Lemon is a renowned member of citrus fruits and it is extensively cultivated in Pakistan. It has a unique shape, size, color, and taste. Lemon is a yellow-colored fruit with a beautiful odor.
Lemon loves to grow in subtropical nature. As you might notice, Kinnow is the sweetest fruit among citrus and loves the winter season to make its size, color and taste. The same is with the lemon. Now, lemon is attracting its growers with new varieties with climatic adaptability and higher market price.
If you’re looking for high-density lemon farming then you have visited the right place. Because we’re going to discuss how lemon farming can make your business more profitable on time.
Why high-density plantation is important
In high-density plantations, plant-to-plant and row-to-row distances become half of the actual plantation. In this way, you can grow more plants and resultantly double the production.
Progressive farmers and growers are adopting this technique. Because the grower’s priority is more production. For lemon farming, many varieties are in the market. You can go ahead with any of it but I would recommend the seedless lemon. While it is another adventure to hunt the good variety from the market at the right price. So, you can do this.
Lemon is an evergreen fruit
All citrus fruits are evergreen which means they can be grown throughout the season. There are many varieties of lemon like Chinese, Mexican, Malaysian, and others. They are all good and up to mark. Choose the best time before the onset of summer and monsoon season. Remember, these climatic conditions are subtropical.
As we adopt the HDP technique, we need to estimate the number of plants per unit area. In this technique, plants have a distance is 10×10 or 12×12 ft. Through which you can grow 300-400 plants per acre. In ultra high-density technique, you can distance plants 8×8 in ft and resultantly double the number of plants up to 800 plants per acre.
Management is everything in HDP
In the HDP technique, the number of plants increases per unit area. Therefore, an increase in cropping density increases the labor requirements as well. Maintaining the plant’s height and spreading is the second mandatory step in HDP. Therefore, use the optimum distance with the plant to plant and row to row.
Despite training and pruning, other cultural operations like spray, fertilization, and irrigation become challenging.
Choose the best lemon plants from the nursery
Choosing lemon plants is more important. For doing this, two types of plants from a nursery are grafted or air-layered plants. Grafted plants mature late and start maiden bearing after three years whereas air-layering plants mature after 1.5 years.
Choose seedless lemon varieties which are healthy, and vigorous. Another thing to know is that grafted plants are inferior in quality and take dual time for bearing. Therefore, air-layering plants are the best to choose from.
This is a quite critical step for orchard development. The land is prepared thoroughly. For this purpose, remove the debris and remains of previous crops. Do not burn the crops remaining but rotavate and mix up thoroughly by digging with subsoilers and rotavate plowers.
In this way, remains will remain in the land and become part of organic matter. As you know that land preparation is critical therefore prepare with its satisfaction level. After soil pulverization, dig holes up to three ft depth with proper distance (10×10 or 12×12) ft.
Enlight these holes for almost a week duration so that they could easily absorb the sunlight and kill the unwanted microbes in sunlight. After that shift your nursery plants in the holes with great care.
It becomes better if you plan to feed nutrients with half of FYM and half with chemical fertilizer. Therefore, I will add a new technique which is the fermenter technique. Give phosphorus and potassium during the land preparation whereas nitrogen is in splits.
A newly growing plant needs more care than older plants. That’s why to give nitrogen once a month with irrigation. FYM manure applied before land preparation for one month and you know why. Which keeps decomposing and retains soil productivity during the season. Whereas, flood or broadcast nitrogen in the form of urea or ammonium sulfate during critical stages.
Give nitrogen with 1-1.5 kg per plant rate during February-March, then in April or in August/September.
The fermenter is an addition to soil productivity
A fermenter is a container filled with fresh cow dung and running water. Nutrients are applied to the soil more productively, and thus to your plants as well. As a result, incorporate this technique into your irrigation system. Create a location near a water reservoir, such as a tubewell, that will supply water to the orchard. This would be a beneficial and cost-free source of fertilizer when combined with water.
Irrigation is another important input for plants. Lemon doesn’t need more water either. Which means giving water to the lemon plants on demand. The lemon plant spreads its roots nearly and its roots are shallow.
On the other hand, there are many factors affecting irrigation. In the early plant age duration on the maiden bearing, it needs continuous irrigation otherwise it wants occasionally. Its intervals are less during the winter season once or twice a month whereas 3-4 times in summer.
Drip Irrigation is a perfect solution for HDP
There is a proper systemic setup for the whole network for drip irrigation. It becomes unique to manage water and fertilizer application with drip irrigation. It is an absolute necessity as an HDP technique for lemon farming.
Pests and Diseases
Lemon is a citrus member and it could be susceptible to different pests and diseases. For instance, citrus canker, blight, sooty mold, leaf miner, and others. But counting is rare for lemon farming and it is safer than other citrus members.
Unfortunately, Kinnow is one of the most susceptible to pests and diseases but it doesn’t mean that lemon farming can’t be the next one. There are other rare cases like unfruitfulness or riciness that can be due to physiological disaster. Another disaster named dieback may occur.
To stay safe, don’t come closer with unwanted intercropping like wheat, cotton, maize, or any kind of fodder. This will reduce the danger of dieback and unfruitfulness. Similarly, frequent irrigation will reduce the happening of riciness.
Lemon farming yield
Lemon gives fruiting after three years and then continued with 50-60 kg per plant. Now, here you can multiply with the number of plants and get the gross production. Therefore, HDP is good to get a cash crop and yield more outcomes. Now you have to understand the market and consumer relationship.