Papaya Cultivation Practices
Papaya Cultivation In India
Papaya, papaw or papita (Carica papaya L.) originated from tropical America, has become a popular fruit due to its fast growth, high yield, long fruiting period and high nutrient value as well.
In addition it has been use as vegetable, fruit processing, and papain production at immature stage. It can be a highly profitable crop now. The papaya plant has male, female, hermaphrodite (bisexual flower) and some other complex forms.Male plants do not bear any fruit, Normally the fruit shape from female plant is shorter, but the fruit shape from hermaphrodite (bisexual flower) plant is longer.
CLIMATE AND SOIL CONDITION
Papaya is a tropical, plant, very sensitive to frost. Optimum temperature is 25 - 30° C and minimum 16° C. The suitable ph value is between 6 and 6.5. The well-drained or sandy loam soil with adequate organic matter is most important for the papaya cultivation. In high rainfall area, if drainage is poor and roots are continuously drenched for 24 to 48 hours, it may cause the death of the plants. Sticky and calcareous soils are not good as rain water may accumulate in the soil even only for a few hours. In this case, higher raised bed and drainage ditch are recommended. The growing field should be irrigable and kept at suitable soil moisture which is necessary for the growth of papaya plants, although dry climate at the time of ripening is good for the fruit quality. Continuous cropping in the same field may result to poor growth and cause disease problem of papaya trees. Papaya does not like strong, cool, hot, dry or salty wind. It is better to grow in sheltered but full sunshine place. Staking and/or windbreak can decrease the damage to plants under strong wind.
The seed must be from dependable source and sown as soon as possible. The remaining seeds must be sealed tightly and kept at cool (5 -10° C) and dry (under relative humidity 40%) place.
One gram contains about 50 - 80 seeds, mostly 65 -75 seeds. It needs 50 to 80 g seeds per hectare at one plant per hill average of 80 % seed germination and 80% successful seedlings.
The time of sowing depends upon the choice of fruiting season and danger of rain or frost.
The optimum temperature is 21 - 27° C, and of radical emergence is 19 - 29 °C. it take 1 - 4 weeks from sowing to emerge depending on the temperature. The seed may be treated with Thiram (TMTD) W.P. before sowing to control the fungus diseases at young stage.
It may be sown directly, but normally, it is better to be seeded to raise seedlings and transplanted.
1. Plastic bag or soft plastic pot sowing:
Transparent plastic bag in 8 - 9 cm wide and 8 cm wide and 8 cm high or black soft plastic pot is used for raising seedlings. Drainage hole is required. Then fill with the mixture of sandy loam virgin soil and sand at the ratio3: 1. Sow 1 or 2 seeds each bag (pot)and cover with well fermented compost, then water fully. Cover the bags (pots) with plastic film or thatch such as straw sheets or used jute bags to keep warm and wet till emergence. Meanwhile, keep the air fresh and moist, and then remove the cover gradually for fitting the seedling under the sun shine. 2. Seedling Tray sowing:
The use of plastic seedling tray is new way of seedling culture to obtain the healthy seedlings which are easily for the transporting and transplanting. The Tray size may be 74 to 82 holes at 4.5 cm each in diameter. Fill the prepare media in the holes, sow 1 to 2 seeds in each hole, and cover the layer of media. Other procedures are similar to plastic bag (pot) sowing. For purposes of controlling aphid, viral infection, rain and wing protection, and maintaining tolerable temperature during seedling stage, it is required to use screen house,greenhouse or tunnel covered with 0.07-0.10...