Orchard Management Guide for Beginner

Orchard management is an extensive task for fruit production. Proper management of orchard increases the total production of a fruit garden. You are going to know all the steps of Orchard Management in this post. It involves land preparation, planting, application of fertilizers, irrigation, pruning and training.

Orchard Management Guide for Beginner
Fig: Orchard Management

Orchard Management Guide for Beginner

The complete steps of orchard management are-

Soil management

The soil is the medium of supplies  nutrient and water to the growing fruit trees. Therefore, soil management is an important task for Orchard Management. Immediately after selection of land, it should be prepared according to the plan of the desired orchard. The land should be plowed and cross plowed followed by laddering to bring the soil into good tilth and leveled. The weeds and stubbles should be removed. The land should be cleaned. Windbreaks are to be planted according to the necessity. The land should be laid out according to the selected planting system. The appropriate size of a pit is to be prepared. Recommended amount of basal dose of manures and fertilizers are to be placed in each pit. The pit should be kept open to the sun for 20-25 days. Afterward, the pit should be closed. Then graft or fruit saplings are to be planted in each prepared pit. This time, for long growing orchards intercropping with short season vegetables or spices such as cabbage, potato, tomato, turmeric ginger, capsicum may be done. Some fruits like papaya, banana pineapple, lemon, guava, custard apple may be grown as intercrop following quincunx system. Intercropping gives extra financial benefit . It also keeps the physical and biochemical properties of soil well. It also helps conserving soil moisture otherwise mulching has to be done artificially. Lentil, mug-bean, pea, soybean may be cultivated between the rows as the cover crop to conserve soil moisture, control weeds, fixing nitrogen from the air and maintain favorable soil temperature for growing fruit plants. Considering good size and shape, Intercropping should be stopped. But weed controlling action will continue. The orchard management also depends on to kept weed free.  Good soil aeration should be provided to facilitate enhanced growth and fruit production. Poor soil aeration results from increased rate of fruit drop.

Therefore, one should take proper care of the orchard management on the following aspects.

  • The soil for the orchard management should always be supplied with sufficient organic manure.
  • The soil should be supplied with optimum amount of water and excess water should be out
  • The orchard soil should be protected from erosion.
  • Aeration of the orchard soil should be maintained through the regular intercultural operation.
  • Supply of sufficient amount of fertilizer(s) to an orchard to be ensured.

Fertilizer management

Orchard Management Guide for Beginner
Fig: How to plant a garden

Fertilizer is such an organic and inorganic substances which make a plant strong by increasing its vegetative growth. It also increases soil fertility. Fertilizers are mainly two types: organic and inorganic. Organic fertilizers generally come from organic sources. Cow dung, mustard oil cake, green manure, compost, bone meal etc are known as organic fertilizer. Inorganic fertilizers are produced synthetically in the factory which supplies only one or two nutrients to the plants. Urea, single superphosphate, triple superphosphate, MOP, di-ammonium phosphate, ammonium sulfate, potassium sulfate, zinc sulfate, gypsum etc are known as inorganic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers supply all the essential elements but slowly whereas inorganic fertilizers supply one or two elements but rapidly.

Application of organic fertilizer increases soil health despite its excess application. But the excess application of inorganic fertilizer increases the toxicity of the soil. A judicious application of fertilizers is to be practiced in an orchard. The amount of fertilizer to be applied depends on few factors. They are:

  1. Type of the fruit tree.
  2. Size and age of the tree
  3. Stage of growth
  4. Season of growth
  5. Soil characteristics
  6. Method of application
  7. Cultural method followed
  8. Rainfall

Application of fertilizers in fruit trees

The fertilizers should be applied to the fruit trees in the optimum amount at the right time following appropriate method. The dose should be increased every year with the increasing plant growth. Fertilizers should not be applied near the base of the plant. For small fruit saplings 30cm far from the base and it should be at least 1m for the large tree. Another thumb rule is there which indicates that at mid-day the area covered by the shadow of the plant is the place where fertilizers are to be applied. The fertilizers are to be sprinkled over this area and to be mixed with soil by light spading or at the edge of shadow a shallow drain is to be prepared around the tree and fertilizers are to be mixed with soil. This soil is to be replaced in the drain. Nitrogenous fertilizers should not be applied one month before flowering. Because instead of switching over to reproductive phase plants will return to vegetative phase. But plants should be fertilized immediately after fruit set. This will help increased yield through increased fruit size and weight. Considering facts fertilizer application should be done in two installments the one just after harvesting of the crop. The second one before the onset of winter. The soil should be tested before scheduling fertilizer application.

Fertilizer management for some fruiting fruit plants

Name of fruit         

Name of fertilizer Dose/Plant(kg)

       Method of application

Mango, Jackfruit,

Jamun, Litchi

Cow dung




      20 – 30

.25 – 1.0

.25 – 1.0

.20  – .50

½ the amount should be applied before the rain. The rest amount after the rain i.e., August to September. The fertilizer should be applied at a distance of 1m from the plant August to September.
Guava, Lemon and



Cow dung




     30 – 40

.50 – .75

.75 – 1.0

.3 0 – .50

Fertilizers should be applied at least 3 months before flowering. They are to be applied in two installments around the trees
Banana Cow dung





     15 – 20

.50 – .60

.18 – .26

.24 – .30

.24 – .26

Urea and Mop  should be applied after two months of planting in two installments at an interval of two months following ring method of fertilizer application
Papaya Cow dung





    10 – 15

.25 – 50

.12 – 25

.25 – 35

.12 – 25


After two months of planting rest amount of TSP, urea and MoP should be applied in two installments 1st one before the onset of rainy season and the second one just before the onset of winter
Pineapple Nitrogen






Fertilizers should be applied at the base of the plants in two installments, first time in June and second time during January – February

Water management in orchard

Water is an essential component of a plant for its growth, development and for successful production. A soil should contain water in the optimum amount to meet up such demand. Naturally soil gets water from rainfall, stores it and supply to the growing plants. Water is utilized by plants in their different metabolic processes. After that, it is released into the air by transpiration. Thus, a huge amount of water is required for normal functioning of the plant. Deficiency of water exerts an adverse effect on plant metabolism. In such cases need arises for the application of water to replenish the orchard soil artificially known as irrigation. Since Irrigation water is costly its application should be judicious and economic. Irrigation water application also depends on the soil characteristics and climate where plants are growing. Considering these facts application of water in the optimum amount to the orchard is known as water management in the orchard.

Determining factors for orchard irrigation

There are several factors which determine the need for irrigating an orchard. They are-

Orchard Management Guide for Beginner
Fig: Apple Tree

♦ Climate: Temperature, rainfall, day length wind, wastage of water determines the need for irrigation.

♦ Soil types: Texture, structure, fertility, pH, entrance and percolation, water holding capacity etc. influences the use of water.

♦ Age and type of plant: Irrigation requirement is more in the large plant than a small one. Again fruit tree needs more water than the herbaceous or vine type plants.

♦ Duration of the production period: If duration of the crop is long more water would be

♦ The area under the orchard: If an area of the orchard is large more water would be required.

♦ The method of cultivation: Clean cultivation and well prepared and well-maintained orchard need less amount of water whereas weed infested and unclean orchard need more water.

♦ The quality of irrigation water: If the irrigation water is soft and clean then less water would be required and vice-versa.

♦ The topography of the land: Comparatively less amount of water is needed for low to medium highland while water requirement is more in the orchards situated on the highland.

♦ The absorption rate of water: More irrigation would be needed in case of the low absorption rate of water by the plants.

♦ The efficiency of water application: Adoption of right method of irrigation can only check wastage of irrigation water. Right method for a particular fruit can ensure the right amount of water application.

Moisture conservation in orchard soil

Moisture from orchard soil is being lost in various ways e.g., evaporation, transpiration, downward movement and leaching. But a continuous supply of moisture to the growing orchard plant is very much essential. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure moisture supply continuously through its conservation in the soil. Different ways of moisture conservation are –

  1. Application of organic matter
  2. Use of cover mulch
  3. By improved cultivation: good tilth, weed free, sod culture, intercropping, close spacing etc.
  4. By planting the windbreak.

Some mean of irrigation

Irrigation water is applied to the soil by some implements and means. They are –

  1. Power pump
  2. Deep tube well
  3. Shallow tube well
  4. Doane
  5. Swing basket

Methods of irrigation

Different methods of irrigation are –

  1. Surface irrigation: Flooding. Furrow
  2. Subsurface irrigation
  3. Sprinkler irrigation
  4. Drip irrigation


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