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Organic Guava Cultivation.

Introduction to organic Guava cultivation

Guava is a popular fruit of India. In the field of production, Guava achieves the fourth place among fruits grown in the country. Keeping in mind its nutrition and multi-utility, people call it the apple of the poor. It is beneficial to health. In Guava, Vitamin C is found in high concentrations.

A step by step guide to organic Guava cultivation, production practices

Guava has attained commercial importance in tropics and subtropics because of its wide adaptability to varied soil and climatic conditions. Guava trees produce 1-inch, white flowers that yield to small round, oval or pear-shaped fruits. These are more accurately berries with soft flesh, which may be white, pink, yellow or even red, and which varies in taste from acidic, sour to sweet, and rich depending on the variety. Guava plants thrive in any soil having good drainage capacity, and full sun for best flowering and fruit production.

A guide to organic Guava cultivation.
A guide to organic Guava cultivation.

Different varieties of Guava

The important varieties of Guava are;

  1. Sardar
  2. Allahabad Safeda
  3. Banarasi Surkha
  4. Apple colour
  5. Red fleshed
  6. Chittidar
  7. Seedless

Soil requirement for organic Guava cultivation

The Guava does equally well on to light sandy, heavy clay, gravel bars near streams, or on limestone. It is slightly salt resistant. Good drainage is suggested though; Guavas are seen growing on land with a high water table. For best fruit production, roots must enter well into the soil. For good drainage and full nutrient supply, work in some fertile plant mix rich in organic matter several weeks before planting. If you are not planned before, please stop adding mix or fertilizer. Plant your Guava in a rich free-draining soil having a pH value 4.5 to 7.0. Add lots of manure and compost to the soil and some river sand to make it free draining. This kind of soil is well preferred for growing organic Guava tree faster.

Rich soils with high amounts of organic material are preferred by your Guava, but Guava can grow in a wide range of soil types. Avoid heavy clay soils when possible as they are not conducive to good root development. Good drainage is important, as this tree does not tolerate standing water well.

Guava plant propagation for organic cultivation

Guava is propagated usually through seed however, cuttings, grafting, air layering, and budding are also practiced. Even though Guava is hard to root, investigations indicate that it can be successfully propagated from cuttings under mist. Leafy shoot-tip cuttings of current season growth treated with Indole butyric acid give more than 80% rooting after 6 weeks when planted in sand under mist in the greenhouse from July to August.

Guava seed persists viable for many months. They often germinate in 2 to 3 weeks but may take as long as 8 weeks. Since Guavas cannot be depended upon to come true from seed, vegetative propagation is generally practiced. They are not easy to graft, but satisfactory techniques have been worked out for patch-budding by the Forkert Method, side-veneer grafting, approach grafting, and marcotting the tree can also be grown from root cuttings. Trees grown from cuttings or air-layering have no taproot, though, and are apt to be blown down in the first 2 or 3 years. One of the problems with budded and grafted Guavas is the production of water sprouts and suckers from the rootstocks.

In India, inarching and air-layering have been practiced for many years. Though, trees grown from cuttings or air-layers have no taproot and are apt to be blown down in the first 2 or 3 years. Because of this reason, grafting and budding are preferred. Approach grafting yields 85 to 95% success. In the case of grafting using rootstock, wedge grafting is done.

How to grow Guava organically

Guava is a small, tropical native tree producing delectable green fruit with tender light-yellow or pink or red interior. Grow best in the temperature range of 7 to 32°C. To produce fruit, the mean temperature must remain above 16°C. for up to 6 months. Mature trees can withstand an occasional light frost, but young trees die right away. Choose a site with full sun where the wind does not cross 10 to 15 mph for long periods.

Guava plant spacing

The standard spacing for the Guava plant is 6 x 6 m, which accommodates 277 plants per hectare. It is important to shape the Guava tree after planting. The spacing of the plants in the system based on the availability of water, the fertility of the soil, intensity of sunlight, and wind exposure.

Guava planting method

Guava can be propagated by seed, grafting, branch cutting, and air layering. For commercial cultivation, it is best grafted onto an established root-stock. The Guava seedlings grow very fast if appropriate care is taken.

The Guava tree started from seed will produce fruit in one to three years. Buy good quality seeds from a garden shop. To improve the germination, soak the seeds in water for 10 to 15 days, or boil them for 5 minutes before sowing. This will soften the hard coating of the seeds, hopeful the inner embryo to germinate. Take a small pot and fill the pot with seed raising soil. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch below the soil and water. Keep the soil moist and cover the pot with a plastic wrap to keep a high humidity inside.

Guava fruit seeds germinate at temperatures between 20 to 25°C. If the temperature is low, you can germinate the seeds indoors. The Guava seeds germination takes about 3 to 10 weeks when the tiny sprouts will emerge out from the soil. Remove the top plastic cover. Transplant the seedlings when they are 4 to 18 inches high.

Irrigation or water requirement for Guava cultivation

Guava is mostly grown under rainfed conditions and irrigation is usually not practiced but wherever the irrigation is available, it should be given in October/November and summer. Drip irrigation is very useful in Guava farming.

Organic manure and weed control in Guava cultivation

Neem Khali 6 kg in Guava by adding per plant, fruits are produced along with good quality as well as an increase in production. Dung manure 40 kg or 4 kg With Vermicomposting, 100 gms of biological compost, such as azospirilum with the use of production and production of good quality fruits are produced. The organic manure may be applied as mulch on the surface. Foliar spraying of calcium, potassium, has been found effective in increasing yield and improving fruit quality.

Remove weeds by using tools before flowering and timely inter-culture should be done. Mulching can be done either with a black polyethene sheet or with organic materials like paddy straw, dry leaves, etc. Mulching helps in conserving moisture, controlling weeds, and improving the fruit quality. In the initial years of planting regional recommended intercrops should be grown.

Organic fertilizers for Guava cultivation

Organic fertilize growing Guavas every 1 to 2 months while young and then 3 to 4 times per year as the tree matures. Guava trees need a high amount of nitrogen, potash, and phosphoric acid along with some magnesium for maximum fruit production. An example is a formula of 6-6-6-2, worked into soils just before the onset of the growing season, and then evenly spaced out 3 times during the growth period.

Different organic fertilizers for Guava trees are Azotobacter, vermicompost, mulching, phosphate solubilising microbes (PSM) and Trichoderma harzianum added each year to mineral fertilizers containing NPK and to farmyard manure on leaf nutrient status, fruit yield, tree growth, and quality of Guava grown in low fertile soil.  The productivity of an agro-ecosystem. The integration of organic substrates with mineral fertilizers can have a significant effect on the physical, microbiological, and chemical properties of soil, which are indirectly responsible for supporting plant growth.

How to prune Guava tree

Shaping the tree and removing water shoots and suckers are generally all that is essential. Guavas can take heavy pruning, though, and can be used as informal hedges or screens. Since the fruit is borne on new growth, pruning does not interfere with next year’s crop.

Organic pests and diseases control in Guava cultivation

You may also check this: Custard Apple Cultivation Income, Yield, Project Report.

Pest Control of Guava.
Pest Control of Guava.

Young Guava is attacked by several pests including aphids, Guava whitefly, mealy bugs, moth, scale, and thrips. The Guava tree is attacked by several diseases like a red alga, anthracnose, and leaf spots. Pruning the tree to improve air circulation will be beneficial. Regular copper spray, pest oil spray, or insecticidal soap can control the disease. Sometimes, ants crawling on the Guavas may be a problem. Use Boric Acid Ant Baits to control ants.

  • Fruit flies are a common pest. To prevent these, harvest before the fruit is fully ripe. Pick up any fallen fruit, and make use of fruit fly traps as needed to reduce their numbers.
  • The Guava moth lays eggs on your tree’s leaves. The larvae tunnel into fruit and chew holes in the leaves. These can be treated with a bacillus thurigiensis (BT) spray.
  • Red-banded thrips will cause browning of fruit rinds and defoliation of your tree. Neem oil and sticky traps can keep these at bay.
  • The Guava whitefly also feeds on Guava leaves. Spraying the tree three times a year with horticultural oil will reduce their numbers.
  • Several types of scale insects, including some mealybugs, are fond of Guava wood and leaves. Neem oil or horticultural oil can reduce their spread. Small infestations can be treated by hand with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the pests.
  • Finally, root-knot nematodes can be particularly harmful to your Guava. Reduce their numbers by applying beneficial nematodes to the soil around the trunk and across the root area.
  • Red alga, also called algal spot or algal leaf spot is caused by the fungi Cephaleuros virescens. This condition creates purplish-brown spotting on leaves and can, if severe, cause defoliation and lowered fruit production. Treat with a copper-based fungicide.
  • Another common fungal problem is anthracnose. This can also be controlled and treated with copper fungicidal sprays. Most other leaf spots that appear also are treated with copper. Finally, fungal root rots can develop in overly-wet conditions. Ensure the soil drains readily to prevent this from occurring.

Guava wilt    

Organic control for Guava wilt is;

Follow clean cultivation and strict sanitation in an orchard. Wilted trees should be uprooted, burnt and trench should be dug around the tree trunk. Roots of plants should not be damaged while transplanting. Maintain proper tree vigour by timely and adequately manuring, inter-culture, and irrigation enable them to withstand infection. The pits may be treated with formalin and kept covered for about 3 days and transplanting should be done after 2 weeks. Apply organic manures, oil cakes, and lime. The environmental approach of Guava wilt control is suggested where soil amendment, biological control, and intercropping are effective.

Fruit rot/Fruit canker          

Prune and destroy the dead twigs and fruits. Plant spacing and fertilizer régimes should be managed to avoid unnecessarily dense plant canopy.

Prune old and non-productive branch which may help as a potential source of infection. For managing fruit rot disease good field sanitation (maintain field free of infected dry or semi-dry twigs and mummified fruits of the previous harvest which may serve as primary inoculum. Algal leaf spot can be reduced by maintaining tree vigour with cultural techniques such as proper fertilization and irrigation, proper pruning to enhance air circulation within the canopy and managing weeds, sunlight penetration, and wider tree spacing. Managing insect, mite and other foliar diseases increase tree vigour and lessen susceptibility to algal disease

Dieback/anthracnose

Monitor disease and use of micro irrigation systems. Follow clean cultivation and strict sanitation in an orchard. Use disease-free planting material and implement a good weed control to decrease humidity. Adhere to suggested plant density to reduce competition for sunlight, nutrient, and water.

When and how to harvest Guava fruits

Guava Harvesting.
A guide to organic Guava cultivation.

The Guava fruit matures in 2 to 4 months after the flowers bloom. The fruit remains hard and green but changes color and becomes softer when it is ripe. Fruits picked green will ripen when stored at room temperature.

Guava trees grown from seed may not come into production for anywhere between 3 to 8 years. Guava does not ripen off the tree and it can be difficult to differentiate when the fruits are ready for harvest. The best indication is a color change to the light green from dark and the development of some yellowing on the fruits. Fruit should be harvested every 2 to 3 days to prevent fruit from becoming overripe.

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