Appropriate fertilisation led to flowering and fruiting
Producing quality pomelo to meet seasonal demand
Fellow father-and-son farmers, You Zhao Shun and Fang De, manage a 5-acre pomelo orchard. As pomelo is a seasonal fruit, it requires efficient management and care to allow flowering and fruiting at the right time to meet the seasonal demand. Besides the usual task of trimming the leaves, appropriate fertilisation also plays an important role. Other than high pomelo production, adequate nutrition also enhances the structure and aroma of the fruit.
Important to grasp the flowering and fruiting stages
Local father-and-son farmers, You Zhao Shun and Fang De, have been in the pomelo agriculture for the past 10 years. They manage a 5-acre orchard that produces quality pomelos to meet the demand of festive occasions like Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn festival. Fang De explained that the orchard has 150 pomelo plants of local variety that is sweet with white flesh. 3 acres of the orchard are grown with plants of 10 years in age while the rest is occupied by 5-year old plants.
He pointed out that the pomelo variety is similar to those produced locally. The orchards in Kampung Liang Seng experience two times of harvest in a year. As the fruit is meant to meet the demand of festive occasions, one must have good grasp to manage the flowering and fruiting processes. In order to harvest in time to meet the demand of Lunar New Year, the flowering stage must happen by the 7th month of the lunar calendar and subsequently by the 2nd month to be in time for the Mid-Autumn demand.
He said that leaves trimming is one of the main tasks in managing a pomelo orchard. This ensures that the plant is kept at a preferred height and structure to ease the other tasks of applying medicines & the putting of bags on the fruits. At the same time, it allows the plants to mature throughout the flowering and fruiting stages to eventually produce fruits of good quality.
Besides diligently labouring on these tasks, it is also important to have the appropriate fertilisation method. Explaining on this, Fang De said he would apply the chloride-free, European-imported Complex Blue Special 12-12-17-2-9S fertiliser, which was distributed by AgroBridge (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, every month after trimming the leaves, for better flowering and fruiting results. On top of that, he would apply Bonica, a boron-based suspension, to ensure healthy growth of the blossom and fruits besides reducing the acidity in the soil.
Long hours of exposure to sunlight affects outer structure of the fruits
As explained by Fang De, after the fruits are formed, he would apply a different product, i.e. the AgroBridge Complex Purple Special 15-5-20-2-8S formula, to enhance the weight and quality of the fruits. To guarantee adequate absorption of nutrients by the plants, he would apply foliar fertilisers in a timely manner. These include Wuxal Boron before flowering stage, Wuxal Calcium after budding stage and all the way until the bagging of the fruits, and Wuxal Ascofol when the fruits are protected in bags. All these are done in order to achieve the desired fruit structure and aroma.
He expressed satisfaction on the results of applying AgroBridge’s fertiliser products on his plants, which are well formulated and provide steady release of the fertiliser effects. This is crucial because the plants require adequate nutrients as they produce fruits in order to stay at the optimum health condition and to be resistant to pests and diseases.
He explained that thrips, spider mites, fruit flies and caterpillars are among the pests that pose threats to the plants. As such, timely application of the medicines is necessary as part of the pest control measures. He further explained that once the fruits have grown to approximately the size of the fist, the fruits are required to be covered with bags to be protected against damages caused by pests and to sunburn due to long hours of exposure to sunlight. Thus, affecting the outer structure.
He said that it would take 5 to 6 months from the time of blossom to harvest and that the amount of harvest is dependent on the health condition of the plants. A healthy 10-year old plant would bring a harvest of 300 pieces of fruits at a time. He explained that as the plants age, the fruits produced are more aromatic. On the other hand, the fruits of a young plant would be bigger in size.