM-10.0mg

IRON-2.0mg

VITAMINS(TOTAL)-036mg

 

 

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