First and foremost, what exactly is dragon fruit? So, here’s what you should know about dragon fruit. Dragon fruit is derived from ornamental climbing vines and Cactaceae plants. This fruit’s flavour is delicately sweet but crunchy, and its green scales and pink skin make it visually appealing. The fruit was given the name dragon fruit because of its scaly appearance, resembling a dragon scaly. This fruit ranges from 6 to 12 cm and has an oval shape. It has white pulp that contains black edible seeds. So, if you want to practise commercial dragon fruit farming, you’ve come to the right place!
How to Do Dragon Fruit Farming
Let’s know about some tips and tricks for dragon fruit farming.
This fruit plant thrives in poor soil and temperature variations. As a result, the tropical climate is ideal for dragon fruit farming. For this cultivation, with an annual rainfall of 50 cm. Moreover, dragon fruit cultivation requires a temperature range of 20 ℃ to 30 ℃. So, if you want to grow it in a high-light area, simply provide shade.
This fruit can be grown in a variety of soil types, from sandy loam to clay loam. Moreover, sandy soils with the wealthiest organic matter and a good drainage system are ideal for cultivation. For dragon fruit farming, a pH of 5.5 to 7 is perfect.
You must plough the field until the soil is finely tilth and weed-free. Then, in a proportionate ratio, apply any type of organic compost. Do land preparation with good quality tractors and implements like Brush Cutter and others.
- Pitahaya is another name for Hylocereus Undatus, with white flesh and pink skin. The fruit is 6-12 cm long, 4-9 cm thick, and contains edible black seeds.
- The other name for this variety is Hylocereus Polyrhizus: Red Pitaya, and it has red flesh with pink skin. This variety originated in Mexico, but it is now available in many countries.
- Hylocereus Costaricencis: This variety is also known as Costa Rican Pitaya and is native to Costa Rica. With pear-shaped seeds.
- The genus Hylocereus (Selenicereus) Megalanthus: Is a South American native known for its white flesh and yellow skin.
Cutting is the prime method of propagating dragon fruit. However, seeds can be used to propagate it. But unfortunately, the seeds take a long time to mature and do not retain the characteristics of their mother plant. As a result, the seeds method is inappropriate if you own a commercial dragon fruit farm. So, if you want to reap the full benefits of dragon fruit farming, you should use plant cuttings from a high-quality mother plant. Planting in the field should be done with the 20 cm cuttings. Furthermore, cuttings must be piled up two days before the plantation.
You should use concrete or wooden columns as support to get a significant dragon fruit farming profit or proper plant growth. You must connect immature plants to these columns. A round/circular metal frame is required to maintain the dragon shrub.
Fertilizer and Manure
Organic manure is essential for the growth and development of the dragon fruit plant. Each plant must be treated with a minimum of 10 to 15 Kg of organic compost. Following that, you must increase the manure by 2 kg per year. In addition to organic fertilisers, it requires inorganic fertilisers to promote vegetative growth. For the vegetative stage, the fertiliser ratio is Muriate of potash:superphosphate:urea = 40:90:70 grams/plant.
In comparison to other plants, this one requires less water. As a result, you can irrigate it frequently during the planting, flowering, and fruit development stages and hot/dry weather conditions. Drip irrigation is a good option for conserving water.
Diseases and pests
There are no pests or diseases in this farming method. So you don’t use any other chemicals on the plants. It lowers the cost of dragon fruit cultivation per acre. You can use an agricultural sprayer for spraying purposes.
Harvesting Dragon Fruit
In the first year, dragon fruit begins to appear on the plants. It bears fruits from August to December, and the fruits are ready for harvesting after one month of flowering. Aside from that, the flowering season lasts until December. These fruits can be picked up to six times during this period. The best time to harvest is when the fruits turn red. The best time to reap is after 3 to 4 days of colour change. For export, however, you should harvest them after 1 day of colour change. Per acre, you can expect to produce 5 to 6 tonnes.
Dragon Fruit Health Benefits
Dragon fruit has numerous health benefits as well as a delicately sweet taste. Let’s take a look at the advantages listed below.
- Fight Chronic Disease: Dragon Fruit contains a variety of powerful antioxidants. Furthermore, antioxidants neutralise free radicals, preventing cell damage and inflammation.
- Fibre: According to health experts, men should consume 38 grammes per day, while women should consume 25 grammes. On the other hand, Fibre is well-known for its role in digestion.
- Strengthens Immune System: The body’s ability to fight infection is affected by various factors, including the quality of your diet.
- Maintains a Healthy Gut: The community of microorganisms in your gut has an impact on your health, and imbalances in your stomach can increase your risk of asthma and heart disease.
- Increase Iron Levels: It is an iron-rich fruit. Iron’s job is to transport oxygen throughout the body. It also plays an essential role in converting food into energy.
- Magnesium: It provides approximately 18% of your RDI of magnesium in just one cup.
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