Introduction to Growing Akhrots (Walnuts)
Today, let us get into details of Growing Akhrots (Walnuts)
The AKHROT is one of the dry fruit which is famous all over the world. AKHROT is a nut which is obtained from a tree. AKHROT is obtained from the Juglans. These belong to the Juglandaceae family. AKHROT is scientifically named as Juglans regia. These are popularly found in South America, Europe and Asia. These are native to North America, South America, Asia, West Indies, and Southern Europe. These are first cultivated in England. These AKHROTs are named as Walnuts. In India, these are mainly grown in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Arunachal Pradesh. There are about 20 different varieties of species in our country. The major production is done in Jammu and Kashmir.
These AKHROTs are exported to Germany, U.K, Egypt, Netherland, and France. China is one of the largest producers of AKHROTs all over the world. AKHROT is one of the important temperate nut fruits in our country. In India, these are found in different shapes and also in different sizes. These are categorized into 4 categories like thin – shelled, medium – shelled, hard shelled and paper – shelled. All over the world and also in India the demand for the AKHROT is high in local and also in international market.
Characteristics of Akhrots:
Plant: The plant is deeply – furrowed, the bark of the tree is black in colour. The height of the tree ranges in height from 70 – 150 feet and the diameter of the tree is 2 – 4 feet. It is considered that the life span of the AKHROT trees is 250 years.
Leaves: The leaves of this plant large, these are formed pinnately compound. They are 12 – 24 inches in length, and the leaflets have 15 – 23 leaves. The stems are covered with leaves, they have fine hair on the leaf, the leaves are butter smooth. The leaves are yellowish – green in colour.
Flower: The AKHROT plant blooms separate flowers like male and female flowers.
Fruit: The fruit is large in size, they are round shape, the nut is blackish brown in colour, the shell of the nut is hard, the shell is also thick, and the kernel looks oily. The kernel is edible and it is highly nutritious.
Properties of Akhrots:
- Energy: 654 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 13.71 g
- Fat: 65.21 g
- Protein: 15.23g
- The Vitamins that are enclosed in AKHROT are Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.
- The Minerals that are enclosed in AKHROT are Potassium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, and Zinc.
Varieties of Akhrots:
These varieties like Open Cauchy, Lake English and Drainovsky are grown in Jammu and Kashmir.
These varieties like Chakrata Selections are grown in Uttaranchal.
These varieties like Kashmir Budded, Eureka, Franquetfe, Wilson, Gobind and Placentia.
These are exotic varieties of AKHROTs Vina, Corne, Payne, Marbot, Franquette, Pedro, Grandjean, Chico, Hartley
Soil and Climate requirements for Growing Akhrots:
The soil, which is more suitable for Growing AKHROT is silt or loamy soils and also the soil, which is fertile and rich can be used in Growing AKHROT. The pH level of the soil should range between 6.0 – 7.5. If needed, we can provide the soil with zinc, lime and boron with supplements as this will help the soil from not getting a micronutrient deficiency of the soil.
For growing AKHROT, cool climate can are more suitable. But the crop should be protected from freezing and also from frosting. These AKHROTs will not grow in humid and hot climatic conditions. The temperature that is required for Growing AKHROTs are -2 to – 6˚C the rainfall which is required annually is 800 mm. In hot climatic conditions the shell of the nut and also the yield gets affected.
Land preparation and Planting for Growing Akhrots:
The land should be prepared by removing weeds, stones and also the unwanted material of the previous crop should be removed. The land should be ploughed several times as the soil attains fine tilth and also smooth texture. After ploughing the land, land should be levelling and tillering should be done. After all these the field should be applied with farmyard manure and also with green manure. This will help the soil to improve its organic matter.
We should adopt square planting in plant areas. If we are growing AKHROTs in hilly areas, then we can plant them on hill contours. The spacing which should be used for planting the plants is 12 m * 12 m until the seeds become seedlings. In case of grafting plants we need to plant those 10 m * 10 m space.
Propagation method for Growing Akhrots:
The propagation of AKHROTs can be done through seeds, grafting, rootstocks, planting large size trees.
Seed Propagation: Mostly the AKHROTs are propagated by seeds, we should sow the seeds during the autumn season in the nursery it takes 3 months for the seed to become a seedling and the required temperature for the germination is 2 – 4˚C.
Root stock Propagation: These root stocks or grafted budding scion should be planted in the main field directly. The root stocks which are picked should be taken from the lower part of the tree and these will produce their own root system. As the scions produce upper part of the tree and these AKHROT trees are propagated by budding the root stock from August to September. This grafting taken place during the spring season and then the rootstock produces the leaves.
Manure and Fertilization method in Growing Akhrots:
In the commercial cultivation of AKHROT, once in a year i.e. in summer July – August we should collect the leaves of the tree and send them to the laboratory so that we will now the requirement of nutrients for them. As well as at the time of planting, we should apply the farmyard manure and then we should apply them with the following:
- Nitrogen @ 2.15
- Sodium Phosphorus @ 0.1%
- Potassium @ 1%
- Calcium @ 1%
- Magnesium, Chlorine @ 0.3 %
- Zinc @ 20 ppm
- Copper @ 4 ppm
Irrigation methods in Growing Akhrots:
After the transplanting the seeds we need to irrigated the plants. The irrigation for the AKHROT depends upon the soil and also on the weather. For conserving the water we can use drip irrigation. Annually the required irrigation for growing AKHROTs is 1270 mm. The AKHROT tree needs more than 50 % during summer season like June, July and August.
Flowering and Pollination in Growing Akhrots:
The tree of AKHROT has both the flower like male and female flower parts. By the help of the wind naturally the pollen transfer from male flower to female flower. And all the AKHROT varieties are self – fertile.
Intercultural methods in Growing Akhrots:
Weeding: The unwanted weeds should be removed from the surrounding of the AKHROT plants. This will harm the plant by affecting their diseases and pests.
Pruning: Regularly the pruning should be done as the wanted and dead stems should remove. So this will help the plant so that the air penetrates into the plant easily.
Training: The plant should be trained from the seedling itself, and this will also help the plant in occupying less space.
Mulching: The weeded plants can be used for mulching as these plants can conserve the moisture in the soil.
Pest and Diseases control measures in Growing Akhrots:
The pests and diseases that affect the Akhrot crop are:
Pests and their controls:
- European Walnut Aphis – The intensity of European Walnuts Aphis pest can be controlled by spraying nicotine dust.
- Aphis – These aphids can be controlled by spraying nicotine sulphate.
- Codling moth – By spraying the lead arsenate in appropriate amount with water the codling moth can be controlled.
- Red spider – The red spider can be controlled by spraying dicofol or by wettable sulphur or profenophose or by spiromrsifen.
- Erinose mite – The intensity of the pest can be controlled by spraying Dimethoate or Kelthane.
- Die back or Winter Injury
- Walnut blight
- Crown – gall
- Mushroom root rot
These can be controlled by natural methods and also sometimes we can use chemical sprays.
Harvesting techniques in Growing Akhrots:
The harvesting of the nuts is done in the months of August – September – October – November. These should be harvested after the 75 % of the nut is spilt from the shell. It is indicated that the fruit is mature completely. The harvesting can be done manually by shaking the tree the nuts that are matured will fall down on the ground.
Post harvesting techniques in Growing Akhrots:
Cleaning: After harvesting the fruits they should be washed and cleaned and then the hulls of the nuts should be removed. When the fruits mature completely they can come off easily.
Sorting: The nut should be sorted as per their size and shape.
Grading: The nuts should be graded as per their quality and colour.
Storage: AKHROTs With shells we can store these nuts up to 2 years.
Packing: These should pack in an air tight cover or boxes. They should be packed properly as they should be sent to the market.
Marketing: These can be marketed properly even in local and also in international market.
Yield of Akhrot or Walnut:
Best yield is obtained by good management practices; the average yield of the AKHROT is 125 – 150 kg of nuts from a tree.