By Zac B. Sarian
TIRES GARDEN – Here’s a practical idea that you can adopt in your urban garden. Get four old truck tires, put them in a space reached by the sun. Fill up the hole with a mixture of organic fertilizer, carbonized rice hull and garden soil. In the middle, plant flowering plants and surround them with lettuce, chaisim, pakchoi or some other low-growing veggie. This was actually showcased during an event organized by SM Foundation’s KSK Farmers’ Training Program in Baguio City sometime ago.
ORGANICALLY GROWN GUAVA – When guava trees are fertilized with organic fertilizer, like goat manure tea or similar growth promotant, the fruits are usually more tasty, crisp and very nice to eat. The trees are more likely to remain productive for many years.
GOAT MANURE TEA IS POTENT FERTILIZER – As per experience of Romulo Cruz of Compostela, Cebu, goat manure tea is an effective fertilizer for guavas. In the early 1990s, he had 3,000 guava trees that he watered with goat manure tea every day. The trees grew robust, fruitful and remaianed productive for many years. He submerged 4 sacks of goat manure in each of his four cement reservoirs to make the manure tea.
QUANTITY CONTROL – One technique of sweet corn growers is to limit their production to what the market can absorb. That’s one way of avoiding losses. Instead of plant one hectare, for instance, it is more prudent to plant just 1,000 square meters at time so that the harvest can be disposed more easily. The strategy is to stagger the plantings so that there is continuity of supply.
AAVOID FRUIT DROP IN DURIAN – When your durian trees are in bloom or with young developing fruits, make sure to provide adequate moisture in the soil. If there is water stress or drought, the flowers and young fruits will drop. That is because the roots can not take up nutrients from a dry soil. Photo shows a government employee from Batangas posing with fruiting durian at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal.
PAPAYA RING SPOT VIRUS – If you see a papaya plant like this in your farm or garden, better eliminate it immediately. It is suffering from papaya ring spot virus or (PRSV). You can no longer expect the plant like this to bear fruit. You can pull out the whole plant and bury it or burn it. There is no known cure for an infected papaya plant like the one in photo. If you cut it down with a bolo, don’t use the same bolo in cutting leaves or branches of some other papaya trees because that will transfer the virus to the other plant. In the place where you cut the infected papaya, don’t plant papaya immediately. Plant something else.
Farm tips are among the favorites of our readers in the print media as well as in our blog. So here are practical tips that could help you in your farming.
NO COLLATERAL LOAN – A lot of our readers have been telling us that they cannot avail themselves of loans because they don’t have the collateral. Now, the Department of Agricultural is providing low-interest (6%) loans without any collateral, ranging from P5,000 to P50,000, payable in two to ten years, depending on the project. The loan is under the DA’s scheme called PLEA or Production Loan Easy Access. Farmers and fisherfolk are eligible.
The production loan can be used to buy seeds, fertilizers, livestock and other farming inputs. Among the recent beneficiaries of the program are five cooperatives in Aklan which serve as the lending conduits. Total loans passed through cooperatives amounted to P39 million.
GOAT MANURE TEA – If you have a guava plantation and you also raise goats, you might as well adopt the technique that Romulo Cruz of Compostela, Cebu developed for watering and fertilizing his trees. He did this in his farm planted to 3,000 guapple trees. His trees, circa 1990s, were very fruitful and were productive for more than seven years.
Romy constructed four concrete reservoirs where he stored water for the daily watering of his trees. Each reservoir measured 4 meters long, 3 meters wide and 1 meter tall. He filled each tank with water and then submerged four sacks of newly collected goat manure. The goat manure was ideal because it comes in pellet-like form and without bad smell.
The manure transformed the water into a dark tea that is rich in nutrients. This was what he used to water the trees every day. It made them robust, hardy against diseases, very fruitful, and the fruits were sweet, crisp and with shiny skin. And that was the reason why he was able t sell his guavas at P22 per kilo right inCebu. That was virtually double the P10-P12 per kilo that other growers got for their guavas.
QUANTITY CONTROL –If there is what they call quality control, there is also what is called quantity control. This is limiting your production to what your market can absorb. For instance, when you produce more sweet corn than what your market can absorb, this could mean loss or less income for you.
Just like what Mark Mercado of Iba, Zambales experienced the first time he planted Sweet Fortune on one hectare in 2017. He produced a very good crop of sweet corn all right, but he was not able to sell a lot of them in Iba and nearby towns. He learned his lesson, however. He had planned to plant sweet corn on just 1,000 square meters at a time but doing it every two weeks or so.
So whatever you plant, sweet corn or somehing else, try to figure out what your target market can aqbsorb and limit your production based on your educated estimate.
FOR URBAN GARDENERS – Here’s a very doable idea for growing vegetables in urban areas. Take four old truck tires, place them in a vacant area reached by the sun. Fill up the hollow portion of the tires with rich mixture of organic fertilizers like Durabloom or vermicast, carbonized rice hul and 30 percent garden soil. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Then you can plant your favorite vegetables. That’s exactly what the SM Foundation’s KSK Farmers’ Training Program showcased in Baguio sometime back. They planted flowering plants in the middle and surrounding them with lettuce. Of course, other vegetables can also be grown like shallot, pakchoi, mustard, Chaisim, upland kangkong and the like. Ampalaya, sitao and cucumber may also be grown by providing them with stakes or trellis to cling on.
Make sure that the plants are regularly watered. For fast growth, spray the plants with organic foliar fertilizer such as Supravim, Durabloom liquid, Amino Plus and the like.
AVOID DURIAN FRUIT DROP – One of the usual problems in durian in Luzon is that many small fruits drop. How do you avoid the problem? One effective technique is to always provide adequate moisture in the soil. When durian trees that are in bloom or having young fruits suffer from drought, many of the young fruits will fall. That’s because the roots cannot take up nutrients from the soil to nourish the fruits when there is water stress. At the same time, make sure that there is enough fertilizer in the soil.