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Crop Cultivation Guidance



Sapota seeks a low investment in exchange of steady returns. It need low irrigation schedules.

Climate and Soil:

Climate: Sapota grows both in dry and humid areas. Rainy or cloudy weather at any time of the year does not affect setting of fruits. June-July is the ideal period for planting.

Soil: It grows well on all types of soils. Well drained loamy soils and medium black soils are ideal for its cultivation. Soils with hard rocky substratum or impervious clay are not suitable and should be avoided.     

  1. Kalipatti: It has dark, green leaves and spreading branches. The fruits are oval, the seeds are few and fruits are of excellent quality.
  2. Cricket Ball: Fruits are large and round. The flesh is gritty and of moderate quality. It performs well at elevations below 300m and in relatively arid climate.
  3. Calcutta Round: Fruits are large, the flesh is gritty and is of moderate quality. It is susceptible to left spot disease.
Approach or soft wood grafted plants or air layers are suitable for commercial planting. Rayon(Khirni) seedlings are the best root stocks.

Nursery for Khirni:

Khirni seeds are viable upto five months. Fresh Khirni seeds need to be scarified(concentrated H2SO4) for two minutes followed by washing in running water and soaking in 1000ppm thiourea for six hours. Then sow in sand beds. Transplant the khirni seedlings a four leaf stage to lolage pots. In about 7 months the seedlings will attain graftable size.

Planting: Prepare the land by ploughing and harrowing. Get pits of one m.cube dug at 10mx10m or 13m. apart, depending upon the soil. Fill the pits with top soil and compost. irrigation once in 15 days in ring and basin method or drip irrigation @60-90L/day/plant gives better yields.


After care: Manure the plants in the beginning of monsoon. Apply manures and fertilizers 60-90cm. away from the trunk. Weed the plots regularly. Intercropping can be done during the first 7-10 years till the plants cover the entire area. Remove the side shoots upto a height of 90 cm. on the trunk from the ground level in the initial stages.

Bearing: Though sapota plants may start flowering and fruiting from the 4th year onwards, economical yields can be obtained only from 7th year. Though sapota flowers throughout the year, the peak harvest will be in two distinct seasons viz. March to May and September to October. The fruits harvested during summer will be generally sweet.

Harvesting and yield
The fruits will have to be harvested when they develop dull brown potato colour. The average yield per plant of about two years old may be around 1,000 to 1,500 fruits (100 to 150 kg). Sapota cultivation has begun on a large scale joining the ranks of fruits exported abroad to overseas markets.
Leaf-Spot: A major disease affecting sapota trees is leaf-spot. An attack of leaf spot usually results in 75% leaf damage, in case of which the crop yield is reduced by more than 50%.

Suity mould: Suity mould is another disease which is affected by white ants and black ants that carry it. Carbon Diziem must be sprayed regularly, once in a month from the pre-harvest stages. Mealy Bug is another disease affecting it.

Pest and their management:
Sapota borer is a disease shows symptoms of flower drop and damaged fruit. It can be controlled by spraying 40 Carbaryl 50 WP or 20 mo malathion 50 EC/10 L of water immediately after flowering.

Reddish brown spots are shown by leaf spot and sooty disease which can be controlled by Zineb 20g/10 L water mould on the leaves Foliar spray when disease appears.