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Establishment and Management of Cashew Orchards
Suitable area for cashew cultivation
Whether cashew can be grown in maidan regions like Hassan and Tiptur?
Cashew can be grown in maidan tracts like Hassan and Tiptur where the soil type is red sandy loam or red loam or black mixed red clay. Soil fertility and texture and water holding capacity of these soils is better than the soils of west coast region which is the traditional cashew growing area. In maidan tracts the only limitation is less rainfall and absence of pre and post-monsoon showers. Irrigation once in 15 days (@200 litres/tree) during peak summer season is highly beneficial in these areas. During winter season, heavy dew fall in the morning and extreme dry condition in the afternoon causes nut dropping. This could be avoided by irrigating the crop and growing tall windbreak tree species all along the border of the cashew orchard.
Why some of the trees growing in rocky patches are yielding more and also the quality of nuts produced in such areas are good?
It is observed that single tree growing in rocky patches yields better. Here the roots enter through cracks developed and reaches the soil available below and absorb sufficient nutrients. Since other trees are not present in the surroundings, there is no competition for sun light, soil moisture and ground space. All these reasons contribute for better yield and quality of nuts.
Whether cashew can be grown on hill slopes?
Cashew can be grown on hill slopes if soil and water conservation measures are taken up right from the beginning. Planting of cashew grafts should be taken up across the slope. Terracing (2m radius) should be done around each plant preferably from the first year onwards by cutting soil from the upper portion of the slope and filling the lower portion so that soil around the plant is flattened. A catch pit of 2 m length, 30 cm width and 45 cm depth should be opened on the upper side of the terrace. Catch pit will trap the water from the slope of hillock, store it and allow it slowly to infiltrate into the soil. Top soil eroded from the exposed portion of hillock also gets trapped in the catch pit.
Why some trees grow robust while others are not?
This may be due to differences in depth of soil (in some place hard murrum / laterite patch may be present) or difference in soil fertility or the plantation must have been established with seedlings. If plantations are established with grafted plants, this type of variation is minimum.