Managing passion farm starts with the variety you choose to grow. If you decide to tend the yellow passion variety, your management program will be slightly different from that of someone growing purple passion.
Before we proceed with today’s passion farm management tip, A few days ago I talked about the profitability passion fruit. If you missed that post, you could check it here.
When it comes to growing yellow passion fruit, your management job is simple and straightforward. All you have to do is germinate the seeds in a nursery, transplant the plantlets in polythene tubes or trays filled with soil, let them grow until they attain a height of 15-20 cm before you transplant them to the open field.
However, if you decide to grow purple passion fruit, you MUST first graft purple passionfruit scion on yellow passion—if you hope you have a high yielding passion farm.
Why is grafting purple passion fruit scion on yellow passion a critical factor in managing a passion farm?
- Purple passion fruit variety happens to be highly susceptible to a fungal disease known as fusarium wilt.
This fungal disease is so severe than any other passion disease. It can clear a whole passion farm within days. To minimize the risk of an entire farm dying of fusarium wilt, you should graft purple passion fruit scion on yellow rootstock. That is not the only reason for grafting purple on yellow passion. There is more.
- The Yellow passion rootstock is hardy, drought tolerant, and vigorous.
The yellow passionfruit will, therefore, pass these good traits to the purple passion scion. A farmer who grows purple passion fruit grafted on yellow passion will get more yields, and use less money to control pests and disease.
Managing passion fruit farm is easy
In brief, whether you grow yellow or purple passion, routine management a passionfruit farm comprises the following practices:
- Trellising the passion vine
- Maintaining Soil fertility
- Managing Pests
- Keeping the orchard clean
- Regular watering
- Managing Nutrient deficiencies
- Passionfruit fertilizer requirements.
How to Manage your Passion Farm when the seedlings are at the Young vegetative stage?
Horticulture experts recommend the right transplanting height of grafted passion is when they 15-20 cm high. I agree with them. This height is the ideal for transplanting as anyone can easily distinguish the fruit seedlings from weeds. At this height, passion plants grow rapidly and can aggressively compete with weeds.
When it comes to managing plants at this growth stage, you must understand their growth habits. At this young vegetative stage, passion plants need to have a healthy root network, put up foliage, multiply, and grow a sturdy stem, so that supports heavy fruiting.
Therefore, the managing practice you employ should support this growth stage.
How to make your seedlings have an extensive root network
For your passionfruit plant to have a secure root system, you will need to prepare the transplanting hole correctly.
Here is how to do it.
- Dig a hole that is 2 feet wide X 2 feet long X 2 feet deep.
- Fill the hole halfway with farmyard manure.
- Use the soil that you’ve removed from the hole, to top up the hole you’ve just filled halfway with manure until it is three-quarter full.
- Using your hands, or a hand trowel, mix the soil and the manure thoroughly.
- Transplant your seedling.
- Apply 10 grams of DAP fertilizer around the plant. Be careful that the DAP fertilizer does not touch the stem of the seedling otherwise the fertilizer will burn the seedling.
- Fill the remaining space with the remaining soil, and firming up the soil around the plant.
- Water the passion seedling.
The purpose of the manure is to make the soil well aerated and provide a room for roots and beneficial micro-organisms to thrive. On the other hand, the role of the DAP fertilizer is to make the nitrogen nutrients available sooner because manure releases its nutrients slowly.
How to make your passion fruit seedling have sufficient foliage for fruit production
Once you’ve transplanted your passion fruit seedlings, don’t forget to water them regularly. Frequent watering is necessary because water enables the passion fruit vine to access nutrients vital for growth through osmosis.
Once the seedlings are well established and have new growth, you can apply about 5 grams of urea for every passion fruit plant.
In about two months of regular watering, the plant will have moved to the young plant/ seedling stage to the vegetative stage.
How To Manage the Passion Plant During the Vegetative Stage.
In this phase, the plant multiplies producing side shoots and vines in preparation of flowering and fruiting. At this stage, horticulture experts discourage the use of fertilizers rich in nitrogen. They do so because fertilizers rich in nitrogen encourage the growth of leaves at the expense of fruits.
Because the plant will be producing many vines, it will need trellising and vine pruning. Trellising is vital to managing passion fruit as To maximize on passion fruit production; you ensure that you have one main stem that provides three main branches.
You will also need to apply hormones at 5-6 months to stimulate flowering.
How To Manage of Passion Plant During the Flowering Stage
The flowering stage is the most sensitive stage in a passion fruit plant. Any water and nutrient deficiencies will lead to flower abortion and eventual low yields. Likewise, any pest attack will lead to reduced production.
At this stage, you will need to apply high levels of potassium fertilizer and micronutrient fertilizers to avoid flower abortion. You will also continue to use appropriate fungicides and insecticides to prevent damage to flowers.
The most significant pest to watch at this stage is passion fruit aphid which leads to passion fruit woody virus that results in misshaped fruits.
The plant will need regular watering.
Managing Passion Fruit During The Fruiting Stage
The plant will need regular watering and pest management. You will also need to protect your maturing fruits from animals like monkeys, birds, squirrels, and people who are likely to pick your mature fruits and lead to losses.
Share with us how you manage your passionfruit farm.