[Beginners Guide] How To Grow Coconut in Zimbabwe - Agrolearner.com
How To Grow Coconut in Zimbabwe

[Beginners Guide] How To Grow Coconut in Zimbabwe

Coconuts are a type of tropical fruit that has many benefits and uses. They provide a great source of nutrition, are used in many dishes, and can be used for a variety of home remedies and health treatments.

In Zimbabwe, growing coconuts can be a rewarding experience, as the climate and soil in the country are ideal for cultivating this delicious fruit.

The key factor to growing coconut trees in Zimbabwe successfully includes selecting the right planting location, preparation of soil and seedlings, coconut tree planting, coconut farm maintenance, and harvesting the coconut.

If you are to learn in detail on how you can start coconut farming in Zimbabwe, then ensure you read through to the end to learn all the vital information needed

How To Grow Coconut in Zimbabwe

Growing coconut can be achieved by anyone as long as the necessary step is followed to the latter. That is why we have compiled a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to grow coconut in Zimbabwe.

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Step 1: Choose the Right Planting Site

Choosing the right planting site to grow coconut in Zimbabwe is not to be taken for granted. This step requires you to consider important factors such as the climate condition required to grow coconut.

Coconut thrives in high temperatures and high-humidity climates. Also, the soil property needed to grow coconut is fertile well-draining sandy loam soil. This soil type drains well and retains moisture when needed.

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Also, the planting site should get enough sunlight, a minimum of 5 hours a day because coconut plant requires plenty of sunlight to grow adequately. Moreso, the site should not be exposed to excessive wind which can affect the germination process of the coconut plant.

If you found a location that meets the above requirement, you can choose to purchase or lease, especially in the case of commercial farming.

Step 2: Select the Right Coconut Variety

Selecting the right coconut variety to grow in Zimbabwe is another vital step that cannot be trivialized. Here, you are expected to select coconut varieties that are of high quality. The seed should be capable of high-yield production and should be treated against disease and pests.

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Ensure you purchase a genetically modified coconut variety which is the best that can be grown in Zimbabwe. You can visit a credible local agro-store, nursery, garden, or agricultural ministry to purchase your coconut variety.

Importantly, purchase already-sprouted coconut plants to save you the stress and time of planting directly from seed which can be stressful and time-consuming.

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Step 3: Preparing the Soil for Planting

Soil preparation of the planting site should be done meticulously. Here, you are expected to rid the land of every unwanted vegetation and debris. You can live some trees and shrubs to serve as shade for the young coconut plant. These plants can be removed later on as the plant matures.

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Once the land is cleared, the soil should be tilled to make root penetration and water drainage easy. Also, tilling the land will help to remove hidden roots and other obstructions.

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You can then test the soil and add any necessary amendments to enrich soil fertility if the pH level is below 6.0. the final step is to dig planting holes that are big enough to plant the coconut tree during the planting stage. Ensure you water the land to prepare it for the planting stage.

Step 4: Planting the Coconut Tree

After the soil has been prepared, it is time to plant the coconut palms. When planting, make sure to plant the coconuts at least 4 meters apart. The already sprouted coconut plant or palms should be planted 10-15 cm deep and spaced at least 4 meters apart.

Make sure you water the palms immediately after planting so that they can establish its root with the soil.

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Step 5: Adequate Watering

Ensure you adequately water the plant throughout the germination stage. The soil should be deeply watered so that the soil will remain moist. Nonetheless, be careful not to overflood the soil which can cause defects to the plant.

During the dry season, watering should be done more frequently. The irrigation system is highly recommended during this period.

Step 6: Fertilizer Application

If your plant is not growing as it ought to, make sure you apply a chemical or organic fertilizer to boost soil nutrients and aid the plant growth process. A balanced fertilizer such as NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) should be applied at least once a year to the coconut palms.

Organic fertilizers such as compost and poultry manure can also be applied. The best application method is to apply the fertilizer to the soil around the base of the tree, depending on the type of soil and soil fertility. After applying the fertilizer, you should water the fertilizer into the soil.

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Step 7: Weed Control

Weeds are disturbance plants that compete with edible plants for food, water, light, and space. Ensure you monitor your coconut farm to quickly control weeds and stop them from spreading throughout the farm.

You can remove weeds by hand hoeing, which is the common method that is applicable. Also, you can make use of herbicides and or biological measures to control weeds.

Step 8: Pest and Disease Control

Several pests and diseases affect coconut plants. It is important to monitor the plants routinely for signs of infestation or infection.

If any pest or disease is spotted, you can prune the particular site to avoid them spreading to others. Also, you can make use of chemical pesticides or fungicides, when necessary. However, follow the instructions on the label to use as prescribed.

Step 9: Harvest

Harvesting coconuts can begin after the palms have been in the ground for at least two years. Coconuts are ready to be harvested when the husk turns brown.

There are two methods of harvesting coconut, using a ladder to climb the tree and cut the nuts, or using a long pole to fall the nut on a prepared bag or sack at the base of the tree.

Varieties of Coconut in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, there are mainly two varieties of coconut that are commonly grown, namely the East African Tall (EAT) and the Dwarf coconut. The EAT variety is known to produce large coconuts, while the Dwarf variety is smaller in size and has a shorter lifespan.

How Much is Coconut Sold in Zimbabwe

The price of coconuts in Zimbabwe varies depending on the location and the season. Generally, coconuts are sold at an average price of around USD 0.50 to USD 1 per coconut.

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Best Agronomic Practices to Engage in Growing Coconut in Zimbabwe

To grow coconut successfully in Zimbabwe, it is important to engage in the following agronomic practices:

Choose the right location: Coconuts require a warm and humid environment and are best grown in coastal areas or regions with a similar climate. In Zimbabwe, the eastern and northern regions are suitable for coconut farming.

Soil preparation: Coconuts require well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter. Prepare the soil by digging holes that are at least 60 cm deep and wide, and filling them with compost or manure.

Planting: Plant the coconut seedlings in the holes and water them regularly. It is important to leave enough space between the seedlings to allow for proper growth and development.

Fertilization: Apply fertilizer to the soil every 6 months to ensure healthy growth and development of the coconut trees.

Irrigation: Irrigate the coconut trees regularly, especially during the dry season. Coconuts require plenty of water to thrive.

Projected Profit of Coconut in that Zimbabwe

The profitability of coconut farming in Zimbabwe depends on several factors, including the cost of production, market demand, and yield per hectare. According to estimates, one hectare of coconut plantation can yield up to 2,000 coconuts per year, which translates to a potential income of around USD 1,000 to USD 2,000 per hectare per year.

Common Diseases and Pests Of Coconut

Coconuts are susceptible to several diseases and pests, including:

Coconut mite: This pest feeds on the leaves of the coconut tree and can cause severe damage if left untreated. Treatment options include spraying the affected trees with insecticides or using natural predators to control the mites.

Coconut scale: This pest also feeds on the leaves of the coconut tree and can cause stunted growth and reduced yields. Treatment options include spraying the affected trees with insecticides or using natural predators to control the scales.

Leaf spot disease: This disease is caused by a fungal pathogen and can cause the leaves of the coconut tree to turn yellow or brown. Treatment options include pruning the affected leaves and applying fungicides to the tree.

Different Propagation Method of Coconut

There are two main propagation methods for coconut trees, namely seed propagation and vegetative propagation.

Seed propagation involves planting the coconut seeds directly into the soil. This method is less expensive but can take up to 6 years for the trees to start bearing fruit.

Vegetative propagation involves planting the coconut seedlings that have been grown from cuttings or grafts. This method is more expensive but can produce fruit within 3 to 4 years.

Coconut Tree Planting Method

Coconut trees are planted by digging a hole in the ground, adding organic fertilizer, placing the coconut seedling in the hole, and covering the seedling with soil. The seedling should point downward with the root side facing down. The soil should be watered regularly to ensure the seedling has adequate moisture and nutrients.

How Do Coconuts Grow

Coconuts are drupes, or fruits with a hard, outer covering and a fleshy center. They grow on coconut palms and are native to tropical and subtropical climates. After the coconut is pollinated, it takes about a year to mature. The coconut will then drop from the tree and is ready to be harvested.

How Quickly Do Coconuts Grow

Coconuts take approximately 6-10 months to reach maturity and can take up to a year or two to grow from the time of planting. The time taken for a coconut to grow is dependent on several factors such as the climate, soil type and amount of water and fertilizer applied.

Coconut Plantation Per Acre

Coconut plantations provide an abundant harvest per acre. They require minimal inputs and are highly productive, with one acre yielding up to 500 mature coconuts per year.

Coconut Yield Per Tree

Coconut yield per tree varies widely depending on the tree’s age, location, and other environmental factors. Generally, an average of 60-70 coconuts are produced per tree per year in India. However, in some areas, trees can produce up to 200 coconuts per year. Additionally, improved varieties of coconuts can yield up to 400 coconuts per tree annually.

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The Coconut Tree

Coconut trees are tall, single-stemmed palm trees with a crown of large, feather-like leaves. They are native to tropical regions and can grow up to 100 feet tall. Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut tree and are widely used in cooking, baking, and garnishing. The tree is also used for its oil, fiber, and wood.

Coconut Maintenance

Coconut maintenance requires regular watering, fertilization, pruning, and pest control. Water coconut trees every two to three weeks during the growing season and less during the winter months.

Fertilize the tree every two to three months with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Prune the tree to improve its shape and reduce the risk of disease and pest damage. Finally, monitor the tree for pests and diseases and treat them as needed.

How To Grow Coconut Indoors

  1. Purchase a mature coconut, as they are easiest to grow indoors.
  2. Place the coconut in a bowl of lukewarm water and soak it for several days, changing the water daily.
  3. Once the coconut has split open, remove it from the water and gently pull apart the husk to reveal the interior.
  4. Plant the coconut in a container filled with a mix of soil, perlite, and organic compost.
  5. Place the container in a sunny spot, such as a windowsill, and keep the soil consistently moist.
  6. Feed the coconut plant with a fertilizer formulated for palms and other tropical plants.
  7. Prune away any dead or dying leaves and water the plant regularly.
  8. Monitor the plant for pests and diseases and treat them as needed.

How To Grow A Coconut In Water

  1. Place a mature coconut in a shallow bowl of room-temperature water and let it soak for 2-4 days.
  2. Change the water every 12 hours to keep it fresh.
  3. After 2-4 days, the coconut will start to sprout.
  4. Take the coconut out of the water and place it in a pot of soil with the sprout facing up.
  5. Water the soil regularly.
  6. Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot and allow the coconut to grow.
  7. Harvest the coconut when it is mature.

How To Grow Coconut Tree Indoors

Place a coconut in a bucket of warm water and allow it to soak for 24 hours. After the coconut has soaked, remove the husk and rinse off the pulp.

Place the coconut in a pot filled with soil, leaving the top third exposed. Place the pot in an area with indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist, but not too saturated.

As the coconut begins to sprout, gradually transition it to a sunny area. When the tree is several feet tall, prune off the top leaves to encourage lateral branching. Continue to water and monitor the tree for any pests or diseases.

How To Grow Coconut Trees

Plant coconut palms in well-draining, sandy soil in a sunny location at a depth of 2-3 inches, making sure the pointed end is facing up. Water the soil around the coconut and keep it moist.

Once the coconut begins to sprout, move it to a larger pot with a nutrient-rich, soil-based potting mix. Place the pot in an area with full sunlight and water it regularly. Fertilize the soil every two weeks with a low-nitrogen fertilizer and prune the fronds as necessary.

How To Grow Coconut

  1. Plant a quality, mature coconut in well-draining, sandy soil in a sunny, sheltered area.
  2. Water the coconut thoroughly and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  3. Fertilize the coconut every six months with a balanced, nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
  4. Prune the coconut to encourage a healthy shape and maximum light exposure.
  5. Monitor for pests and diseases and treat them as needed with natural, organic methods.
  6. Harvest when the coconut has turned brown and the husk can be easily removed.

How To Grow A Coconut Plant

  1. Get a coconut that is still in its outer shell. Put it in a container with water and let it sit for a day.
  2. Crack off the shell with a hammer and take out the white inner husk.
  3. Put the coconut in a pot with soil and sand, with the pointed end facing up.
  4. Keep the soil saturated by watering it occasionally.
  5. Put the pot in a place that gets plenty of sunlight.
  6. Once the coconut starts to grow, use a high-nitrogen fertilizer to feed it every 3 months.
  7. When the coconut has reached its full size, you can pick it and enjoy its fruit.

Conclusion

Growing coconut in Zimbabwe is not only possible but it is also a profitable venture that anyone equipped with the right knowledge and tool can venture into considering the demand for coconut produce and products. Following the steps discussed in this material will help you successfully establish your coconut farm either in your backyard, garden, or large farm scale.

Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

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