Papaya plant cultivation is a easy process and it is a well-known in the world. Though it was originated in Costa Rica and southern Mexico, now it is cultivated several countries of the world. The papaya tree is about 16 to 33 feet in length. Papaya tree is generally unbranched tree. The leaves of the papaya tree are very large and have long stalk. Leaves are decorated in the upper part of the stem. Papaya tree produces flowers and fruits in almost all the seasons.
Papaya is one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world. The unripe fruit is green and ripe fruit is yellow in color. Papaya is rich in vitamins. Green papaya contains plenty of papain. Which works to cure worm infections, ulcers, skin lesions, problems of kidneys, and cancer.
Papaya Plant Cultivation Types:
On the basis of agronomic characteristics, some cultivable varieties of papaya are Cuban, Cartagena, Red, Hawaiian, Paraguanero etc.
Suitable Condition for Papaya Plant Cultivation:
Papaya grows well in the tropical warmer climate where the level of humidity and temperature is high. But it also grows in subtropical areas. Papaya tree cannot tolerate frost and heavy rainfall. 21° C to 23° C temperature is optimum for papaya tree cultivation.
Papaya tree grows in almost all types of soil except heavy clay soil. Loamy to the sandy loam soil is ideal for papaya plant cultivation.
The neutral to the near neutral soil is suitable for papaya plant cultivation. The ideal pH level is between 5.5 and 7.5.
Land which is free from waterlogging and is suitable for papaya plant cultivation. The land must be well-protected from strong winds.
Papaya Plant Cultivation Process:
Bed system is the best method for papaya plant cultivation. At first plow the land with a ladder. Make a drain in between two beds. The width of the drain should be 30 cm. Prepare the bed before pit preparation.
Papaya plant propagated through seeds. To raise seedlings at first, soak the selected seeds in water for several hours before sowing. The seed should be free from diseases and pests. Then sow seeds in 10 cm apart rows in seedbeds at 3-4 cm distance and 1.0-1.5 cm depth. You can also use polybag for seed sowing. 2-3 seeds should be sown in one polybag. After germination, keep only the best one seedlings in one polybag.
Number of Seedlings:
Generally, 7500 seedlings are required for per hectare.
Prepare pits of 60×60×45 cm at 2 m apart in the beds (2 × 2 m spacing). Mix fertilizer like cow-dung 15 kg, TSP 500g, gypsum 250g, boric acid 20 g, zinc sulfate 20 g are to be applied per pit with the soil of the pit. Fertilizer should be applied in the pit at least 10-15 days before implanting.
The Ideal Time for Seed Sowing:
There are two seasons of sowing seeds of the papaya plant. September-October and December-January are the ideal seasons for seed sowing. When seedlings are 40-50 days old, they are ready for transplanting.
Implant three seedlings in each pit at 30 cm distance in triangular form. Remove the polybag carefully without disturbing the ball. Implant the seedlings in the same depth as it was in the seedbed or in the polybag. If you want to follow monoecious method then implant only one seedling per pit.
Apply 450-500 g urea and 450-500g MP for per pit. Apply 50 g urea and 50 g MP through top dress method at an interval of one month. First, apply fertilizer after one month of transplanting of seedlings. A double dose of fertilizer should be applied when the plant starts flowering. In dry season must give irrigation using top dressing method.
Irrigation and Drainage:
In dry season frequent irrigation is needed for papaya plant. The interval of two irrigations varies based on soil type and weather condition. Give irrigation at an interval of 10-12 days in winter and 6-7 days in the summer season. Make sure that the drainage system is well enough that there is no waterlogging in the rainy season.
Keep the land always free from weed. Weed out the weeds with Hasua’ or lawn mower without loosening the soil especially in rainy season.
Removal of Extra Plants:
After teeming keep only the best female plant and remove other two trees from the pit. One male plant should be kept for every 10-15 female plants.
Generally, papaya plant bears 2-3 fruits per cluster. Keep only one fruit and thin out the extra fruits. In the 2nd year or flowering year when fruit-bearing is really high, the small fruits should be pruned out.
When tree bears more fruits, the upper part of the tree becomes very heavy. To balance the tree infix a strong pole for per tree and tie the tree with the pole. This pole also protects trees from the storm.
Disease & Pest Control:
Damping off and collar rot:
A serious disease of papaya due to the damp growing condition in seedbeds. It can cause severe damage in the rainy season. To control this disease treatment seed with Vitavax or Captan @ 2-3 g per kg of seed. To sterilize the seedbed spread a 6cm thick layer of sawdust or rice hull on it and burn it.
It is a disease of papaya fruit. Brown lesions appear on fruits due to the attack of this diseases. To control spray Knowin or Topsin @ 2 g/L 2-3 times at 10-15 days interval.
It sucks on leaves, fruits. For this the tree becomes weak. Apply Dimethoate 40EC (Perfecthion/ Taphgar) @ 2 ml/L 2-3 times at 15 days interval.
It a reason for root-knot in papaya. Apply Furadan 3G @ 5g per pit. Crop rotation is a prevention system for the nematode.
Nutrient Deficiency Problem:
Papaya highly needs vitamin B. B deficiency cause curling of leaves, secretion of latex from developing fruits and deformation of fruits. Apply boric acid @ 20 g/pit and spray boric acid @ 2 g/L 2-3 times at 10-15 days interval.
Due to S deficiency leaves turn yellow, the plants become weak and stunted growth becomes slow. To manage, spray Thiovit or Cumulas @ 2 g/L 2-3 times at 10-15 days interval.
Due to Zn deficiency tree color turns mixed of white-green. White net-like appearance may found on leaf venation. To cure of spray ZnO to leaves @ 2g/L 2-3 times at 10-15 days interval.
Collect fruits when the latex of the fruits become almost watery. If you want to sell it in the local market then collect the fruits when they are half ripe. Generally, you can collect the first fruits after 12-14 months of implanting. Harvest fruits in the morning.
To preserve dip the fruits in hot water at 550 C for 5 minutes. Then wrap each fruit separately with paper and preserve them in wooden boxes. Fill the boxes with straw, sawdust and other such soft material. It will protect the fruits from transportation injuries.
The fruits of papaya plant consumed as a vegetable and also as fruit. Without that the dry leaves used as raw material for medicine Papaya tree cultivation don’t require so much capital and easy to cultivate. You can also cultivate papaya tree in your courtyard.