GUAVA (Psidium guajava)
Plant Characteristics
Guava thrives well in places receiving medium rainfall not exceeding 100 cm. In heavy rainfall areas, plants grow luxuriantly, but the quality of the fruits is found to be very poor and insipid. It grows well on any type of soil. Red sandy loam soil with good drainage is most ideal for commercial cultivation of guava.
Selection Criteria For Planting Materials
Planting material
Seed propagation is not practised because of high degree of variation among the progenies. Air layering is widely adopted for propagation of selected varieties. Layers strike roots within 3-5 weeks. When the roots grow through the ball of moss, the stem may be severed below the girdled area in stages. The polythene film is removed from the finally severed rooted stem, which is then potted and kept in the shade until new leaves appear. When the new flushes are produced, the plant can be hardened in full sunlight preparatory to transplanting in the field
Varieties
Allahabad Safeda, Sardar (Lucknow-49), Red Fleshed, Apple Coloured and Pear Shaped
Seeds And Cultivation
Planting
Pits of one metre cube are made 6 m apart. Fill the pits with topsoil, sand and cowdung. Layers are planted in the centre of the pit. Staking of plants is also done, if necessary. After planting, mulching with dry leaves should be done to conserve moisture. June-July is the ideal time for planting the layers and seedlings. Plants should be irrigated in summer. Square system of planting facilitates easy orchard operations. Guava can be grown as an intercrop in coconut gardens.
Nutrient Management
Manuring
A fully grown-up bearing plant should be manured with about 80 kg of FYM, 200 g N, 80 g P2O5 and 260 g K2O. These may be applied in two or three split doses when there is sufficient moisture in the soil.
Pest Management
Fruit fly
This is a serious pest of guava. The insect affects the fruit when it matures. The infested fruits show depression with dark green punctures. As a precautionary measure, the crop should be sprayed just before fruit maturity with carbaryl (0.1%) or dimethoate (0.1%).
Disease Management
Fruit rot disease
This is a serious disease of guava especially during rainy seasons. The symptoms are manifested as development of dark brown circular spots at the blossom end of the immature green fruits. Application of zineb (0.2%) or aureofungin (10 ppm) as monthly sprays during June to October can control the disease.
Guava wilt
In affected trees, the branches wither and die one after another and in a few weeks or months the tree, which seemed entirely healthy will be dead. It is better to remove such trees as soon as the symptoms are identified to prevent the spread of the disease.
Average Yield
Yield
Guava starts bearing from 3-4 years after planting. About 500-800 fruits per year can be obtained from a 10 year old tree
MAIN PRODUCTION AREAS-Gurgaon, Karnal, Hisar, Faridabad, Sonipat