Plum Farming In India: What, Why & How?

Plum Farming In India: What, Why & How?

Climate information for Plum Farming.

Plum is a temperate crop. It requires a temperature below 7 degree Celsius for its growth. It requires chilling hours nearly 300 to 1000 hours. The ideal temperature of growth is 20 to 30 degree Celsius and it requires a rainfall of 200 to 300 millimeters.

In India, it is mostly grown in hilly areas like Jammu Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.  Plum grows well when it is subjected to chilling temperatures in plains. Plum is tolerant to frost and high temperatures up to 45 degrees.

Soil requirement for Plum Farming.

Plum grows well in sandy loam to medium soils. Well-drained soils are ideal for plum cultivation. The ideal pH of the soil should be 5.5 to 6.5.

Plums can tolerate high pH but its growth is retarded in waterlogged soil conditions.

Recommended sowing dates for Plum Farming.

Sowing of seeds is mostly done in the month of November.

Land preparation for Plum Farming.

The soil should be free of hardpan and for this deep ploughing must be done in the field. The field should be then harrowed to break any large clods and land must be levelled. Pits must be made in the field to plant trees in the orchard.

Plum Farming

Sowing methods and tips for Plum Farming.

Plum is commercially propagated through vegetative propagation by hardwood cutting the cuttings and dipped in 100 ppm indole butyric acid for 24 hours before planting to enhance the routing. The cuttings selected should be of pencil thickness and length 15 to 20 CM.

In the case of planting by seeds, the seeds must be extracted from the plum pulp in the month of may and dried. Sow the seeds in lines in the nursery during the month of November and cover them with a 5 cm thick layer of sand. The seedlings are transplanted in the nursery and light irrigation is given. After one year, the seedlings can be grafted with the desired varieties.

Plum Farming

The spacing should be 30 cm× 10 cm in the nursery. Whereas in the orchard the spacing should be 6m × 6m in the hexagonal system of planting.

Irrigation requirement for Plum Farming.

No irrigation is required during the rainy season. Plum cultivation requires sufficient moisture in the root zone during its growth period. To ensure this, light irrigation should be given during the summer season at an interval of one week. During the winter season, the interval of irrigation is increased up to 20 days. Irrigation must be stopped during the blooming and ripening stage in December to January to ensure proper fruit set.

Fertilizer requirement for Plum Farming.

The plant should be given 5 to 10 kg FYM up to 1 to 2 years of age along with 50-100 gram urea, 60 to 120 gram SSP and 25 to 50-gram MOP per plant. As the plant grows the quantity of FYM and fertilizers should be increased. When the plant attains 7 years and above age, 40-kilogram FYM per plant along with 300-gram urea, 400 gram SSP and 200-gram MOP per plant should be given.

To overcome micronutrient deficiency znso4 and feso4 must be mixed @ 1.5 Kg of each in 500 litres of water along with 0.5 Kg of lime.

Planting material requirement for Plum Farming.

To plant seedlings in the orchard approximately 270-280 seedlings are required per hectare.

Seed treatment for Plum Farming.

The seeds must undergo a period of chilling hours to ensure better germination, this is known as stratification. The planting materials used for grafting must be treated with indole butyric acid at the rate of 100 ppm to ensure rooting.

Plum Farming

Best seed varieties for Plum Farming.

  • Satluj purple- it is an early ripening, self-incompatible variety and requires other varieties to be planted along with it to give fruit. The fruits are crimson coloured, medium-sized and weigh nearly 26 to 30 gram. The pulp of fruits is yellow in colour with TSS of 12 to 14% and acidity of point 6 2.7 %. The average yield is 30-40 kilogram of fruits per tree.
  • Kala amritsari- it is a vigorous variety that gives dark purple coloured fruits. The pulp of the fruit is yellow in colour with TSS between 13 to 15% and acidity of 1.1 to 1.3 %.  The average yield is 50-55 kilogram of fruits per tree.
  • Aloo Bukhara- it is a self-incompatible variety. The fruits are bigger in size and yellow to orange coloured epicarp is present. TSS is nearly 15% with the acidity of 0.6-0.7%.

Best cultivation practices for Plum Farming.

  • To prevent the attack of white ants apply 10 ml of chlorpyrifos in one litre of water to each plant, 20 days after planting.
  • Training of the plants should be done so that they can bear heavy fruits. The main stem is headed back at the height of 90 m to practice the modified leader system of training.
  • Pruning of old shoots and irregular grown shoots should be done to prevent disease infestation and allow proper nutrient translocation.
  • Plums can be intercropped with mung, pea, gram etc.
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