Climate information for Guava Farming .
The crop requires less than the average temperature of India for its growth. The range stays between 15°C to 30°C. Temperatures less than 10°C and more than 40°C are very harmful to the plants and highly reduce the yields.
Guava tree requires a dry climate with an evenly distributed annual rainfall of 1000 mm to 2000 mm. They perform well when there is rainfall at the flowering stage of the Guava trees. However, Guava trees are susceptible to water stagnation, and thus excessive rainfall with the absence of proper drainage leading to waterlogging is very harmful to the plants.
Guava trees are grown best in the tropical and subtropical climates. The tropical climate of the Indian subcontinent is preferable for the optimum growth of Guavas. In a tropical climate, the trees remain evergreen.
Physical conditions like high relative humidity, evenly distributed rain and warm nights with pretty hot temperatures are ideal for the condition of fruit set.
Soil requirement for Guava Farming .
Guava trees can be cultivated practically in any type of soils. But, the best suitable soil conditions are well-drained clay or sandy loamy soils with high percentages of organic matter content. Soils with poor drainage and high basicity/alkalinity should be avoided. The optimum range of pH is from 5 to 7. pH value of 8, and more would result in poor yield. The trees can survive at an elevation of 1600 feet above the mean sea level.
Recommended sowing dates for Guava Farming.
Since it is not a hardcore food crop and essentially grows into a full-fledged tree, thus it can be sown practically in any time of the year. However, for large scale commercial cultivation, the months of February-March in the summer season or August-September in the rainy season should be preferred for sowing the trees.
Land preparation for Guava Farming.
An important task required for Guava farming is proper land preparation. At least 2 to 3 thorough ploughings are necessary for the fine tilth of the soil. The remaining soil clods after these ploughings should be crushed manually by country ploughs or other instruments since it favors germination. After opening up the topsoil, the land is left as it is for 15 days in the sun for sun-drying the weed seeds and the residues from the previous crop which might bear some pests or weed seeds. This will ensure the elimination of the weeds and potential weed seeds. After that, about 20 tonnes of well-rotted farmyard manure (FYM) should be applied and spread evenly on the soil. Then, it should be properly mixed with the soil by means of further ploughing.
The tilled land is then laid into rectangular plots for easy operations. In the plots, pits are dug with the dimensions 0.6 m X 0.6 m X 0.6 m. The pits are then filled with well mixed 20 kg organic manure, soil and 500 g of super-phosphate 15 to 20 days after digging. The normal density of planting is 112 plants per acre with a spacing of 36 square meters (6X6) for each plant.
Sowing methods and tips for Guava Farming.
The propagation of Guava plants takes place both by means of vegetative methods or through seeds. The seeds are obtained from the ripe fruits and are sown in raised soil beds of the nursery. When the seedlings reach a height of 10-15 cm, they are replanted into the main field. But this method is not preferred since propagation by sexual means results in variation in the young plants and they differ from their mother plants in taste, vigor, color and other phenotypic characters. As a result, propagation by vegetative means is widely practiced.
1. Cutting involves a shoot taken from the superior mother plant and then planted in the field where the shoot will eventually sprout a root system and regenerate itself into a full-fledged tree with trunk and bark.
2. Grafting involves the production of a new Guava tree from the rootstock of a strong plant with the scion added from a plant with superior taste and vigor but weak structure.
3. In the layering process, a branch of the old plant is bent into a trench and then covered by soil. After a few days, new roots sprout from the buried part of the plant and then they are disconnected from the mother plant. Also, in the air layering process, scratches are made in a branch of the tree which is then treated with appropriate hormones and then covered by sphagnum moss and other materials for retaining moisture. A few days after, roots and shoots sprout from that part which is then detached and planted in the field.
Irrigation requirement for Guava Farming.
Guava plants are more or less tolerant to dryness, but additional irrigation should always be provided in case of long periods of drought. Irrigation during fruit development shows signs of increased food production. Proper hydration will provide good yields whereas excessive irrigation will result in damaged roots. In general, irrigation is required twice a week in summer and once a week in winter. The drip irrigation system should be used which will increase the yield of the plants and will also provide better water use efficiency for sustainable farming.
Fertilizer requirement for Guava Farming .
Around 20 tonnes of well-rotted farmyard manure (FYM) per hectare land is added during land preparation. However, the total quantity of inorganic fertilizers should be applied in three equal split doses. One-third of the fertilizer is applied in February, another one third is applied in May and the remaining one third is applied in September. The fertilizers are spread at the base of the trunk. For young plants under appropriate conditions, the dosages of fertilizers and manures should be –
· Cow dung at the rate of 10 kg
· Urea at the rate of 40-200 grams
· Superphosphate at the rate of 100-600 grams
· Muriate of potash at the rate of 40-225 grams
For plants above 7 years of age, the dosages should be –
· 50 kg of farmyard manure
· 300 g of urea
· 1000 g of superphosphate
· 400 g of muriatic of potash
Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer are highly essential to the crops for fruiting. Besides those, micronutrients like Zinc sulphate, manganese sulphate. Copper sulphate, etc. are also necessary.
Planting material requirement for Guava Farming.
In total 400 to 600 pants are required for one hectare area.
Best seed varieties for Guava Farming.
There are more than 1000 commercial varieties of Guavas available in the whole world. The important ones among them include.
Allahabad safeda, Lucknow 49, Anakapalli, Banarasi, Hafshi, Sardar, Arka mridula and so on.
Seed treatment for Guava Farming.
No traditional seed treatment is required since Guava seeds are generally not used for propagation.
Best cultivation practices for Guava Farming.
Weed control or intercultural operations – For Guava plants, 4 weedings at an interval of one month are necessary for controlling unwanted weeds since they affect the overall yield of the plants. After every harvest, weeding should be carried out to prepare the field for the upcoming batch. Chemical weedicides like glyphosate at the rate of 2 kg per hectare or paraquat at the rate of 7.5 kg per hectare can also be used in proper limits for better results. Mulching by means of 100-micron recyclable black polythene sheets is also a good alternative for controlling weeds. For organic mulching, 12 to 15 cm thick mulch should be used which will also facilitate penetration of water to the roots of the plants.
Harvesting – The Guava fruits should be harvested when the fruits in the trees show the signs of ripening and start to change the color. Guavas are harvested by repeated pickings since the fruits of the whole tree do not ripen at the same time. Color and taste are two of the most important indicators showing the sign of ripening. After harvest, the Guavas are stored in a very cool and dry place preferably in freezers or cold storages and then are released for fresh consumption in the local and export markets and for further processing in other food processing industries.