Spice Crops - Nutmeg Cultivation Practices

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 18 Jan 2019 | read
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Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Hoult.)
Myristicaceae

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Nutmeg Tree

Varieties
Vishwashree, Konkan Sugandha and Konkan Swad.
Some of the elite accessions recommended by IISR are A 9-20, 22, 25, 69, 150, A 4-12, 22, 52, A11-23, 70.

Soil and climate
Friable, well drained clay to red soils is suitable. This crop can be grown up to an elevation of 1000 m with 150 - 250 cm of rainfall, humid tropical climate.

Propagation
Seeds /grafts/ budded plants.

Seed Propagation: Seeds are collected from regular bearing and high yielding trees (more than 10,000 fruits per tree per year) and having 30 g weight/fruit, 1 g wet mace /fruit and 10 g wet weight of nuts / fruit. Seeds are harvested during June - July. Sown immediately after extraction in beds at a spacing of 30 cm and 2.5 - 5.0 cm deep. Germination commences from 40 days and extends up to 90 days after sowing. Transplanted to poly bags (35 x 15 cm) one year old seedlings are transplanted to bigger poly bags (35 x 20 cm). Seedlings transplanted to main field from 18 - 24 months.

Vegetative propagation: Grafting (approach method) or budding (Patch method) is recommended to perpetuate high yielding nutmeg types. Best season is from October to January. Use only orthotropic shoots as scion materials.

Season and planting
Plant 12 - 18 months old seedlings in pits of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm size and filled up with equal parts of forest soil and cattle manure. Adopt spacing of 8 m x 8 m either way. Season of planting is June – December.

Manuring
Apply FYM 15 kg, N 20 g, P 20 g, K 60 g per tree during first year and FYM 50 kg, N 300 g, P 300 g, K 960 g for adult trees in two splits June - July, September - October.  Apply 50 g in each of Azospirillum and Phosphobacterium one month after manuring.

Time of applicationNPK
(g/plant)
I year after planting202060
Well established trees300300960

Irrigation
Irrigation is given once in 5 - 7 days during summer months.

Aftercultivation
Keep the area around the plant weed free. Regulation of shade is important.  It requires medium shade especially during the initial stages of growth.  Fast growing shade trees or Banana are planted in between them a few months prior to planting and can be thinned out later.  It can be grown as mixed crop with Arecanut and Coconut. In Arecanut plantations, Nutmeg can be planted after every third row of Arecanut.

Plant protection
Loranthus sp

It is a serious plant parasite affecting the growth of the nutmeg plant. This can be controlled by mechanical removal of the plant parasite. Remove severely affected branches. Twigs of nutmeg trees may also be removed along with the plant parasite and paint with Bordeaux paste.

Harvest
The bearing starts from six to seven years after planting. The mature fruits when they start splitting are harvested. The aril commonly known 'mace' and 'seed' are separated and dried.

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Nutmeg Fruit

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Nutmeg Mace

Image titleNutmeg Rind

Yield
Fruits          :  1000 - 2000/tree
Dried nuts    :  5 - 7 kg/tree 
Dried mace  :  0.5 - 0.7 kg/tree

 

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