The loquat can be grown successfully in Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur,Roop Nagar and Patiala districts. This fruit needs more attention as it ripens during end March-April at a time when there is hardly any fruit available in the market. Thus it commands good price in the market.
Climate and Soil
The loquat trees are resistant to heat and drought. The thick,leathery leaves are well adapted to withstand seasons of neglect without serious injury. However, warm and dry climate is essential at the time of fruit ripening.The loquat grows well on a fertile and light sandy loam soil.Good drainage is considered essential for better tree performance.
California Advance (1970) : Fruit medium sized, conical to round in shape. External color yellow. Flesh creamy white, taste sour-sweet.Fruit contain 2 or 3 medium sized seeds. Ripens during fourth week of April.
Golden Yellow (1967) : It has medium sized egg-shaped fruit with attractive golden-yellow color. Flesh is yellowish with sour sweet taste. Each fruit contains 4-5 medium sized seeds. Ripens during third week of March.
Pale Yellow (1967) : It has large fruits, which are slightly conical to roundish in shape, pale yellow in color. Flesh is white and taste sour-sweet. Each fruit contain 2 or 3 medium sized seeds. Ripens during second week of April.The recommended cultivars of loquat are self-incompatible or partially self-compatible. So solid blocks of one cultivar can not be planted. California Advance is a good pollinizer for both Golden Yellow and Pale Yellow and should be planted along with these varieties.
The vegetative propagation is very important to raise good quality true-to-type plants for commercial orcharding. Promising loquat varieties are generally grafted upon loquat seedlings of commercial varieties.
Rootstock Raising : Loquat seed germinate readily when these are sown immediately after extraction from the fruit. The seeds shouldn't be allowed to dry after extraction as exposure to heat and light tends to result in poor germination. Fresh seeds are sown during April-May in moist sand. When seedlings are 4-5 cm tall, they are transplanted in the nursery for further growth and grafting.
Inarching: The usual technique is to raise the plants through in arching. The best time for in arching is July-August. Air layering is also possible but success is much less.
There are two planting seasons viz. February-March and August September.The plants should preferably be planted during August September when the weather has cooled down sufficiently. Loquat should be planted at 6.5 x 6. 5 m in square system.
The loquat is more tolerant to drought. However, the best results are obtained when the orchard is irrigated judiciously. During fruit growth period to maturity (November to March), three to four irrigation are generally recommended.
Manures and Fertilizers
Age of plant Farmyard Dose per tree (g)(years) manure (Kg) Urea Superphosphate Muriate of Potash1-2 10-20 150-500 200-500 150-4003-6 25-40 600-750 500-1200 600-10007-10 40-50 800-1000 1500-2000 1100-1500 Over 10 50 1000 2000 1500 All farmyard manure should be applied in September along with P and K fertilizers. Apply half dose of nitrogenous fertilizer in Octoberand remaining half during January-February after the fruit set.
Maturity and Harvesting
The loquat tree starts bearing fruit in third year of planting. The harvesting of immature and green fruits should be avoided. All fruits in a cluster usually mature uniformly. Entire cluster may be cut atone go . The fruits should never be pulled from the tree by hand. The fruit should preferably be harvested with clipper.
Average yield of loquat tree is about 16 kg. However, well maintained and healthy trees can yield fruit up to 40 kg.
Grading: The fruits should be graded in to two categories before packing. The large sized fruits free from blemishes should be placed in one box while all the remaining marketable fruit should be packed in another box. All superfluous stems should be clipped off. Badlybruised, shrivelled or scarred fruits should be discarded.
Packing: The fruits require careful packing. Paper is placed atthe bottom of each box. The paper cuttings can be used for providing cushion. The wooden boxes of 14 kg size should be used for sending fruit to nearby markets.
A. Insect Pests: No serious insect-pests have been reported.