Coconut nursery management: Effectively manage your coconut farm

Coconut nursery management: Effectively manage your coconut farm

Coconut is undoubtedly a perennial crop, which is estimated to have a lifespan of up to 8 years. This is almost the equivalent to the lifetime of a human being and with the selection of the right coconut planting material it becomes of utmost importance in the entire coconut cultivation process. The overall quality of the coconut seed nuts and the seedlings is obtained through rigorous selection at largely various stages.

The rearing of the seedlings from the coconut farms that are kept in well-maintained nurseries helps to facilitate the efficient selection of several normal uniform coconut seedlings. It also permits the equal and almost unbiased application of all effective treatments as well as evaluations. However, proper care must be taken in effectively choosing the seedlings that go into a plantation since coconut plantings will be in the field for many years. The nursery management techniques should however be applied for both the genebank and hybrid trials.

Nursery site selection for coconut farming

There are a few key facts that need to be considered when looking for an apt nursery for coconut farming. The key factors to a good nursery should be that it is:

(a) Effectively open, well-leveled, and properly drained

(b) Have light or preferably loose-textured soil to properly facilitate the nursery operations

(c) A good source of water that additionally comes without the possibility of it being flooded

(d) Be accessible to a wide area coverage using transportation

(e) It needs to be far from all existing potential sources of coconut insect pests and diseases

(f) A nursery site with a minimum area of 3,600 meters that can accommodate about 12,000 coconut seed nuts from the coconut plantations.

To be fully operational, the nursery should effectively have a fence for a basic level of security; a shed to house the implements and supplies; a good storage space for all the small equipment; a really good source of water for irrigation; and adequately trained manpower. Some points to consider include:

● The best soil for a nursery is to have sandy soil near a proper water source which provides effective drainage and prevents any possible termite attack. If the sandy area is not fully available then the soil is removed up to a depth of 30-50 cm and then filled well with sand.

● The area should be adequately open and free from any possible shade. The seed beds should also preferably be long enough and narrow with ample walking space or a good draining space in between.

● The width of the bed should be adjusted in such a way that it can effectively accommodate 4 or 5 rows of coconut seed nuts in the coconut farms.

● Ideal measurements for the nursery are to prepare beds of about 1.5m width and of a convenient length that is 75 cm between each of the beds. In case of any poor drainage then the soil-raised beds are needed to be prepared. For that, you will need to apply Chlordane and some Aldrin at the rate of 12 g/sq.m. This is if the soil is not sandy.

The seedbed for the coconut farm nursery

When considering a nursery for coconut farming, it is almost essential to have the seedbed kept preferably at the centre of the nursery. To effectively facilitate the sowing of nuts, they should also be thoroughly cleared, ploughed, and harrowed to a fine tilth. The Seedbeds can also be prepared with the following dimensions:


This is a 10-20 cm high elevation which is created to provide effective drainage of all the water log


1 m seedbeds are ideal to avoid stepping on the seed nuts that help with maintenance and ideal transfer operations


a seedbed that is 2 m long is quite the right length for easy and effective inspection, management, and maintenance


A 1 m pathway built just between the seedbeds should be appropriately provided to fully facilitate inspection, proper selection, better pricing, complete maintenance, and seedling transfer activities.

Most caution is to be taken when sowing the coconut seed nuts. It is the process that is highly crucial for the coconut palm plant to produce a high yield, based on how and when it is sowed. The right process lies in the detail of effectively having the nuts collected from the gardens, with a record of consistently high yield. This will also comprise of really good-yield producing, a high proportion of heavy bearers. They will then be situated under average conditions without having to do much heavy manuring during irrigation. from the incidence of pests and diseases. These nuts are also planted by first firmly setting them either upright or just by slightly having the seeds tilted with all the germ that will end at the top. The nuts are then set close to one another to effectively prevent them from floating just in case of any heavy rain. The nuts are also covered with adequate amounts of soil, with just about 2/3rd of their size properly buried. In addition to the coconut farms keeping a record file, there will also be a signboard that will be placed right in front of each bed. This will help to provide the nursery with all of the following information:

● Name of variety/type

● Date of sowing

● Number of nuts sown

● Seedbed number

● Date when the coconuts are harvested (If applicable)

Some of the more prominent methods of planting a coconut seed are in a horizontal or vertical position with the stalk ending up or probably in an oblique position. Although the process of horizontal planting is almost critically the best over all other methods, there is no doubt that the vertical planting method is sure to be widely practised all around India, because of easy transportation. It is also possible to transport it without damage due to the better attachment of the shoot to the coconut planting. The seedlings that are raised by following the vertical planting method can also suffer more from any occurrence of drought and become less robust than those that are planted in a flat or horizontal method. The seedlings that can be obtained by this method are also less likely to be damaged at the transplanting because they come with an attachment between their shoot and nut and are so much better protected by all the husks. With the process of horizontal planting, the overall rate of germination along with the subsequent growth of all the seedlings can be so much faster when compared to vertical planting. Notching tends to hasten the overall germination process for that of mostly all vertically planted nuts.

While looking to effectively maintain the seedbed of the coconut plantation it is vital to make sure that there are a few considerations in place. It is noteworthy that this activity generally involves daily watering, except when it is moderately or heavily raining; weeding is also a necessary step, and if possible, partial shading as and when needed.

This will help with disease and pest incidence.

After the sprout has reached a height of 4-6 cm and punctured the husk, pricking it is an important step that will aid. In order to provide them possibly more freedom to flourish, the majority of field nurseries also plant these seedlings, either straight from the soil or with the soil retained within polybags. Some of the roots may begin to pop their heads through the husk at this point of nursery management and may be harmed by the pricking. Pruning them is essential before planting them in the field or maybe a polybag nursery because of this. The seedling of the coconut palm plant will be able to establish itself more rapidly since the removal of these roots will cause more roots to emerge overall. Seedlings of a comparable age can be planted in the ground or even in a polybag nursery the same day they are pricked. Pricking must also wait until the nursery or field has been adequately prepared. It is possible to arrange and plan for one pricking of the coconut plantation per week. The last of the ungerminated seed nuts from the coconut farm is moved out of the seedbed to prevent them from becoming unstable after the half-abandoned plot of the coconut plantation has been fully supplied with dirt.

Selection of Mother Palm for Coconut Planting

Any palm that has the following characteristics is generally selected as the mother palm for most coconut planting in a particular garden for the collection of seed nuts.

● Crown should always be spherical or somewhat semi-spherical, either the dropping or the erect crown can be avoided.

● The length of the entire petiole as well as the bunch stalk should be kept short and properly stout.

● The nuts can be of medium size and nearly round or somewhat spherical.

● The bunches should also have the right preponderance of equally heavy nuts.

● Trees producing barren nuts can ideally be discarded.

● The palms should generally be between the age group of 25-60 years.

● The coconut palm plants that are growing close to houses, cattle sheds, compost heaps, etc., may effectively be avoided as it can get very difficult to identify inherently from the good trees.

● Every bunch should be well supported by a frond that lies beneath the trees.

● The coconut palm plants that come with a regular bearing habit and generally produce at least 12 bunches annually, should ideally yield not less than 100 nuts per annum, with 30-40 fully opened leaves that tend to have a fairly wide leaf base attended to the stem.

● Husked nuts should also weigh not less than 600g with a mean copra content of 150 g per nut or more.

Pre-Sowing Treatment for the Coconut Seeds

● The seeds derived from the coconut palm plant should be soaked in water for about 2 weeks before the actual sowing process to show signs of early germination. Nuts that are treated with 0.01 or 0.02 M potassium nitrate and the solution of sodium carbonate usually result in early and higher germination as well as highly vigorous seedlings.

● A spacing of 30 x 30 cm is generally followed while planning to sow the nuts and the entire depth of the planting is equally adjusted so that the husk appears just above the surface to about 15 cm. Planting of the nuts is often done in the monsoon as the overall cost of nursery watering can be effectively reduced.

Management of nursery for Coconut Planting

● The nursery is generally watered about twice a week and can solely depend on the climatic conditions and a completely weed-free environment is sought to be provided by periodical rampant weeding. Immediately after planting the coconut seeds from the coconut farm, the entire nursery area is properly mulched with the coconut leaf which is a sure way to promote early and better germination, much better growth of seedlings, and a high percentage of good seedlings. A careful watch should be made on pests and diseases, especially of termites. If a termite attack is generally noticed then it is to be removed from the soil, with a focus on the affected area up to 15 cm, and the soil and nuts will need to be dusted with Aldrin and repeated if the attack tends to persist. You can spray the seedlings with 1% Bordeaux or any other copper fungicides.

Manuring and fertilization at the coconut farm nursery

Fertilisation is a necessary step if seedling vigour is aimed to be maintained in the nursery. The nursery manuring process is not necessarily suitable if the seedlings are going to be removed about 9 months after planting the coconut seeds.

Collection of seed nuts from the coconut farm

The actual time of collection of seed nuts may vary in different regions and the considerations in this collection are specifically related to the general development of nuts, the period of storage requirements, the overall capacity for the entire germination process as well as the facilities for planting in the nursery in general.