Steps for Productive Moringa Cultivation
Moringa developed through seeds accounts for an increased growth rate than those propagated through stem cutting. The method of propagation, however, will depend on the variety of moringa. Moringa developed from seeds generally produce yields from the ninth month, whereas in those developed from stem cutting, it may take 11 to 12 months.
The seeds from ripened and dried drumsticks are used for moringa growing. The seeds are to be soaked in water for 12 hours prior to sowing. A healthy bed of organic mixes and topsoil will nurture the seeds to healthy moringa saplings.
The saplings produced from seeds can be shifted to the soil once they grow to a height of 15 to 25 centimetres. It is best recommended to maintain a distance of 2.5 meters between each sapling to ensure uninterrupted and healthy growth of the crop.
When resorting to stem cutting method, healthy stems of about 1.5 meters are planted in pits 2.5 meters deep. Making a bed with 10 kilograms of organic mixtures and sufficient topsoil will help boost the root growth.
Unlike saplings, it is advised to plant the stems with a 4-meter distance between the pits to ensure healthy growth.
Moringa requires a lot of sunlight. In fact, moringa compromises water for sunlight. It is to be ensured that the area with moringa cultivation gets uninterrupted and abundant sunlight.
Organic fertilizers and supplies can be used from the fourth month to ensure better growth and yielding.
Pouring a solution of 100-gram mustard powder mixed in 100-gram porridge water to the roots of moringa helps in its growth and flowering. Porridge water is an ideal input for moringa (but always in a controlled manner without increasing the moisture content of the soil).
Moringa can be harvested twice to thrice a year. Once harvested, it is advised to maintain the height of the moringa tree at a controlled level by cutting off the high branches. This helps in both harvesting and also in better branch growth of the tree.
Moringa cultivation is typically easy and profitable. The low water requirements and maintenance costs are attracting more agriculture enthusiast to take up moringa cultivation. As said, moringa is a complete package, with yields in the form of fruits, flowers, leaves and even roots. Not to mention the health benefits of moringa, it’s a boon to combat malnutrition.
Require temp of about 5-50°C with Moderate humidity.
· Plantation is done by seeds or directly by plants. Trees can be seeded directly and grown any time during the year. Prepare planting pit first, water, and then fill in the pit with soil with manure or fertilizers before planting a seed.
Use drip irrigation system. Moringa plant does not need much watering. In dry conditions, water regularly for the first two months. If rainfall is continuous throughout the year, Moringa trees will have a nearly continuous yield. The crop is quite hardy and during dry season requires irrigation once in two weeks and for commercial cultivation drip irrigation can be adopted.
Leaves from high density moringa fields can be harvested after plant grow 3.0-5.0 ft., which usually takes 60-75 days in well drained fertile soil. Harvesting is done by cutting leaves stems with a sharp knife. Harvesting in this manner will promote the development of new shoots. Subsequent harvesting is done by every 50-70 days. Moringa leaves can easily lose moisture, harvest early in the morning.
After the initial pruning to shape the trees maintenance pruning is required. This can be done at each harvest, if the leaves are removed by cutting all the stems above a certain height. If leaves are harvested by plucking, or if the trees are left unharvested during the dry season,
The bushy shape can be lost and a good pruning must be done at the onset of the rainy season. If the main stem is too thick, terminal branches can be cut down as in the initial pruning.