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Nursery Raising in Areca Nut

Nursery Raising in Areca Nut

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Published by: Dr.Eswara Reddy Siddareddy on Jul 19, 2013
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07/19/2013

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 NURSERY RAISING IN BETEL NUT PALM
S.ESWARA REDDY 
Commonly known as Areca nut
,it is a erect, solitarytree growing to 25 meters high with annular scars. Leaves about 2-3 meterslong with numerous leaflets, 60-90cm long. Spadix is branched andcompressed. Fruits are ovoid, smooth, orange to red when ripe; 4-6 cmlong, with a fleshy pericarp and fibrous mesocarp.
Traditionally a masticatory (betel chewing) insouth east Asia, India, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia : betelnut mixed with betel leaf and lime. In ayurvedic medicine, the nut isused in the treatment of headaches, fever and rheumatism
.
Areca nut contains :Alkaloids ( arecaine, 0.1%, arecoline,0.2%, arecaidine, arecolidine, guvacoline, guvacine, isoguvacine), tannin,15%; red fat, 14%; resin; choline; catechu.The tannin is located almostentirely in the kernel which decreases as the nut ripens.
 
Areca nut is propagated only by seeds. There arefour steps in selection and raising of arecanut seedlings
viz.,
 selection of mother palms, selection of seed nuts, germinationand raising the seedlings and selection of seedlings. 
Selection of mother palm
 
The criteria for the selection of mother palm are;early bearing, regular bearing habit, large number of leaves onthe crown, shorter internodes and high fruit set. 
Selection of seed nut
Fully ripened nuts having weight of above 35 gshould be selected. The nuts selected should float verticallywith calyx-end pointing upwards when allowed to float onwater. These nuts produce the seedlings of greater vigour .
 Primary and secondary nurseries
For obtaining good germination, the seed nutsshould be sown as whole fruits. The nuts should be sownimmediately after the harvest in soil or sand and watereddaily to get early and good germination. The nuts should besown at 15 cm distance in vertical position with calyx end just covered. The beds may be mulched lightly using arecaleaf or paddy straw.After six months in primary nursery, the seedlingsare to be transplanted to secondary nursery beds of 150 cmwidth, 15 cm height and convenient length. A spacing of 30cm between the seedlings is considered to be optimum for agrowth period of one year in the nursery. Polythene bags(25x15cm, 150 gauge) filled with potting mixture can also beused to raise secondary nursery. Sprouts of 3 months oldshould be used.Areca sprouts and seedlings are very delicate anddo not withstand exposure to direct sunlight. Hence, proper shade should be provided to the nursery.The nursery should be watered regularly in thesummer and proper drainage should be provided in rainyseason. The nursery should be kept clean by periodicalweeding. 
Selection of seedlings
Twelve to eighteen-month-old seedlings are to beselected and transplanted in the main field. Seedlings with

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