Passion fruits

Crop Management

Crop management:Passion Fruit

1. Fertilizer/manure application

Passion fruits are good feeders and readily respond to nutrients applied to them. At the time of planting seedlings, 30 kg of manure is put in each hole and repeated every year. Regular fertilization is necessary for optimum yields. Frequent sprays with compost tea or similar organic foliar feed should be applied starting from 1 month after planting and at least every 3 months after that.

2. Weeding

Early growth of passion fruit is slow and regular weeding is essential. Care should be taken when weeding in order to avoid any injury to the plant. Mulching along the rows or around the base of the plants greatly facilitates weed control and protects the roots.

3. Mulching

Mulching helps in weed control as well as preservation of soil moisture. When the mulch decomposes, it adds to soil fertility and improves soil structures.

4.  Pruning

Pruning is an important activity in passion fruit husbandry for keeping the vines within bounds, making harvest easier and to keep the plants productive by maintaining vigorous growth. It is also important to prune the passion fruit for the following reasons:

  • Pruning gives the crop a growing direction. Two healthy shoots are selected and the rest are cut off.
  • Improves yields of the crop. Cutting off shoots that will produce other branches enhances rapid growth.
  • Removes branches that are fruitless, damaged or diseased.
  • Rejuvenates the plant. When pruned at a height of 30 cm when yields decline, it sprouts and produces new branches.

5. Trellising

Trellising is constructing support structures on which the vines climb by gripping on them using the tendrils. In the East Africa region, a single wire trellis has been found to be good. A 14-gauge galvanized wire is tightly stretched along the tops of hardwood posts 15 cm in diameter and 3 m long, dug in to a depth of 0.6 m; these posts are spaced 8 m apart. The trellis should be erected when the field is planted so that the main shoot and one vigorous lateral can be tied to the wire with a string.

When the vines reach the wire they are trained in opposite directions along it. All laterals below the wire are pruned off.