How To Grow Melia Dubia – What You Need To Know
If you’re interested in growing Melia Dubia, also known as Malabar neem, malai vembu, kaadu bevu or hebbevu, you may be looking for a quick overview of the process and what you can expect. In this guide, we’ll take you through the basics so that you can get a high-level perspective about what it takes to grow Malabar neem/Melia Dubia. Let’s get started.
Understand The Seed Germination And Planting Process
The germination process for Melia Dubia takes about 3 months. You should extract the seeds from the drupes and soak them in a 100 PPM GA solution to increase the germination rate, then plant them in standard nursery beds. Depending on the quality of the seeds and drupes, the germination rate can vary from 30-60%.
Once the seeds have germinated and grown to the two-leaf stage (when the second leaves of the seedling have fully emerged) they should be removed from the nursery and placed into 15×8 cm polythene bags, which should be filled with manure, red soil, and fine sand, and taken outside.
Water should be drained off these bags regularly to ensure there is not too much moisture in the root zone. Once the seedlings have grown to 60 cm (2 ft) in height, they are ready to be planted. This usually takes about 30 days
Determine Proper Spacing And Plant Your Melia Dubia Trees
If you are intending to grow Melia Dubia for use as paper pulp, you can plant up to 1,000 seedlings per acre (0.4 ha) of your field. However, if you wish to grow Melia Dubia for paper purposes, it should be planted at a rate of 110 seedlings per acre.\
The minimum gap between each tree for paper purposes should be 2m x2m. For growing timber, the gap can be up to 4.5m x 4.5m or 6m x 6m. When planting the Melia Dubia trees, you should excavate two cubic feet of soil. Then, fill the hole with sand, red soil and manure. Press the seedlings into the soil firmly.
You should irrigate the trees on the third day after they’re planted. Thereafter, you can irrigate every 10-15 days. During the rainy season, your Melia Dubia trees will likely not need manual irrigation. However, you should avoid excess water buildup around the base of the trees. Within 6 months, your trees will grow by another 4-6 feet.
Prune Regularly & Fertilize
When your trees reach a height of 2 metres, you should begin pruning. Every 15 days, you can remove one branch from each tree. Your goal should be to ensure a strong central trunk, and prune all side-shoots and buds to remove them.
From now on, all you have to do is maintain your trees. Irrigate them properly as they grow, and consider a twice-yearly NPK fertilizer dose of about 30-45g per tree.
Gather More Melia Dubia Seeds In January-February
Once your Melia Dubia trees grow into adulthood, they will begin producing drupes in January-February. These can be harvested and sold to other farmers to grow Melia Dubia, or you can use them to plant a new field of trees.
Know When You Can Harvest Your Trees
If your trees are being grown for paper pulp, you may be able to harvest them as soon as 3-5 years from when they’re planted. Malabar neem trees grown for plywood purposes usually requires at least 7 years of growth. Melia Dubia trees grown for up to 15 years produce higher quality timber, which is often used on its own rather than for plywood.
Understand The Basics Of Melia Dubia Growth & Plant This Tree Now!
Melia Dubia offers a huge profit. You may be able to make as much as Rs 12 lakh per acre after eight years when selling the wood for timber. When growing the wood for use in paper pulp, the profitability may vary somewhat.
Regardless, this tree is hardy, easy to grow, and reaches maturity quickly. If you are looking to diversify your income stream at your farm, Melia Dubia/Malabar neem is a fantastic choice, so start planning your next planting now.
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