Nutmeg planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of Nutmeg is Myristica fragrans Hoult.; it belongs to the family Myristicaceae

Varieties: Local.

Soil and climate: Friable, well drained clay to red soils is suitable. Can be grown up to an elevation of 1000 metres with 150-250 cm of rainfall, humid tropical climate.

Season and planting: Seeds or grafts are used as planting material. Seeds germinate in 4 to 6 weeks. Plant 12 - 18 months old seedlings in pits of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm size and filled up with equal parts of forest soil and cattle manure. Spacing of 8 m x 8 m either way. Season of planting is June – December. Nutmeg grafts are better than seedlings. Plant the grafts in the same way as seedlings.

Manuring: Apply FYM 15 kg, N 20 g, P 20 g, K 60 g per tree during first year and FYM 50 kg, N 300 g, P 300 g, K 960 g for adult trees in two splits June - July, September - October. Apply 50 g in each of Azospirillum and Phosphobacterium one month after manuring.

Irrigation: Irrigation is given once in 5 - 7 days during summer months.

Aftercultivation: Keep the area around the plant weed free. Regulation of shade is important. It requires medium shade especially during the initial stages of growth. Fast growing shade trees or banana are planted in between them a few months prior to planting and can be thinned out later. It can be grown as mixed crop with arecanut and coconut. In Arecanut plantations, nutmeg can be planted after every third row of Arecanut.

Plant protection
Loranthus sp: It is a serious plant parasite affecting the growth of the nutmeg plant. This can be controlled by mechanical removal of the plant parasite. Remove severely affected branches.
Twigs of nutmeg trees may also be removed along with the plant parasite and paint with Bordeaux paste.

Harvest: The bearing starts from six to seven years after planting. The mature fruits when they start splitting are harvested. The aril commonly known ‘mace’ and ‘seed’ are separated and dried.

Yield
Fruits : 1000 - 2000/tree
Dried nuts : 5 - 7 kg/tree
Dried mace : 0.5 - 0.7 kg/tree.

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