Newshub18:Dragon Fruit Cultivation Method. Importance and nutritional value of dragon fruit.
Introduction:Dragon fruit is basically a famous fruit of America which has gained great popularity in our country now. Different varieties of this fruit were first brought to Bangladesh in 2007 from Thailand, Florida and Vietnam. Dragon fruit tree is a type of cactus plant. This tree has no leaves. Dragon fruit trees are usually 1.5 to 2.5 meters tall. Currently, the new variety of dragon fruit developed by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (Bari) is Bari Dragon Fruit-1, which is a popular fruit in Southeast Asia. The size of this fruit is large, the color of the peel turns red when ripe, the shell is dark pink, red and white and juicy in nature. The fruit seeds are small, black and soft. The weight of a fruit ranges from 150 grams to 600 grams.
Dragon fruit is generally of three types-
1) Red Dragon Fruit or Pitaya. The color of its shell is red and the shell is white. The fruits of this species are more common.
2) Costa Rica Dragon Fruit. Both the shell and the shell are red in color.
3) Yellow dragon fruit. The skin of this variety of dragon fruit is yellow in color and the shell is white in color.
Varieties: Varieties invented in Bangladesh are:
Bari Dragon Fruit-1, Bau Dragon Fruit-1 (White), Bau Dragon Fruit-2 (Red), Bau Dragon Fruit-3
Nutritional value: Vitamin C, minerals and high in fiber. The fruit contains fiber, fat, carotene, a lot of phosphorus, ascorbic acid, protein, calcium, iron.
The Pustiman yield per 100 grams of edible dragon fruit is given as-
Water- 80-90 grams
Sugars- 9-10 grams
Protein- 0.15-0.5 gm
Fiber – 0.33-0.90 grams
Food strength- 35-50 kcal
Fat – 0.10-0.6 grams
Calcium- 6-10 mg
Iron- 0.3-0.7 mg
Phosphorus- 16-35 grams
Carotene- (Vitamin A Thiamine, Riboflavin little
Vitamin B-3 – 0.2 – 0.4 mg
Importance of Dragon Fruit:
1. It is rich in carotene and keeps the eyes healthy.
2. Aids in digestion due to its high fiber content. In addition, fiber reduces body fat.
3. The resulting protein helps in all metabolic functions of the body.
4. Its calcium keeps bones strong and teeth strong.
5. Vitamin B-3 lowers blood cholesterol and keeps skin smooth.
6. Vitamin C boosts the body’s immune system and helps maintain healthy skin, teeth and hair.
Land selection and preparation:
Well-drained high and medium high fertile land should be selected and well-laddered with 2-3 cultivations.
Planting method and planting time:
Drogon fruit cuttings should be planted in square or hexagonal shape in flat land and contour method in hilly land. The suitable time for planting dragon fruit is mid-April to mid-October.
Although dragon fruit is propagated by vegetative method or seeds, it is better to propagate by vegetative method i.e. cuttings to maintain the maternal quality. The success rate of cutting is almost 100% and fast. A tree produced from cuttings takes 12-18 months to bear fruit. Usually seedlings are easily produced by cutting 1 to 1.5 feet of old and hardy branches and planting the root cuttings in sandy loam soil in light shade. Then after 20 to 30 days the roots will emerge from the base of the cutting. Then it will be suitable for planting in the field. However, cuttings can be planted directly in the original soil in suitable conditions and as per requirement.
Pruning and Training:
Dragon fruit grows very quickly and produces thick branches. A 1-year-old tree can produce up to 30 branches and a 4-year-old dragon fruit tree can produce up to 130 branches. However, branch production depends on proper training and management. Studies have shown that a tree bears fruit after 12 to 18 months in the context of Bangladesh. 1 or 2 secondary branches are allowed for each 40 to 50 main branches of fruit collection. However, tertiary and quaternary branches are not allowed in this case. It is best to divide the training and pruning activities into days. Any fungicide must be applied after training and spraying. A variety of diseases can attack if strained.
Making holes and planting:
1.5 m x 1.5 m x 1 m size hole should be made and exposed to the sun. After 20-25 days of making the hole, 25-30 kg of rotted cow dung, 250 gm TSP, 250 gm MOP, 150 gm gypsum and 50 gm zinc sulphate fertilizer should be mixed well with the soil of the hole and fill the hole. Irrigation should be done if necessary. After 10-15 days of hole filling, 4 seedlings should be planted straight in the middle of each hole at a distance of 50 cm. 100 grams of urea should be applied in every hole after 3 months from 1 month to 1 year after planting.
Regular irrigation should be provided by removing weeds and fencing around if necessary. As the tree is creeping and 1.5 to 2.5 m tall, 1 cement pole 4 m long should be dug between 4 saplings for support. If the seedling is big, it should be tied with straw or coconut rope so that when the trunk emerges, the tree can easily grow by clinging to the stem. The ends of each pole should be tied to an old motorcycle tire with thick wire. Then the head of the tree and the other tip should be hung outside to put inside the tire. Because in this way, hanging tips hold more fruit.
Dragon fruit cannot tolerate drought and waterlogging. Therefore, irrigation should be given after 10-15 days in dry season. In addition, fruiting plants should be irrigated 3 times i.e. once when the flower is blooming, once when the fruit is in the pea stage and again after 15 days.
Disease and Pest Management:As a result, the disease is not very noticeable. But sometimes root rot, stem and root rot diseases are seen in this tree.
If excess water accumulates at the base, the root rots. If this disease occurs, the root of the tree rots one by two inside the soil and all the roots of the tree rot. When the tree is pulled upwards, only the stem emerges without the root. However, to get rid of this, it is better to cultivate this fruit on high ground. This disease is caused by Fusarium sp.
Stem and Root Rot Diseases:
This disease can be caused by fungi or bacteria. When this disease occurs, the trunk of the tree first turns yellow and then black, and later rotting begins in that part and the amount of rotting increases. To control this disease, any fungicide (Bavistin, Ridomil, Thiovit etc.) mixed with 2 grams per liter of water can be easily controlled.
Spider mites are not very common on dragon fruit, but aphid and mealy bug infestations are occasionally seen. Aphid larvae and adults feed on the young branches and leaves of the plant, resulting in pale coloration of the young branches and tips of the affected plant and weakening of the plant. This insect excretes excrement like a sticky juice on the tip, resulting in the formation of a black fungus disease called Shutimold. It disrupts the plant’s food production. It reduces flower and fruit set. This disease can be controlled easily by mixing 25 milliliters or 5 cups of these insecticides per 10 liters of water to control this insect.
Collecting and yielding dragon fruit:
Dragon fruit cuttings can be harvested between 1 to 1.5 years of age after planting. Fruits should be harvested when they are fully red in color. Fruits are ready to eat only 35-40 days after flowering. Fruits can be collected in 5-6 stages in a year. First June-October, second December-January