Coconut Farming; Planting, Growing, Care, Harvesting

Coconut Farming Info Guide for Beginners:

The following article talks about the farming of coconut farming techniques, and ideas.

Coconut Farming
Coconut Farming.

About Coconut use in India:

Coconut plays a major role in the economy of India. Apart from the importance of copra and coconut oil which is widely used in the manufacture of soaps, hair oil, cosmetics, and other industrial products, its husk is a source of fiber which supports a sizable coir industry. The tender nut supplies coconut water, a popular thirst quencher of health and hygienic value which is a multi-crore business all over India. Virgin coconut oil (VCO), extracted from fresh coconut kernel without any chemical processes is abundant in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants, thus making it the ‘mother of all oils.

Hybrid Dwarf Coconut Tree.
Hybrid Dwarf Coconut Tree.

The agro-climatic conditions for Coconut Plantation:

The coconut palm is found to grow under varying climatic conditions. It is essentially a tropical plant growing mostly between 20oN 20oS latitudes. However, a rainfall of about 2000 mm per year, well distributed throughout, is ideal for proper growth and maximum production.

Soil is Suitable for Coconut Trees

Coconut is grown under different soil types such as loamy, laterite, coastal sandy, alluvial, clayey and reclaimed soils of the marshy low lands. The ideal soil conditions for better growth and performance of the palm are proper drainage, good water-holding capacity, the presence of water table within 3m and absence of rock or any hard substratum within 2m of the surface.

Varieties of Coconuts:

malayan-orange-dwarf
malayan-orange-dwarf.

There are only two distinct varieties of coconut, the tall and the dwarf.

The tall cultivars that are extensively grown are the West Coast Tall and East Coast Tall. The dwarf variety is shorter in stature and its life span is short as compared to the tall. Tall x Dwarf (TxD), Dwarf x Tall (DxT) are the two important hybrids.

There are 10 different combinations of hybrids, developed by Kerala Agriculture University and Tamil Nadu Agriculture University and released for commercial cultivation. They are high yielders under good management conditions. Laccadive Ordinary, Andaman Ordinary, Philippines, Java, Cochin-China, Kappadam, etc. are the other tall cultivars under cultivation.

Read: How to Extract Sunflower Oil from Seeds.

Preparation of the Soil for Coconut Plantation:

Land Size of the pit depends on the soil type and water table. In laterite soils, large pits of the size 1.2m x 1.2m x 1.2 m may be dug and filled up with loose soil, powdered cow dung and ash up to a depth of 60 cm before planting. In loamy soils, pits of size 1m x 1m x 1m filled with topsoil to a height of 50 cm are recommended. While filling the pits, two layers of coconut husk can be arranged at the bottom of the pit with a concave surface facing upwards for moisture conservation. After arranging each layer, BHC 10% DP should be sprinkled on the husk to prevent termite attack. In laterite soils, common salt @ 2 kg per pit may be applied, six months prior, on the floor of the pit to soften the hard pans. 3.5

Spacing between Coconut Plants:

Plant Spacing
Plant Spacing.

Generally, a square system of planting with a spacing of 7.5 meters x 7.5 meters is recommended for coconut. This will accommodate 177 palms per hectare. However, a spacing of 7.5 to 10 m is practiced in various coconut growing regions of the country.

In Coconut Farming, spacing depends upon the planting system, soil type, etc. In general, the following spacing is recommended under different planting system in sandy and laterite soils.

Planting system The spacing between coconut plants
1 Triangular 7.6m
2 Square 7.6×7.6m, 8x8m, 9×9 m
3 Single 6.5m in rows – 9m between rows
4 Double Hedge 6.5 to 6.5m in rows – 9m between pairs of rows

 

Planting Material and Planting Methods of Coconuts Crop:

Planting Material & Planting Vigorous seedlings which are one year old, having a minimum of six leaves and girth of 10 cm at the collar level should be selected for planting in the main field. Early splitting of leaves in the seedlings could be a criterion for selecting good seedlings. However, 18 – 24 months old seedlings are preferred for planting in waterlogged areas.

Coconut Plantation.
Coconut Plantation.

In Coconut Farming, before planting the pits are filled up with topsoil and powdered cow dung/compost up to a depth of 50 to 60 cm. Then take a small pit inside this, so as to accommodate the nut attached to the seedling. Plant the seedling inside this pit and fill up with soil. Press the soil well so as to avoid water stagnation. If there is a chance for white-ant attack apply Sevidol 8G(5gm.) inside the small pit before planting. In laterite, areas apply 2 kg common salt per pit for improving the physical condition of the soil. Burying 25 to 30 coconut husks per pit in layers will be useful for moisture conservation.

Best Season for Coconut Plantation:

Planting the seedlings during May with the onset of pre-monsoon rain is an ideal time.

Irrigation Requirement for Coconut Plants:

Coconut responds well to summer irrigation i.e. summer irrigation @ 40 liters per palm per week will increase the yield of nuts by 50%. Under basin irrigation, 200 liters per palm once in four days will be beneficial. In areas where water is scarce drip irrigation system can be adopted. The quantity of water recommended for drip irrigation in coconut is 66% of the open pan evaporation.

Manuring Requirement for Coconut Trees:

Regular manuring from the first year of planting is essential to achieve higher productivity. For coconut 20 – 50kg. organic manure should be applied per palm per year with the onset of the southwest monsoon when the soil moisture content is high. Different forms of organic manures like compost, farmyard manure, bone meal, fish meal, blood meal, neem cake, groundnut cake, etc. could be made use for this purpose. In addition to this, the following Fertilizer Schedule is recommended.

Fertilizers Requirement for Coconut Plants:

Read: How to Make Green Leaf Manure.

The fertilizer schedule recommended for the palm at different stages is as follows:-

Fertilizers Chart.
Fertilizers Chart.

Intercropping in Coconut Orchard:

In Coconut Farming, to maximize the utilization of soil and sunlight in the coconut garden, intercropping can be adopted with a variety of crops like pineapple, banana, elephant foot yam, groundnut, chillies, sweet potato, tapioca, etc. up to 8-10 years. During 10-22 years of age of the palms, a crop like colocasia which can tolerate shade can be cultivated. In older plantations, perennials like cocoa, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg can be grown as mixed crops along with intercrops. Mixed farming by raising fodder grasses such as hybrid Napier or guinea grass along with leguminous fodder crops in coconut garden has been found to be profitable which can support the rearing of milch animals.

Harvesting of Coconuts: 

Ready to Harvest
Ready to Harvest.

Coconuts are harvested at varying spans in a year. The frequency differs in different areas depending upon the yield of the trees. In well maintained and high yielding gardens, bunches are produced regularly and harvesting is done once a month. Coconuts become mature in about 12 months after the opening of the spathe. It is the ripe coconut which is the source of major coconut products. Nuts which are eleven months old give fiber of good quality and can be harvested in the tracts where green husks are required for the manufacture of coir fiber. The economic life of the coconut plant is about 65 years.

The yield of Coconuts:

Coconut Dwarf Variety.
Coconut Dwarf Variety.

The yield depends on the variety and conditions under which it is grown. The average yield per hectare varies from 10,000 to 14,000 nuts per annum.

Read: How to Grow Broccoli in the Home Garden.

Marketing of Coconuts:

It’s very easy to market as it has always in demand. big product companies may buy or you market them to local wholesale dealers.

Bottom Line of Coconut Production:

Coconut Farming is beautiful and is really Profitable Farming. Depending on the yield, your land value goes up in the open market.

Read: Vanilla Farming, Planting, Growing Methods.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Can you please suggest me what are profitable crops to cultivate in water logged lands? In my field the water will be logged for 4 months a year. Please suggest me the profitable crop in this scenario.

  2. There are stories that it’s best to plant your nut tree three days before or after the full moon…. does this have any effect on the tree?

  3. I am a beginner in coconut (dwarf variety) planting. Can you advice what organic and also chemical fertilizers is/are recommended for better faster growth and good abundant fruiting? My soil types are, a little bit sandy, clayey, alluvial and loamy. Weeding the weeds in between: what do you recommend, using weedicides, if so, what types/brands and if spraying, how far from the tree?

  4. What is 18 patta Keralian coconut tree. Pls give suggestions for its plantation & maintenance. Can I plant it in big pot? How long will it take to give coconuts?

  5. I am a coconut farmer for about 30 years and I would like to seek your advice of how to increase the yeild and make coconut cultivation more profitable.I have planted my garden@ 3meters apart for each tree.The age of the trees would be about 30-35 years old.

  6. I water the field by drip irrigation and I have stopped using fertilizers for the past 5-7years and using only crowdung ,goatpellets,neem cake mixed with groundnut cake,Panchkavya and vermicompost.and controlling the rhinosaur I use Kottomuthu (castor seed)punnakku and for controlling weevil Beatles 10ml of monocrotophos through the roots of the trees

  7. I am from Pune India. Can you please suggest to me where I can get the Dwarf variety of coconut tree saplings. I want to plant them on 1 acre.

  8. I have a coconut tree which is almost 14 ft high. I planted it around 20 years ago and it has grown well till today. The big problem that I have is that it does not yield coconuts! The small fruit appears in bunches on all four sides of the top tree, but withers and dies soon. What could be the problem?

    The leaves are healthy and so is the tree. Kindly help me or else I will have to cut the tree down.

  9. Can you please advise, Will plugging tender coconut reduces the life span of the trees or any other damage will happen to the trees

  10. I want to start a coconut plantation in Mauritus and I would like to have some simple advice and information
    -about how to grow
    -look after
    As I have never done it before.
    Your support will be very much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Ravi

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