Bahar Treatment: Pomegranate is one of the tropical fruits grown in India. Due to its health benefits of the fruit which contains anthocyanins, tannins made it one of the commercial fruit crop. Indian farmers are cultivating some varieties such as 'Ganesh’, ‘Mridula’ and ‘Bhagwa’.
Pomegranate crop can be cultivated in different soil types in tropical climate zone of India and for better crop productivity/yield, certain other things are very much important to consider.
Some of them are
- High quality and disease-free seed material must be used to grow
- Scientifically designed spacing and plant density
- Proper and hygienic canopy management
- The best integrated nutrient management
- Maintaining only required number of fruits on the trees [Balanced load]
- Synchronization of fruiting season to manage the diseases and insects
- Proper, timely and integrated insects and disease management methods to be followed.
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE CONSIDERATIONS, THERE IS ONE IMPORTANT CULTURAL PRACTICE THAT FARMERS NEED TO EXECUTE FOR BETTER PRODUCTION IS BAHAR TREATMENT.
BAHAR TREATMENT – THE PURPOSE
Pomegranate crop has no particular time to flower, it can flower through out the year if the crop is gets required moisture in the soil. But if the flowering is allowed throughout the year, the crop yields irregular fruits, so commercially it will not be feasible and there will be very mere/less yields. Marketing or selling may be not practically profitable. So, to harvest high quality, more productive pomegranate crop BAHAR treatment is given to the crop.
BAHAR treatment is provided first for the crop age more than 18 months and also based on the plant growth. If the plant growth is not sufficient for 18 months waited for some more time to give BAHAR treatment.
BAHAR TREATMENT – THE MODUS OPERANDI
It is physiology of the plant system in perennial crops that stress promotes flowering, so in case of pomegranate the science of forcing plants for moisture stress is considered.
Step – 1: Irrigation is stopped at least 30-35 days before defoliation (during treatment) in light sandy soil and 40-45 days or even 2 months before defoliation in sandy loam soil.
Step – 2: Trees are pruned for proper canopy [ 40 - 45 days after stopping irrigation]
Step – 3: Within 2 days after pruning, pruned trees are sprayed with Ethrel 2.5 gm/L + D A P – 5 gm/L of water for defoliation, and just after defoliation (80-85% leaf fall), light pruning (15-25 cm) is done.
Step – 4: Within 2-3 days after pruning, soil application of nutrients* is done . The nutrients suggested below is for 3-year crop and subsequently the quantity of the nutrients or fertilizers have to be increased based on the crop age and plant size.
- Farm Yard Manure [FYM] – 20-30 kg fortified with Biofertilisers
- Ammonium Sulphate – 300 gm
- Diammonium Phosphate – 150 gm
- Muriate of Potash – 100 gm
- Magnesium Sulphate – 50 gm
- Zinc EDTA [Soil grade] – 50 gm
- Borax [Soil grade] – 20 gm
- Nitrobenzene granules – 25 gm
* Per plant
Step – 5: After applying the above nutrients and covering with soil [earthing up] irrigation water/irrigation has to be provided but not fully. The quantity of water to the plants in first irrigation after applying manures and fertilizers may be little more [ 8 – 12 litres based on plant age and size] but for next two consecutive days the quantity of water must be half of quantity provided in the first one.
- Excess irrigation at this stage should be avoided otherwise flowering will be affected adversely
- After 3rd irrigation, providing irrigation have to be stopped for 5-6 days.
If the above steps are followed timely and without fail the flowering in the pomegranate crop will be profuse and better fruit set is achieved. Initially more male flowers appear and subsequently, hermaphrodite flowers appear and produce fruits.
Regular plant protection measures should be followed throughout the cropping season.