Moringa oleifera is a plant that is often called the drumstick tree, the miracle tree, the ben oil tree, or the horseradish tree. Moringa has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties and health benefits. It also has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition, Drumstick (Moringa) has shown the ability to improve sexual function for men. Vitamin A contributes to sperm production and virility. Vitamin C contributes to increased circulation and blood flow in the body, including the penis, which can contribute to stronger erections.
Annual moringa comes up well in a wide range of soil. A deep sandy loam soil with a pH of 6.5 – 8 is ideal for cultivating this crop.
Planting is done during July – October
500 g/ha of seeds are required. Sow two seeds per pit at a depth of 2.5-3.0 cm. The seeds can also be sown in the poly bags containing pot mixture and transplanted after 35 -40 days of sowing.
Dig pits of size 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm with a spacing of 2.0 – 2.5 m either way. Apply 15 kg of compost or FYM/pit after mixing with top soil.
High density planting and fertilization in moringa PKM 1
High density planting at 1.5 X 1.0 m spacing with two plants/hill and plant population 13,333 / ha along with the application of fertilizer dose of 135: 23 :45 g of NPK/pit (150%) through drip increases the yield of moringa. In this phosphorus should be applied basally as soil application. N and K can be applied in the form of urea and muriate of potash through drip.
- For PKM-2, the closest spacing of 1.2 x 1.2 m is ideal to obtain the highest yield of 138 t/ha. The pinching of main shoots on 80th day after sowing will also help register the highest yield of fruits.
Gap filling may be done within a month. Pinch off the seedlings when they are about 75 cm in height to facilitate more branching. Short duration vegetables like Cowpea, Bhendi and Tomato can be grown as intercrop.
- For perennial moringa, medium pruning of shoots at 70 cm from the tip has to be followed to regulate flowering and obtain the highest yield of 37 kg/ tree.
A fertilizer dose of 45:15:30 g of NPK/pit may be applied 3 months after sowing. Apply 45 g of N/pit after 6 months when the crop is in bearing.
Irrigate before sowing and on the 3rd day after sowing and subsequently at 10 – 15 days interval according to soil type.
Moringa pod fly management
Soil application of Thiamethoxam 25 WG @ 200g a.i. / ha on 150, 180 and 210 days after planting; placement of fermented tomato fruit trap @ 25 / ha; and need based foliar spray of Spinosad 45 SC @ 56g a.i. / ha followed by Profenophos 50 EC@ 250g a.i. / ha.
- As moringa pod flies are not attracted to methyl eugenol and fish meal, use attractants like citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, vinegar (acetic acid), dextrose or lactic acid to trap flies.
- Periodically collect and destroy all the fallen and damaged fruits by dumping in a pit and covering with a thick layer of soil to prevent carry-over of the pest.
- Frequently rake up the soil under the trees or plough the infested field to destroy puparia and apply endosulfan 4% at 25 Kg/ha or drench NSKE 5% at 2 L/tree at 50% fruit set.
- Spray dichlorvos 76 SC 500 ml or malathion 50 EC 750 ml in 500 – 750 ml of water per ha when pods are 20-30 days old and apply Azadirachtin 0.03 % 1.0 L during 50% fruit set and 35 days late
Bud worm, leaf caterpillar and leaf webber: Dust Carbaryl 10 D @ 25 kg/ha or spray Carbaryl 50 WP @ 2 g/l.
Use flame torch when the caterpillars settle on the tree trunk.
Cut back the trees at 90 cm from ground level after the harvest is over. In another 4 – 5 months, plants will again come for harvest. Ratoon crops can be taken for 3 years. Apply the fertilizer dose of 45:15:30 g NPK/plant, within a week after cutting back along with 25 kg of FYM or compost every year.