Horticulture experts have advised the orchardists of the state to adopt preventive measures to protect fruit plants from frost and drought. This was stated by a spokesman of the horticulture department according to a press note issued by HP Public Relations Deptartment
He said that in order to save plants from frost, the young fruit plants upto the age of 4-5 years may be covered/thatched with dry grass, sarkanda or hessian cloth in such a way that the south east direction is kept open so that the plants may get enough sunlight and air. In big orchards, smoking may be done by burning dry leaves and weeds etc, and where the facility of irrigation was available, light irrigation may be given regularly and the graftable plants of mango may be irrigated regularly so that the basins remained moist.
Suggesting control measures for affected plants, the spokesman said that the frost affected fruit plants may be pruned upto the living portion in the last week of February and all the affected dead branches by frost may be removed. He asked the orchardists to paste the cut portions with chaubatia paste (copper carbonate one part, lead oxide one part and linseed oil 1.25 part) or Bordeaux paint (cooper sulphate one part unslaked lime two parts and linseed oil three parts).Â He said that they may spray cooper oxychloride 3 gm/litre after pruning/removal of dead branches and asked them to spray one percent area in the last week of April so that the cut wounds may recover and the plants may take further growth.
The sokesman further stated that in order to save plants against drought, mulching of tree basins with dry grass, leaves etc upto 6 inches may be done so as to retain the soil moisture around the tree and added that in orchards where the irrigation facilities were available, irrigation of the orchards can be done regularly at 15 days interval and orchardists may adopt modern irrigation techniques like drip and sprinkler irrigation so as to make the full utilization of the available water. He said that the water storage tanks constructed under the Horticulture Technology Mission may also be utilized to their capacity to irrigate the orchards regularly.