Kallingal Plantations is considered to be the best Nutmeg Nursery in Kerala with vast areas under Nutmeg cultivation. Nutmeg plantations and the nursery are famous for the quality and variety of Nutmeg seedlings.
About Kallingal Plantations
Kallingal plantations have introduced a unique way of cultivating nutmeg alongside coconut, rubber, arecanut etc. For Mr. Ciby George Kallingal, who has inherited the plantations from his father and his wife Mrs. Sopna Ciby, these plantations are not just a business venture but a passion and their hard work, dedication and commitment has been responsible for the success of Kallingal plantations. They continue to invest their energy and resources to further develop the plantation in a big way. Kallingal plantations and nursery is a model for inter-cropping cultivation with coconut, arecanut, rubber, nutmeg plantation etc.
Nutmeg plantations at Kallingal
At Kallingal plantations, the Nutmeg trees are planted in between good yielding coconut trees. The advantages of nutmeg cultivation are that nutmeg trees are pest resistant and yields nutmeg fruits throughout the year. The global market is currently facing a shortage of nutmeg and hence promoting nutmeg cultivation is an excellent business proposition.
Nutmeg cultivation is a golden opportunity for the agriculturists in Kerala as the climatic conditions are ideal for growing nutmeg. Nutmeg cultivation requires proper irrigation facilities and sunlight for its healthy growth.
The nutmeg trees provide a very good yield as they are not affected by pests very easily and yields fruits throughout the year. A 25 feet tall evergreen nutmeg tree with well spread branches gives a yield of 100 kg of nutmeg a year. Nutmeg nut and the mace are both well known spices. Nutmeg is the seed of the nutmeg tree whereas mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed.
Nutmeg cultivation requires a tropical climate with good rainfall and shady conditions. In the early days of their growth, the nutmeg plants need shade and should be well protected from direct sunlight. Hence it is a good idea to grow nutmeg in between permanent shady trees like coconut, areca nut etc. The seedlings will start flowering in 7-9 years. The fruits are ready for harvesting after 9 months of flowering. The nutmeg trees will continue flowering throughout the year and yields fruits throughout the year. But the peak season is in the months of June, July and August. The peak harvesting period starts 20 years after planting the seeds.
Nutmeg cultivation is not only considered as an agricultural crop but is also a very profitable business venture that someone can make in a place like Kerala. The Government of Kerala has also extended support for the upcoming agriculturists to invest in nutmeg cultivation in many ways. At Kallingal plantations, we can see many varieties of nutmeg, coconut and areca nut of very high quality. The nutmeg plantations itself has many segments or parts like grafting, nursery and nutmeg trees.
Nutmeg nursery at Kallingal Plantations
Nutmeg nursery at Kallingal Plantations is one of the best nutmeg nurseries with wide varieties of nutmeg saplings of superior quality. The seedlings can either be male or female during sexual propagation. This can result in 50% of unproductive male seedlings. Hence vegetative propagation is the best method for nutmeg propagation. The propagation methods that have found successful for nutmeg propagation are Epicotyl grafting, approach grafting and patch budding etc. All these methods are followed at Nutmeg nursery at Kallingal.
Nutmeg’s dioecious nature results in 50% male seedlings during sexual propagation. This provides unproductive nutmeg plants as the plant sex can be determined only after 8 years once it starts flowering. As sexual propagation bears inconsistent yields, other methods of propagation is used like grafting, budding etc.
Epicotyl Grafting – Nutmeg Nursery
The healthy, well-grown and fresh seeds plucked from the good yielding male trees are taken for nutmeg propagation. The outer covering of the seeds are removed and are sown immediately. The seeds should be fresh and sown immediately after plucking from the trees or else they will not germinate. The nutmeg nursery beds at Kallingal plantations are prepared with proper care. Each bed is of one metre in length and breadth and half feet in height. The seeds are sown 2-5 cm in depth and the distance between each seed is 10-15 cm. These nutmeg nursery germination beds are watered and nurtured properly.
The sprouted nutmeg saplings with leaves are transferred to polythene bags filled with soil, sand and manure. Nutmeg nursery saplings are used further for planting or for grafting. As these saplings are grown from the seeds of mature and best yielding nutmeg trees, these are best suited for grafting.
For grafting, the branches are selected with utmost care from well-grown nutmeg trees. The saplings developed through sexual propagation will be ready for grafting within 6 months to 1 year time period. While grafting, it is very essential that the sapling’s stem’s width should be the same width as that of the grafting branch. The branches identified for grafting and the stem of the sapling are split appropriately, and tied together. Once the grafting is successful, the branches are cut with utmost care and the new grafts are watered and nurtured. These grafts are the specialty of the nutmeg nursery at Kallingal Plantations.
Nutmeg nursery at Kallingal Plantations has 15 major or superior varieties of nutmeg grafts from various good breeds of nutmeg trees. These grafts when planted will start harvesting from the 3rd year onwards. Though the nutmeg trees yield fruits throughout the year, the peak period is from June to August. These trees give continuous yield for more than 50 years and its life span is normally 100 years.
Budding– Nutmeg Nursery
For budding, fresh branches with buds are cut from the best yielding nutmeg trees. These buds are carefully taken of and merged together with the freshly grown nutmeg saplings and covered with plastic strips till the connected bud starts sprouting. Once the bud starts growing the sapling’s stem can be cut off. Budding is another way of nutmeg propagation which is very easy and effective. Thus nutmeg nursery can have budding saplings from all the best breeds of nutmeg trees. Regular watering is very essential for good and timely germination.
Nutmeg nursery at Kallingal Plantations is well-known and famous for its assured good growth and high yield. The nutmeg plants from the Kallingal Plantations’ nutmeg nursery starts yielding in 3 years and a nutmeg tree can provide nearly 1000 to 5000 seeds a year.
Kallingal Plantations is famous not only for the nutmeg plantations and nursery, but also for coconut, areca nut and other fruits’ plantations.
Now let’s have a look at the varieties of nutmeg that’s available at Kallingal nursery.
Nutmeg types and characteristics at Nutmeg nursery
|KALLINGAL – 1||Tall, Good Spread, Normal Nut, Full Mace, Year Round Yield (Approximately above 4000 nuts/year)16 gram/nut 4 gram/mace|
|KALLINGAL – 2||Tall, Good Spread, Big Nut & Mace, Year Round Yield (Approximately above 5000 nuts/year)17 gram/nut 3.5 gram/mace|
|KALLINGAL – 3||Normal Height, Spread, Big Nut & Mace, Year Round Yield (Approximately above 3000 nuts/year)16 gram/nut 3.5 gram/mace|
|KALLINGAL – 4||Double Seeded|
|KALLINGAL – 5||Short, Good Spread, Very Big Nut & Mace, High Yield30 gram/nut 3.5 gram/mace|
|KALLINGAL – 6||Normal Height spread. Small nut with less mace. High Yield|
|KALLINGAL – 7||Tall, Short branches, Normal Nut & Mace, High Yield|
|KALLINGAL – 8||Long oval fruit with Normal Nut and Mace. High yield.|
|KALLINGAL – 9||Male and female flowers|
|KALLINGAL – 10||Candle flame spread architecture.|
|KALLINGAL – 11||Wild Variety|
|KALLINGAL – 12||Tall, Less Spread, Normal Nut & Mace|
Kallingal plantations, under the supervision of Mr. Ciby George Kallingal have received many recognition and awards for the superior quality of the produce. Nutmeg nursery of Kallingal Plantations is ranked among the best in Kerala.