Cropping Systems in Horticultural Crops

Cropping Systems in Horticultural Crops

1) Cover Crops:

Cover crops are raised mainly in the beginning or advanced rainy season so that these may provide necessary protection to the soil when damage by soil erosion is greatest. Retention of cover crops during summer is undesirable as it will compete with the main crop of fruit trees for soil moisture. During monsoon cover crops help in drawing off excess moisture. Experiment on cover cropping in citrus orchard reported by Shri. L.B. Singh and J.P. Nauriyal (Indian Journal of Horticulture Vol. X No. 2 June 1953) showed that when berseem, juice and methi were grown as cover crops there was a significant increase in nitrogen content of the soil.

The cultural operations aim at:

i) Reducing the prevalence of weeds and

ii) Conservation of moisture.

To meet these objects, artificially mulches of saw dust, alkathene black film, dried leaves etc. are becoming popular. The experiments conducted at Pune on effect of different mulching materials on yield and grows of grapes have shown that the yield of grapes was significantly higher under bluck alkathene film and sawdust, mulches.

Similarly giving of mulch of dried leaves and grass has been found to be beneficial for Cashewnut under Kokum conditions.

2) Inter Crops:  

The crop which are growing between the rows of fruit trees in pre bearing stage with a view to get some income are known as inter crops. The commonly grown inter crops are vegetable gram, groundnut, mung, black gram etc.

The following factors would be kept in mind while selecting the inter crop to be grown in an orchard.

i) The inter crops should get occupy the space for more the 5 to 9 months.

ii) The water requirement of the inter crop should be minimum.

iii) The inter crops should be tailor than the main crop.

iv) Vegetables like Ground vines should not be taken as inter crops as the creepers are likely to dimb on the trees.

The following such of inter crops maybe good for Santra orchats. In the first and see year papaya may be taken as inter crop. The santra trees are spaced 20 nd if papayas are planted at the distance of 10′ an acre of orchard would have about 261 papaya plants which would yield an income of Rs. 40,000 to 50,000/- per acre.

v) After papaya until the plants becomes 3 to 4 years old vegetables could be profitably grown in between the rows.

vi) When the santra trees are 4 to 5 years old instead of growing vegetables, an inter crop of groundnut can be taken, when there is no trouble of pigs. In areas where there is such trouble an inter crop of peas may be taken.

3) Mulching:

Mulching is a system of soil management in which hay, straw, or cut grass is placed on the soil between the tree rows to conserve the soil moisture by checking surface evaporation,. It is considered that cultivation and the maintenance of a soil mulch are important as means of preventing the evaporation of moisture. If seeds are removed without disturbing the surface of the soil, very little after is lost by evaporation. Mulching checks germination of weeds.


1. Mulching is favour to fire out break.

2. Mulch also facilitates the hibernation of rodents and pests.


1. Mulching is favour to fire out break.

2. Mulching also facilitates the hibernation of rodents and pests.

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