During our talk in “Sundays With Zac Sarian”, our free weekly seminar in our farm, we emphasized the importance of water in developing one’s dream farm. One lady who had just bought a piece of rainfed farm which she intends to plant with fruit trees wanted to know what she could do because there is no water source in her farm. She said she wanted to plant mango, jackfruit, rambutan, pomelo, durian and more.
Well, we told her it is not the end of the world. Certain things could be done. And what are these? Usually, one buys the small planting materials because they are cheaper than the big ones, especially if they are the superior varieties. It is okay to buy the small planting materials but don’t plant them right away in the open field, we told her. The small grafted seedlings will readily perish in the open field. Weeds can strangle them. The extreme heat of the sun can kill them.
So what should one do? Keep the small plants in a holding place where one can take good care of them. It could be near the home if space is available. The plants could be repotted in bigger plastic nursery bags and placed under partial shade. They should be regularly watered and fertilized with nitrogenous fertilizer to promote vegetative growth. They could be sprayed regularly with growth enhancers like Power Grower Combo developed by Alfonso Puyat, Bionature Cocktail of Caysing Tan and other biostimulants available in the market..
When the seedlings have grown to five feet tall or thereabouts, they should be exposed to more sun to harden them. The large planting materials (LPM) would then be ready for planting at the start of the rainy season. Such large planting materials will have a much better chance of survival in the rainfed field.
Meanwhile, while waiting for the planting materials to be ready for planting in the field, say six months earlier, the holes where the plants will be planted could already be dug and a kilo or two of manure placed to decompose before planting time. Fill the planting hole with a mixture of top soil and rice hull to make the growing medium more porous so oxygen can get inside. This will promote better development of roots to make the plants more resistant to drought and other stresses.
On hindsight, there is no law that will prevent you from buying large planting materials for your farm. The only limiting law is the law of scarce cash supply.