Dragon Fruit is related to the cactus species. It is widely eaten in Mexico and Central Asia. Its taste is somewhat sweet, like watermelon. They are very attractive to look at. It is also known as ‘Pitaya’ and ‘Kamalam’ in India. ‘Spikes’ emerge from outside on this light red or pink coloured fruit, but there is white pulp inside. Like watermelon, the colour of its seeds is also black. They are so helpful for health that they are considered ‘superfruits’.
To cultivate dragon fruit, it is necessary to have a good-quality of its seeds. It will be better if the grafting technique develops its plant because it takes less time to mature and give fruits. It can be planted anytime between March to July. After planting the plant, the dragon fruit tree is ready in about a year and offers fruits from July to October.
Land And Climate For Dragon Fruit Farming
Dragon fruit trees do not require any special type of soil. It can be grown on any kind of land. However, loamy, sandy loam to sandy loam soil is most suitable for dragon fruit cultivation. Dragon fruit can also be cultivated on sloping land with fast drainage. For its tree to flourish correctly, the temperature should not be less than 10 and not more than 40 degree Celsius. Dragon fruit requires regular cultivation and treatment.
By doing organic farming of dragon fruit, the product will be better. Then after ploughing the field by the 4WD tractor, plant the dragon fruit plant in the area. Before installing it, you must install 6 feet long RCC poles. Keeping a gap of at least 6 feet between each plant is necessary.
Dragon Fruit Irrigation
Being a cactus species, dragon fruit requires less water. The drip irrigation method requires even less water. Moreover, there is no risk of it grazing or getting insects.
Dragon Fruit Investment
The initial cost of one acre is about two and a half to three lakhs. After that, only general maintenance is spent. At the same time, this can yield dragon fruit for 25 years. Its cultivation produces 10 tonnes of dragon fruit per acre. This earns 6 to 7 lakh rupees.
How To Transplant Dragon Fruit
There are mainly two methods for dragon fruit farming. First, cutting the dragon directly with a knife, dividing it into two parts, and taking out black seeds from the inside can be used for farming. But it takes time to grow this plant, so it is not suitable for commercial agriculture. Another way is to plant its cuttings in the field. Two days before transplanting dragon fruit, cut the mother dragon plants into a length of 20 cm and before planting, place this cutting piece in a pot with a mixture of dry cow dung, topsoil and sand in a ratio 1:1:2 . Avoid sunlight with these cut pieces. Moreover, we can use the Mini Tractor for transplanting dragon fruit.
Keep a space of 2 m x 2 m between each plant and plant in a pit of size 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm. Also, fill this pit with 100 grams of superphosphate fertilizer. There are about 1700 dragon fruit plants on 1 acre of land. Take the support of concrete or wooden pillars for proper growth and development of the plant.
Dragon Fruit Fertilizer
Each dragon fruit plant requires 10 to 15 kg of organic manure or compost to grow well. Organic manure or fertilizers can play a significant role in dragon fruit cultivation for better growth and development of the plant. To get more yield of dragon fruit, a higher quantity of Potash and less quantity of Nitrogen should be used on the plant in the fruit-bearing stage.
Dragon Fruit Farming Health Benefits
Dragon fruit is said to be very beneficial in increasing immunity, reducing cholesterol, increasing haemoglobin, for heart patients, for healthy hair and skin, for weight loss, and in cases of diseases like diabetes and cancer. Because of so many qualities, it is also called ‘superfruit’. This is due to the fact that they are attractive to look at.
Beta-carotene and lycopene are also found in dragon fruit, rich in vitamin C, iron, fibres and antioxidants and fibres. Taking carotenoid-rich food also decreases the risk of cancer and heart disease. Dragon fruit is also unique for those who do not find food made from whole grains palatable because they are also rich in fibre. They are said to be very beneficial for patients suffering from serious diseases. Dragon fruit strengthens our immunity, i.e. the immune system, and keeps digestion right.
Dragon fruit plants start bearing fruits after one year of planting. One month after flowering, dragon fruits are ready to be harvested. Immature dragon fruit has bright green-coloured skin. After a few days, the peel of the fruit turns from dark green to red. The best time to harvest dragon fruit is 3 to 4 days after the skin of the fruit changes colour. These dragon fruits are in great demand in the local as well as international markets. So, you can get good returns from this dragon fruit cultivation.
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