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Papaya Cultivation - Best Practices

Posted by BigHaat India on

                                    Papaya tree with fruits

Papaya plant, Carica papaya (careica pa-pi-uh), is a short-lived herbaceous plant grown almost every part of the earth. India is the largest producer of Papaya followed by Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Mexico.

Papaya fruits are found in different sizes and shapes with smooth skin based on variety and type of plant. Papaya fruits contain seeds within the pulp which is sweet and smooth yellow to orange-red flesh. Normally two classes of papayas are grown small and large. The small varieties are also referred to as the ‘solo’ type.

                                      Papaya Fruits

Papayas have three basic plant types:

Male plants - The males produce only pollen, never fruit.

                                      Male papaya tree

Female plants - Only female and hermaphrodite plants typically produce fruit and wind and insects are required for pollination of female plants

                                      Papaya female flower and fruits

and Hermaphrodites, however, hermaphroditic plants can self-pollinate. Almost all commercial orchards contain only hermaphrodites.

                                    Papaya hermaphrodite plant

Varieties:

In India right now large type variety TAIWAN RED LADY is the largest growing papaya. Some of the farmers are also growing SOLO type papayas.

                 RedLady Papaya variety tree    Solo Papaya variety tree

Growing conditions

Papaya plants are woody tree-like plants that grow fast. The ideal temperature for papaya to grow and yield is 21 0C and 32 0C. Papaya crop flowers best in bright environment in soil having porous nature with moisture in hot weather and dry in cool weather conditions.  Exposure to extreme low temperatures may cause damage to leaves and even kill the plants.

                              Growing conditions for Papaya

Papaya plants grow best in near neutral soil pH (between pH 6.0 and 7.0). Soil types with adequate drainage is well suited for good growth and development of Papayas. Water logged conditions of the papaya crop grown soil can lead to root diseases or even kill the plants. Organic material may be added to the soil before planting for good root development.

Nursery raising

Two types of nursery raising is followed by farmers. Raised bed, polythene bags and Jiffys.

  • Raised beds are prepared with fine soil and required quantity of Farm yard manure and seeds are sowed with proper spacing. Papaya seeds can also be sown in polythene bags with good rooting media and raised.

                             Papaya Saplings in Polythene bags

  • Papaya seeds can also be raised in latest jiffy technology with reloaded nutritive rooting media.

                                       Jiffy papaya Saplings

Plants need to be raised in protective structure to protect young seedlings from adverse environment conditions, pests and diseases which may later cause major crop losses. Protection measures to be taken to protect from damping off. 45 days after the saplings can be transplanted to main field.

Land preparation for planting

The site selected for planting the seedlings should be well prepared through repeated ploughing and harrowing and finally levelled pits of 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft are dug. Allow the dug pits to sun dry for at least 15 days. Planting of the saplings in the main field may be done during monsoon. Half of the dug pit may be filled up with the excavated soil mixed with 5 gm Carbofuran  before planting.

                                         Carbofuran - Furadan

Plants are removed from the nursery/cover with a ball of earth and placed at the centre of the half soil filled pit, 30 gm of DAP and 25 gm Ecohume granules [root growth promoting substance] are placed at the place and covered the soil up to surface of the ball of the earth. Light irrigation should be given immediately after planting.

Spacing

Papayas that are planted in spacing of seven feet between individual trees and eight to nine feet between rows yields better than those planted closer. Papaya trees usually grow up to 12 feet tall, but can grow up to 30 feet in height in high nutritive soils. Plants or trees with shorter height will be easy to harvest.

                                    Spacing in Papaya

Fertilizer Application

To maintain a continuous supply of fruits, it is important to provide it with an adequate amount of fertilizers at frequent intervals. It is also necessary to have a balanced C/N (carbon: nitrogen) ratio for proper fruiting. The following dose fertilizers per plant have been recommended to obtain the maximum fruit yield. 25 -30 kgs of well decomposed farm yard manure fortified with biofertilisers mix will boosts up the crop growth and disease resistance. Enriched organic manures fortifed with Bifertilisers, vermicompost, Neem cake and other ingredients beneficial for plants may be added. 1 - 2 kg per plant per year.

                  Biofertilisers        Bio organic manure for Papaya        NPK Nutrients

Inorganic fertilizers (top dressing) (a) Nitrogen-200-250 g, (b) Phosphorus-200-250 g, (c) Potassium 450-500 gm per plant per year. Micronutrient mixtures 120 gm, Ecohume granules [Plant bio stimulants] 200 gm, Calcium nitrate 250 gm, Manganese sulfate 200 gm and Magnesium Sulphate 200 gm. NPK can be provide in split doses every 60 days. Other nutrients may be supplemented yearly three times per year in equal doses. Borax soil application to be added 15 to 20 grams per plant per month to maintain flower health for good fruiting.

                          Micronutrient mixture for the Papaya cultivation   Plant growth promoter for the Papaya cultivation  Manganese sulphate for the Papaya cultivation

The application is given in split doses to avoid the nutrient losses due to volatilization and leaching. Application of excess nitrogen, which is a common practice among the farmers should be avoided as it increases vegetative growth and leads to poor fruiting. Ammoniacal nitrogen application to papaya plants not decreases the fruit setting but also increases the chances of viral infections like Papaya ring spot virus and other viral infections.

Fertilisation is also provided through drip irrigation, click on the link to go to fertigation schedule. https://www.bighaat.com/blogs/kb/fertigation-recommendations-for-papaya-crop

   Irrigation:

Initially the water requirement for papaya plants may be limited, required as protecting from drought but in the bearing stage papaya plant requires 25 to 35 litre of water per day. This may be also dependent on the weather conditions. In places that receive regular rainfall, irrigation may only be needed to supplement short of rainfall.

                                        Irrigation in Papaya Crop

Harvesting:

Papaya plants starts flowering in 3rd to 4th month and fruits mature in seven to nine months in warmer climates and plants takes 9 to 11 months in cooler climates. A single papaya tree can produce upto 100 fruits per growing season.

                                     Papaya fruits ready to harvest       

Crop protection

Weed Management:

The weeds grow luxuriantly in the papaya orchard and exhaust most of the nutrients supplied. They also compete for light, air and water resulting in poor fruiting. These weeds should be controlled either manually or chemical spray. No selective herbicides are registered for papaya crop and non-selective herbicides may be sprayed but must not come in contact with the papaya plans in any way.

                                         Weeds In Papaya

PESTS

  1. Mite: Mites suck the sap of the leaves and yellowish spots appear, on the dorsal side of the infested leaves which finally dry up and fall off prematurely.

                     Mites infestation

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Fenazquin

2 mL

Magister

Dicofol

2 mL

Colonel

Neem oil 10000 ppm

1 mL

Econeem plus

 Hexythiazox

1.5 mL

Maiden

Spirotetramat + Imidacloprid 

2 mL

Movento Energy

Spiromesifen

1 mL

Oberan or Voltage

  1. Mealy bugs: Mealy bugs are usually found in warm climates. Insects are soft-bodied, wingless organisms which appear as white cottony masses on the leaves, stems and fruit of plants. The younger stage nymphs are little smaller sized and pale coloured and also cause damage to the plants. Mealy bugs feed by inserting long sucking mouthparts stylets into plants and drawing sap out of the tissue. Higher rate of infestations causes more damage and plant growth is reduced and fruit quality will poor. Mealy bugs’ infestation is accompanied by honeydew, which makes the plant sticky and encourages the growth of sooty moulds.

                                             Mealy Bugs in Papaya crop

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Spinosad 480 SC

0.375 mL

Tracer or Spintor

Thiomethaxom

0.5 gm

Caper or Anant or  Actara

Neem oil 10000 ppm

1 mL

Econeem plus

Dimethoate

2 gm

Tafgor

Carbofuran

10 gm / plant

Furadon

                    Control of Mealy bugs

2. Aphids: Aphids are known to transmit virus. They feed on leaves and suck the plant sap. Necrotic spots appear on the leaves, which later on turn into blistered patches of green tissues.

                                        Aphids in papaya crop

3. White flies: White flies are a common pest of papaya and are destructive / active during dry season. They suck the cell sap and are seen clustering between the veins on the ventral surface of the leaves. The leaves become yellowish, wrinkle and curl downwards. They also act as vectors in transmitting the virus.

Management of Aphids and Whiteflies

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Acephate

2 gm/

Hunk or Asataf

Acetamipride 20 % SP

0.5 gm

Prime or Prime gold or pyramid

Imidacloprid 17.8 %

0.5 mL

Confidor

Imidacloprid 70 %

0.3 gm

Admire

Spinosad 480 SC

0.375 mL

Tracer or Spintor

Thiomethaxom

0.5 gm

Caper or Anant or  Actara

Neem oil 10000 ppm

1 mL

Econeem plus

Fipronil

2 gm

Regent

Flupyradifurone

2 mL

Sivanto prime

 

     Control of Aphids in Papaya crop

                  Control of Aphids in Papaya crop

 

Disease management : Fungal Infections

1. Damping off

Damping off disease is caused by infections and as well as more moisture and less moisture. More moisture also supports fungal and other pathogen. Both pre-emergent and post emergent symptoms are common. Seedlings are killed at nursery and transplanted seedlings will also be killed. Infected tissues at the stem base and root base will be water soaked and soft later turning black killing the young plants. 

                                              Damping off disease in papaya

2. Root rot: The top roots become rotten due to fungal infections and also to stagnation of water in the subsoil and uptake of nutrients by the fibrous roots are interrupted, resulting in very poor fruiting or no fruiting at all. Initially the plants show the symptoms of leaf yellowing of younger leaves with dull appearance and later whole plant damps off.

Management of Damping off disease and Root rot

Drench the plant roots with about 100 – 150 ml/plant the following molecules mix for damping at early stages and 2-3 liters of the similar combination mix per plant at later stages root rot infections.

                                  Root and collar rot in papaya crop

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Metalaxyl 35 %

0.75- 1 gm

Ridomet

Steptomycin Sulphate + Tetracycline sulphate

0.5 g

Plantomycin

 

                                  Control of Damping off disease

 10 days drench the plant roots with about 100 – 150 ml/plant the following molecules mix for damping at early stages and 2-3 liters of the similar combination mix per plant at later stages root rot infections.

 

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Trichoderma viride

20 - 25 gm

Ecoderma or Nisarga or Treat

 

                                     Damping off disease control in Papaya

3. Collar rot or stem rot:

Water soaked lesions appear on the bark just above the ground level and terminal leaves turn yellow, and finally drop down. Fruits also shrivel and drop off, roots deteriorate to decay and stem is girdled at the base.

Management of Collar or Stem rot

Prepare following mix to smear on the infected areas twice.

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Metalaxyl 35 %

0.75- 1 gm

Ridomet

Steptomycin Sulphate + Tetracycline sulphate

0.5 g

Plantomycin

 

                                       Control of Damping off disease

4. Powdery mildew:

White powdery growth appears on both the surfaces of leaves and white stranded patches appear on the fruits. Young infected leaves dry up prematurely and drop down, which results in severe yield reduction. Disease is favoured by high humidity, moderate temperature and cloudy weather and is a serious disease in south India.

                                   Powdery mildew in Papaya

Management of powdery mildew

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Fluopyram + Tebuconazole

0.5 g

Luna Experience

Tebuconazole

2 mL

Follicur

Hexaconazole

2 mL

Contaf plus or Hexadhan

Myclobutanil

1 gm

Nagarjuna Index

Tebuconazole and Trifloxystrobin

0.5 gm

Nativo

Azoxystrobin + Tebuconazole 

1 mL

Custodia

Herbal extract

2 mL

Elixir

Azoxystrobin

1 mL

Amistar

Azoxystrobin + Difenoconazole

0.5 mL

Amistar Top

 

                        Control of Powdery mildew in Papaya

5. Anthracnose:

The disease affects both the leaves and the fruits. In the initial stage, fruits show spots which first appear as brown superficial discoloration of the skin. Later on, these spots turn into circular, slightly sunken areas. Gradually the lesions join together and sparse mycelial growth often appears on the margins of such spots. Necrotic spots are produced on leaves and stems. The disease is favoured by wet weather conditions.

                                    Anthracnose in Papaya

Management of Anthracnose Disease

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Copper Oxy Chloride

2 gm

Blitox

Mancozeb

2 gm

Indofil M-45 or Dithane M-45

Copper hydroxide

2 gm

Kocide or Hi-Dice

Chlorothalonil

2 gm

Splash / Kavach

Metalaxyl+ Mancozeb

2 gm

Master or Ridomil gold or Matco

Metalaxyl + Chlorothalonil

2 mL

Folio gold

 

                 Anthracnose disease management in Papaya crop

6.Downy mildew

On Papaya crop downy mildew symptoms appear as water soaked patches on the lower surface of the leaves. Later the patches turn yellowish and black intermediate spore like spots appear. Yellow patches start appearing on the upper surface and finally whole leaf turns yellow and fall off. The flower buds drop off by petiole rottening before pollination in downy mildew infected papaya plants. 

                         Downy mildew in Papaya

Management of Downy mildew Disease

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Copper Oxy Chloride

2 gm

Blitox

Copper hydroxide

2 gm

Kocide or Hi-Dice

Chlorothalonil

2 gm

Splash / Kavach

Metalaxyl+ Mancozeb

2 gm

Master or Ridomil gold or Matco

Metalaxyl + Chlorothalonil

2 mL

Folio gold

Fenamidone + Mancozeb 

3 gm

Sectin

Fluopicolide and Fosetyl 

3 gm

Profiler

Cynamxil + mancozeb

3 gm

Curzate

Iprovalicarb + Propineb 

3 gm

Melody duo

   

                        Downy mildew disease management in Papaya crop

7. Alternaria Blight:

Alternaria fungal disease is common in Indian papaya crop. The disease is characterized by the complete yellowing of a one or two center leaves before the apical growth tip. The plant development will be reduced and the colour turned leaved slowly turns brown, dries and fall off.

                                             Alternaria disease in Papaya crop

Management of alternaria Disease

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Copper Oxy Chloride

2 gm

Blitox

Copper hydroxide

2 gm

Kocide or Hi-Dice

Chlorothalonil

2 gm

Splash / Kavach

Metalaxyl+ Mancozeb

2 gm

Master or Ridomil gold or Matco

Metalaxyl + Chlorothalonil

2 mL

Folio gold

 

                               Alternaria disease management in Papaya crop

8. Leaf Spot disease in Papaya Crop

Leaf spot disease is common among fungal infections. The disease is more severe in cooler temperatures and rainy months. The leaf spots are more common on older leaves and leaves turn yellow, untidy and flower dropping is observed on the respective petioles of the infected leaves.

                                      Black spot disease in Papaya crop

Molecule

Dosage per litre of water

Trade Name

Difencanozole

0.5 mL

Score

Tebuconazole

2 mL

Follicur

Tebuconazole and Trifloxystrobin

0.5 gm

Nativo

Azoxystrobin + Tebuconazole 

1 mL

Custodia

Azoxystrobin

1 mL

Amistar

Azoxystrobin + Difenoconazole

0.5 mL

Amistar Top

Copper Oxy Chloride

2 gm

Blitox

Copper hydroxide

2 gm

Kocide or Hi-Dice

Chlorothalonil

2 gm

Splash / Kavach

Metalaxyl+ Mancozeb

2 gm

Master or Ridomil gold or Matco

Metalaxyl + Chlorothalonil

2 mL

Folio gold

 

                                     leaf spot disease management in Papaya crop

Viral diseases

  1. Papaya mosaic: The affected plants become stunted in growth, show yellow mottling and distortion of leaves. Leaf petioles bend down and tendril like structures are formed from the leaves. All these development ultimately lead to the death of the plant. Diseased plants yield little or no crop. Several species of aphids act as vector in transmitting the disease.

                                             Mosaic virus disease of Papaya crop

  1. Papaya leaf curl: Its causal organism is tobacco leaf curl virus. The leaves are severely affected and show symptoms of curling, crinkling and distortion of leaves accompanied by vein clearing and reduction in leaf size. The affected plants either do not flower or bear a few fruits only. The disease is transmitted through grafting and by white fly.

                                    Curl virus disease of Papaya crop

  1. Papaya ring Spot Virus: Top leaves begin to have yellow mosaic in the leaf blade and green oily streaks appear on the stem and petiole of younger leaves. This ring spots appear on flowers and fruits. Can cause production loss between 5-100% depending on the age in which the plant is affected. The disease is said to be transmitted from plant to plant by aphids.

                                   Papaya ring spot viral infections on Papaya crop

Management of Viral Infections in Papaya Crop

  • Thoroughly screen the nursery bed for the infected seedlings and rogue them carefully and transplant only healthy seedlings and remove the diseased plants in the main field.
  • Spray with insecticides to check the sucking pests such as Aphids and Thrips which are transmitters of the viral disease.
  • Collateral hosts of the virus the gourd family’s crops such as Watermelon, Musk melon, Ridge gourd, Bottle gourd, snake gourd should not be grown in the vicinity of papaya plantation.
  • Weeds should be removed which may act as an additional hosts for the virus.
  • Integrated nutrient management supports the virus in control. Less of ammoniacal nitrogen and more of Potash along with Bio activators and micronutrients both as soil application and sprays.
  • Inclusion of Manganese micronutrient in the regular sprays will reduce the multiplication of Virus in the infected system and recovery of plants is observed.
  • Too much nitrogen will cause excessive vegetative growth of the plants and may result in soft fruit and increases.

                         Management of viral diseases in Papaya crop

 

K SANJEEVA REDDY,

Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.

For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM.

Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.


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