Cultivation of Jatropha is uncomplicated since it can be grown in tropical and subtropical regions. The plant can grow on wasteland and also on any topography. The plant can blossom even on poor stony soil. Jatropha can be brought up as monoculture, mixed cropping, and yet can be grown as a live fence. Being a perennial crop, the Jatropha plant can yield for about 50 years. The tree can grow well on hot weather with little rain.
The plant achieves its complete germination after nine days from the day of sowing seeds. Adding manures at the time of germination will result in adverse effects, but adding manures after germination will give the best results. After 9 to 12 months, the crops start to yield, and the effective yielding is obtained only after 2 to 3 years.
There should be proper space between the plants depending on the soil type and nutrients. This is very important for mowing the grass and also for mechanical harvesting. In general, 66, 88, and 10*10 spacing can be practiced for better results.
The flowers are seen only at the end of the stem (terminally), so plants that produce many branches can give a large number of fruits. The plant can provide a yield of about 0.8 to 1 kg per meter when it is planted in the edges. Average seed production is 3.5 tons per hectare. This can range from 0.4 tons/hectare during the first yield and goes to 5 tons/hectare in the next three years.
Jatropha can grow in medium to dry regions with the annual rainfall ranging from 200 to 1000 mm. It can grow at an altitude of about 0 to 500 m with the average temperature 20 degrees C. But it can grow on higher altitudes withstanding little frost. The frost will affect only the young plants, and severe cold can defoliate the plant and can destroy the trees.
But the main factors the affect the Jatropha yield is as follows:
- Crop density
- Quality of the soil
- Use of fertilizer
- Use of pesticide
To get the maximum yield use of inorganic fertilizers should be avoided. But nitrogen can be added during the first few weeks and during the active growing time. In the case of pest problems, low impact pest treatment strategies will help the most. If possible, make arrangements for drip irrigation frequently in summer, little in monsoon, and only fortnight in winter. Expose the plant to maximum sunlight and use the method of intercropping in the first 2 to 3 years.
Also see the key factors that are important in planting the Jatropha plant: Important factors
Jatropha can be grown on all the regions that lie in the tropical and subtropical zones. They can withstand any extremes of temperature. Know about their growing climate and regions
Here are some of the guidelines that help you to make the best yield from the Jatropha plant. Guidelines