Custard Apple Cultivation in India – How to Grow it

Custard Apple Cultivation in India - How to Grow it

Custard apple, popularly known as Chinese apple and sweet soup, is native to the West Indies and tropical America. However, it is grown wild in many parts of the world. The custard apple tree can reach 4 to 7 meters high, and the leaves are thin and oblong in structure. However, the flowers range in colour from green to yellow. Custard apple cultivation is mainly considered to be the best.

This fruit is spherical through conical with a typical weight of about 125 to 250 g. The Custard apple fruit is 7 to 9 cm long and 6 to 10 cm in diameter. Custard Apple has curved segments with fragrant and sweet, creamy white flesh. Thus, the flesh of the fruit resembles custard. Each fruit may contain up to 20-30 black seeds, depending on the variety. Root colour varies from light green to dark green.

Since the seasonal demand for this fruit is excellent, the cultivar of custard apples is increasing annually. Therefore, you can get good yields and profits from custard apple cultivation, provided good orchard management practices are followed.

Another attractive feature of custard apple cultivation is that farmers can cultivate in containers, backyards, even in pots where at least 6 to 7 hours of direct sunlight is available.

Custard Apple farming operations require reliable equipment for every Indian farmer; Hence, we suggest the Eicher tractor 242, which is frequently used in farming. Along with this, the Sonalika 60 tractor is also excellent.

About Custard Apples

During the early stages, custard apples are hard. However, farmers can eat custard apple fresh, and its pulp is used in desserts such as ice cream, cakes, fruit salads, smoothies, etc. Along with great nutritional value, custard apples come with good health benefits. The leaves, roots, seeds and raw fruits of this tree also have medicinal properties. Several hybrid varieties of custard apple have been developed in Asian countries. 

Climate Requirement – Custard Apple

Tropical climates are ideal for custard apples to flourish. Dry, hot, and humid conditions are favourable for growth and fruit set. In cases where there is high humidity and moderate winter conditions during the flowering stage, the fruit set can produce an excellent fruit crop. However, the plant cannot tolerate frost and severe cold conditions. Furthermore, areas susceptible to strong winds and heavy rains can cause flower and fruit drop and damage organs. The ideal annual rainfall for custard apple cultivation is around 500 mm to 800 mm.

Soil Requirement – Custard Apple

A wide variety of soils are suitable for custard cultivation as it provides a good drainage facility. Fertile sandy, shallow, marginal land, and barren land are all suitable for custard apple cultivation. Farmers should cultivate this tree in those areas where there is no drainage in the sub-lands. For custard apple cultivation, you should avoid soil with high alkalinity, chlorine, and poor drainage. Waterlogged soil should be avoided. 5.5 to 6.5 is the ideal pH range for custard apple cultivation.

Propagation and Seed Treatment

You can propagate using seed as well as vegetative methods. First, the seeds are extracted from quality fruits and used for sowing. Then, farmers treat the seed by soaking the seeds in cold water for 50 – 60 hours. After that, they treat with GA3 500 ppm for better germination percentage. Budding and Grafting are vegetative methods for the propagation of custard apple crops. Custard apple seeds can usually last for 2 to 3 years, with the best viability.

Land Preparation

 For custard apples, cultivation land preparation is similar to that of other fruit crops. The land is made weed-free by ploughing two or three times along with one or two ploughings. With this preparation, you can bring the soil to a good tillage stage. Drainage channels are also created as a part of land preparation.

Seed Sowing, Planting, and Spacing

You can adopt the planting method of a triangular or square system in the farming of custard apples. Farmers can sow seeds directly in the field or can grow seedlings in nursery beds. For faster plant growth, the grafting method is ideal than the sowing method. In the case of sowing seeds, a perfect temperature between 18°C ​​to 26°C is required. Until full germination, they should avoid direct sunlight. Seeds grown under these conditions usually produce seedlings within 3 weeks. However, this process takes up to 60 days for them to germinate in colder climates.

The pits are dug 5 cm x 5 cm apart (plant to plant and row to row distance) with a size of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm. The above measurements may vary according to soil type and planting method. The pits should be ready before the rainy season. Fill these pits with topsoil and 25 kg of cow dung (like cow dung).

Irrigation

Farmers usually sow the custard apple as a rain-fed crop. We advise them that they should irrigate before flowering and fruiting. Farmers can water the plant until the monsoon. Mist sprinkler irrigation is the method that is more suitable as compared to flood or drip irrigation. The mist spraying method is chosen because it can lower the temperature and increase the humidity, encouraging flowering and fruiting activity.

The Implements is an important part of custard apple cultivation; Thus, we recommend the cultivator in this farming process. Cultivator price is the best for every Indian farmer.

For more information regarding Custard Apple, stay tuned with us.

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