Plum Farming – Introduction
Fruits are considered healthy for the body. In recent times, the importance of fruits has grown up. People prefer maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, cultivation of fruits has become important. The demand for fruits is also very high in the market. Fruit farming is more profitable than any other farming. The fruit trees take time to gain maturity. But, they bear fruits for long when mature.
Plum is one such fruit which is packed with nutrients. It is a delicious fruit which is eaten all over the world. The small fruit has a tasty flesh and outer firm skin. The fruit has one single stone. The plum is used for making many things. It is used in desserts and many dishes. The plum is generally eaten as a fresh fruit. It is used in making preserves, jellies, jams and other beverages. For making desserts too, plum is used extensively. Plum is usually found in the colder areas. It is cultivated in hilly regions. With proper cultivation methods, it can be grown in other areas too. The plum fruit has a very high demand overseas too. So, the cultivation of this fruit is very important.
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Scientific Name of Plum: Prunus domestica
Top Plum Producing Countries In The World
Common Name Of Plum In Other Languages
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Different Varieties Of Plum Cultivated Across The World
These kinds of plums have a dark purple to the red color of the fruit skin. The flesh of the plum is yellow in color and has a delicious taste. These kinds of plums can be eaten fresh as well as cooked.
Like the name, this variety of plum has a green skin and greenish yellow flesh. The flavor and taste of the fruit are very sweet and delicious. This variety is mainly found in France.
The red plum is the commonest variety of plum. It is eaten everywhere. It is also commonly cultivated. The plums have the bright red color on the skin. The flesh is also bright red in color. The taste of the fruit is slightly tart which is balanced by the sweet taste in it. The plums have a soft texture when they are ripe. They are used very much in preparation of jams.
California French Plums
The size of the plums is small. The flesh is abundant in the plum. These plums are mainly cultivated for prunes. These plums are eaten raw. Mostly, these plums are eaten dried.
This variety of plum has a dark skin. The flesh of the fruit is amber in color. The taste of the fruit is also very sweet. When the fruit has a firm texture, it still has the sweet taste.
This is a type of freestone plum. The size of the fruit is large. The fruit is almost shaped like a heart. The skin of the fruit is green in color. The fruit flesh has a firm texture and is sweet to taste. The fruit skin of the Kelsey variety has a hint of red at the top.
This type of plum has a dark purple colored skin. The skin of the prune plum has a thin layer of white covering. The layer protects the fruit from adverse weather conditions. The flesh is amber in color. It is also sweet in taste. The flavor is tangy when the fruit is firm. The flavor changes to sweet when it is ripe.
The size of the plums is large. Skin of the plum has a dark blue color. The flesh of the plum has a greenish tinge. The flavor of the flesh is very sweet.
The laroda plums reach maturity at a later time compared to most varieties. The size of the fruit is also larger. The fruits are very juicy and also taste very sweet.
The plum fruit of this variety is large in size. The color of the fruit skin is black to purple. The flesh has an amber color. The fruit has a slightly flat shape.
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The skin of the fruit is dark in color. The flesh of the elephant heart skin is bright red in color. The fruit is heart-shaped. The fruit is also very juicy and has a sweet taste.
This is a variety of plum which has a red colored skin. The fruit skin is also very smooth. The plums can be soft or firm. The taste of the fruits is very sweet.
Cultivation Of Plum
For the cultivation of plum, a proper variety has to be selected. The variety must be of a high yielding type. The proper selection of area also must be done. For cultivation of plum, the proper growing conditions must be met.
Soil Conditions For Plum Farming
The plum can be grown in a wide range of soils. It can be well grown in soils having a high level of ph. But, extreme ph conditions must not be used. To get a good yield, the good soil must be used. Sandy loam soil is the best soil for the cultivation of plum. The soil must have good organic matter content. Only then, the yield will be high. If such conditions can be met, the plum trees can be easily grown. The soil must be well drained and well aerated. Too deep or too light soils must not be used.
Climatic Conditions For Plum Farming
The plum grows well in temperate climates. It can be grown in other areas too. For that, proper conditions must be provided. The plum is one unique crop which can grow well at higher temperatures as well as lower temperatures. It can also tolerate frost in winter. But, for better yields, the plum trees must be cultivated in only proper climatic conditions. There are some varieties which can only be cultivated at higher elevations. Also, there are many other varieties which need specific chilling hours. They might need 250-300 chilling hours. In such cases, specific conditions must be met. Usually, the varieties which need a higher amount of chilling hours are grown in hills. The varieties needing a lower amount of chilling hours must be cultivated in plain areas.
Land Preparation For Plum Farming
The land must be ploughed thoroughly. The soil must reach a fine tilth. A good texture of soil will help the plants to grow properly. After that, proper amounts of farmyard manure must be mixed with the soil. For draining away excess water, proper drainage channels must also be made in the field.
Propagation Methods For Plum Farming
The plum can be propagated through seeds and vegetative methods. In the vegetative methods, the plum can be propagated through cuttings. The hard wood cuttings are used for the propagation of plum. For such purpose, cuttings which are thick like a pencil can be used. Also, the length of the cuttings can be 18-20cm.
For seed sowing, they must be collected from the ripe fruits. After collection of seeds, they must be washed, dried and stored properly. Only the healthy seeds must be used for planting purposes.
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Planting Methods For Plum Farming
When the cuttings are suitable enough for planting, they must be transplanted to the main field. When the proper length of the cuttings is grown, they must be put in the main field. After planting the cuttings at a proper distance from each other, they must be watered once.
The seedlings can be grown in nurseries or directly sown in the field. The seeds must be sown at least 4-5cm deep inside the soil. For sowing, a mixture of manure, sand, and topsoil must be used. When they germinate, they can be put back to the main field.
Spacing And Season For Planting For Plum Farming
The seeds for sowing plum are sown in November. The planting or transplanting is usually done in winter. A spacing of 10cm*45cm is usually applied in the plum crop.
Irrigation Methods For Plum Farming
The roots of plum plants are shallow. Therefore, watering must be done regularly. The soil must be checked if it is moist or not. According to that, water must be given. In case of too much rain, the extra water must be drained out of the field. Too much irrigation should never be done. At the time of flowering and fruit formation, the watering must be done regularly.
Manure Application And Irrigation Methods For Plum Farming
The growth of the plum trees is very fast. So, they need a high amount of nutrients as well. A soil test must be done. After the soil test, the nutrition must be provided. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus must be put in proper amounts. They can be applied in split doses. The other micronutrients also must be applied in proper quantities.
Intercultural Operation For Plum Farming
Weeds are a problem in the plum crop. They must be removed by hoeing or applying chemical herbicides. Pruning in the plum crop can be done after the first year. Pruning improves the growth of the plants. The thinning of fruits is also an important activity in plum farming. Usually, the plum trees beat too many fruits. It can result in the smaller size of the fruit. For that, the fruits must be thinned.
Intercropping can be done in the plum field for up to five years. Various crops such as vegetables and legume crops can be intercropped with the plum.
Diseases And Pest Management For Plum Farming
The plum trees do not suffer from excessive pest or disease attack. Proper crop management can be done to avoid such attacks. In case of any such disease, application or spraying of pesticides may be done. if proper seed treatment is done, many diseases can be avoided.
Yield Of Plum
On an average, a fully mature tree can give about 50-60kg of fruits.
The plum fruits must be harvested when they have reached maturity. The fruits are a little firm and have gained the desired ripe color. The fruits must be picked carefully. They must be stored carefully in baskets after picking.
Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of Plum
After picking, the fruits must be graded and sorted. They must be packed properly in boxes to avoid damage. Then, they must be sold in the market. For long distance selling, they can be kept in proper storage conditions. The fruits are best sold fresh in the market.
Benefits Of Plum
- Plums are rich in Vitamin-C. It helps in fighting various diseases. It can protect the body from many diseases.
- Plum is rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants keep the body healthy. They help to remove free radicals out of the body.
- The plum is very good for digestion. It is rich in dietary fibers and thus helps the body to digest food better.
- Plum has beneficial effects on the heart. It protects the heart from many cardiovascular diseases and also prevents them as well.
- Eating plums can improve the bone health. It is beneficial for the bones as it is rich in calcium.
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Plum Farming – Conclusion
Plum has a very good market. Therefore, the marketing of plum can be easy. If the cultivation of plum fruits is done properly, a lot of profit can be gained. For that, a good variety must be selected for farming. Proper techniques must be used for the farming of plum.