Weed management

Unutilized space beneath the coconut plantation becomes invaded by a wide range of perennial and annual weed species. Such weeds compete with the coconuts for soil moisture and nutrients, affecting the growth and yield of the coconut crop and obstructing routine estate practices. However, the cost of weed control is 20% of the total cost of production, which significantly reduces the profitability of coconut. Coconut based intercropping and mixed cropping systems are effective and economically viable strategies for controlling weeds in coconut plantation. In general intercropping with suitable crops and inter-cultivation will reduce weed population and increase coconut yield. Proper intercultivation provides control of weeds and creates soil mulch. Any tillage system (ploughing, digging, raking or forming mounds) that provides soil mulch and control weeds may be followed depending upon local conditions. The inter-space in the coconut garden has to be ploughed twice in a year in June – July and December – January.For the broad-leaved weeds, pre-emergence spraying of atrazine @1.0 kg a.i./ ha for the control of grasses and sedges. Post emergence spraying of glyphosate @ 10 ml + 20 g ammonium Sulphate + 2ml soap solution per litre of water recommended for control of weeds at nonselective.