Guava is an important fruit crop of Punjab and ranks second after citrus. Guava grows well in almost all the districts of the State.It is highly nutritious fruit and contains vitamin C from 150-200 mg/100 g of pulp. Guava fruit contains antioxidant factors and is known to control the systolic blood pressure.
Climate and Soil
Guava is successfully grown under tropical and sub-tropical climatic conditions owing to its wider adaptability. It is a hardy and prolific bearing fruit plant. It bears twice in a year i.e. during rainy season and winter season. However, the areas having distinct winter season are considered best for increasing yield and improving fruit quality. It can be grown in arid and rain fed areas like Kandi. Being a hardy fruit plant, it can be grown in poor, alkaline and ill drained soils. Preferably it should be grown on soils with pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.5, however, it can withstand soil pH up to 8.7. For successful cultivation, the soils for guava should be deep, well drained,friable, sandy loam to clay loam. Guava is a shallow rooted plant,therefore, the surface soil should be rich.
Shweta (2013): It is a selection from the open pollinated seedlings of Apple color guava. Trees of this variety are semi-vigorous, with round crown and spreading branching habit. The fruits are subglobose,smooth with creamy white flesh, having T.S.S 10.5-11.0 %with semi-hard seeds. Average fruit yield is 151 kg per plant. This variety can be stored for one week at ambient temperature (15-20'C)and for two weeks in cold storage at 6-8'C and 85-90 % RH.
Punjab Pink (2009) : It i s a hybrid between Portugal x L 49 = F1 x Apple color. The trees of this variety are vigorous with drooping branches. The fruit is medium to large in size with attractive golden yellow color. The flesh is red having pleasant flavor. TSS ranged from 10.5 to 12.0 per cent. It is a prolific bearer and the average yield is 158.4 kg per tree.
Sardar (1967) : It is a selection from Allahabad Sufeda. This cultivar is also known as L-49. The tree is dwarf with open rounded but flattened crown and spreading branches. The leaves are medium in size and the tree has a dense foliage. The fruit is large, with rough surface and ribs on shoulders, having creamy white, smooth juicy flesh with excellent taste, with 10-12 percent TSS. In full grown trees, the fruit yield may vary from 125 to 150 kg per tree.
Allahabad Sufeda (1967) : The trees of this variety are somewhat dwarf with compact sub-globose, round crown and spreading branches. The leaves are large in size and the tree has a less dense foliage than Sardar guava The fruit is round and smooth with white flesh having pleasant flavor and 10-12 per cent TSS. In full grown trees, the fruit yield may vary from 120 to 140 kg per tree.
Arka Amulya (2003) : It is a hybrid of Seedless x Allahabad Sufeda. The trees are some what dwarf with compact, round crown and drooping branches with dense foliage. The fruit is large, round,glossy with white flesh containing semi-soft seeds. The average yield of rainy and winter seasons crop is 144 kg per tree. The total soluble solids in fruit range from 9.3 to 10.1 per cent and acidity from 0.25 to 0.34 per cent.
Guava is commercially propagated by improved patch (retaining buds on a patch) budding.
Rootstock Portugal : Portugal root stock of guava is most suitable for Sardar and Allahabad Sufeda varieties, as it improves fruit yield and weight. It also imparts vigor and wilt tolerance to these scion varieties.
Rootstock Raising: Guava seeds of cv. Sardar or Purtugal are sown on raised seed beds of 2m x 1m size in August or March. The seedlings become ready for transplanting after six months and budding is done when these seedlings attain a diameter of 1.0 to 1.2 cm at about 15 cm height. Sometimes, the guava seedlings show signs of wilting due to damping-off. To control this, drench the seedbeds with 0.3% Captan.
Budding : The best time for patch budding is May and June when it gives 75-80 per cent success. Freshly cut, angular budwoodfrom current season’s growth is used for budding. A semi-circular ora rectangular patch of bark (2.5 x 1.0 cm) with two buds is removed from the scion stick taking care that the bark does not split. It is then fixed on the exposed portion of the root stock and tied immediately with the polythene strip leaving both the buds uncovered. The polythene is removed after a week or so when the bud-take has occurred. When the shoots developing from the buds have attained length of 15-20 cm, retain the vigorously grown shoot and remove the weaker ones.The guava can also be propagated by wedge grafting in February,on root stock seedlings 2.5-3.0 cm thick, raised from seeds directly sown in polythene bags. The scion stick should be defoliated 8-10 days prior to grafting. To maintain humidity, the graft should be immediately covered with white polythene tube (25 cm x 6 cm) which should be removed after bud sprouting.
Guava may be planted in February-March or August-September with earth balls or bare rooted. In latter case the plants should be defoliated and the roots covered with some moist material. Guava plants can be planted at a spacing of 6mx5m. With this planting plan, 132 plants can be accommodated in one acre.
Training and Pruning
Training of guava trees improves fruit yield and quality. Modifiedleader system of training is generally followed. The main objective of training guava plants is to provide a strong framework and scaffold or branches suitable for bearing a heavy remunerative crop without breakage of the branches. The flowers and fruits in guava are borne on current season’s growth, hence, a light annual pruning up to 10 cm tip removal may prove useful to encourage new shoots after the harvest. Dead, diseased, inter crossing branches and suckerscoming up from the base and sides of the framework should also beprunned back annually.
Rejuvenation of old Unproductive Guava Trees
Head back the old unproductive guava trees at 1.5 m from the ground level in the month of March leaving 2-3 primary scaffolds and apply Bordeaux paste on the cut ends. In August, thin out the crowded and intermingled shoots and prune 50 percent portion of the newly emerged shoots from the top. This leads to flowering and fruiting in winter season crop.
Manures and Fertilizers
Age of tree Farmyard Dose per tree (g)(years) manure (kg) Urea Superphosphate Muriate of Potash1-3 10-20 150-200 500-1500 100-4004-6 25-40 300-600 1500-2000 600-10007-10 40-50 750-1000 2000-2500 1100-1500 Above 10 50 1000 2500 1500 Farmyard manure should be applied in May. Half of the inorganic fertilizers should be applied in May-June and the remaining half in September-October.
Zinc Deficiency: The affected plants produce small leaves with yellowing or chlorosis in between the veins. The plant growth is suppressed and the branches start dieing back. Correct this deficiency by spraying the trees with 1% solution of zinc sulphate(1 kg of zinc sulphate + 1/2 kg of unslaked lime in 100 litres ofwater). Give 2 or 3 such sprays at fortnightly interval between June to September.
The young guava plants need irrigation at weekly interval during summer months and 2-3 irrigation during winter months. Bearing trees require, irrigation for flowering and better fruit set at an interval of 2-3 weeks during summer months and at monthly intervals during winter months. Heavy irrigation at flowering should be avoided as it may cause excessive flower drop.
The leguminous crops like cow pea, guara, gram, beans etc. should be sown as safe inter crops. During initial 3-4 years, vegetables like radish, carrot, okra and brinjal can be inter planted in the vacant land.
Pre-emergence application of Hexuron 80 WP (diuron) @ 1.6kg/acre can be made during first fortnight of March for rainy season crop and during first fortnight of September for winter season crop when field is free from weeds and stubble. Glycel 41 SL (glyphosate)@ 1.6 liter/acre as post-emergence should be sprayed when the weeds are growing actively, preferably before weeds flower or attain a height of 15-20 cm i.e. during second fortnight of March for rainy season crop and during second fortnight of September for winter season crop. Dissolve the herbicides in 200 liters of water which is enough to give complete coverage on weeds in one acre. Spray Glycel during the calm day to avoid spray drift to the foliage of the trees.
Guava gives two crops a year. Winter season crop is superior inequality than rainy season crop, which may get infested with fruit flies. In order to get only winter season crop, the following methods may be adopted.(i) Spray urea 10 per cent or naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) @ of 600 mg/liter during May, when maximum flowers have opened.Each tree needs about 10-12 liters of solution i.e. about 1000 liters per acre. For making this concentration of NAA, dissolve 600g of NAA in 1500-2000 ml alcohol, then make the volume of 1000 liters.(ii) Pruning of terminal portions of the shoots up to 20 or 30 cm between 20th to 30th April avoids completely the rainy season crop.(iii) Withhold irrigation during April-May.(iv) Apply fertilizers during June to encourage growth in July-August for getting maximum flowering during August-September for winter season crop.
Fruit Maturity and Harvesting
Guava fruit is climacteric in nature and should be picked when it is mature but firm. When picked at this stage, it ripens to give excellent taste and flavor. The fruits change their color from dark green to greenish yellow at maturity. The fruits should not be allowed to over ripe on the trees as they deteriorate in quality and are more liable to be damaged by birds. It is a common observation that farmers retain a few leaves or small branches with the fruit to make it attractive. But this practice rather leads to higher moisture loss from the fruit and may injure the adjoining fruits and aggravate spoilage.
Guava is highly perishable fruit and should be marketed immediately after harvest. Harvested fruits are cleaned, graded and packed preferably in CFB cartons of sizes ranging from 4-10 kg or in bamboo baskets of different sizes. The guava fruits when picked at proper maturity can be kept at room temperature for one week in perforated polythene bags and for three weeks in CFB cartons in commercial cold storage at 0-3.3'C and RH of 85-90%. Fruits of winter guava cv. sardar harvested at physiological mature stage can be ripened at 20'C in 72 hrs and these fruit can be kept for 48-72 hrs at ambient conditions in winter.