How to Grow Dragon Fruit Plant. Dragon Fruit, or also known as the Dragon Fruit, a special fruit for the Chinese community. The fruit shape is unique. Her skin complete with brightly colored large scales. It may be due to the presence of scales on the outside so named Dragon Fruit. Dragon fruit with similar scales. The fruit is considered a blessing to follow the nature of the dragon. Thus, the dragon fruit is always so complementary offerings at the altar of the Chinese religious events. Not just special, it also has a dragon fruit taste delicious and fresh. The flesh is tender with a blend of sweet and sour taste. In addition to delicious, nutrition experts also ensure that the tropical fruit has a million properties. Unfortunately, the global demand for this fruit is still not balanced with the ability cultivation. Even Vietnam and Thailand is known as the largest supplier of dragon fruit is only able to meet 50% of global market demand. This gap should be used by Indonesia to take an active role in exporting dragon fruit. Moreover, the plant thrives in tropical countries. How to plant dragon fruit was fairly easy and does not require any particular expertise.
To start dragon fruit cultivation, it is noteworthy planting dragon fruit-growing requirements. This plant is classified into the cactus family. Therefore the media cropping in the lowlands, precisely at a height of 20 to 500 meters above sea level. The land where the plant dragon fruit should lose, porous and also contains lots of organic matter and nutrients. More optimally if the soil pH 5 to 7. Make sure the soil is slightly dry because if the moisture content, the plant will rot. Another important thing is the level of solar radiation. Make sure the plants are exposed to full sunlight during the day because the dragon fruit is like the scorching heat.
In addition to growing media, initial preparatory stage also includes the provision of supporting plants. Dragon fruit tree does not have a primary trunk is solid. Usually they grow and climb on a support. Therefore, availability is an important growth pillar. You can use wood or concrete poles. The right size is 10cm x 10cm with a maximum height of 2 meters. Plug in the soil to a depth of approximately 50 cm. Around the point of raising of the pole, make a planting hole 3 to 4. The size of each hole that is 40 x 40 x 40 cm with a spacing of approximately 2 x 2.5 meters. Holes which have been available organic fertilizers approximately 10 kg which has been mixed with the soil.
After growing media prepared, seeds can be planted. In general, how to grow dragon fruit in two ways namely steak and beans. But on the field, the way that is most widely used by cuttings. Plant stems that become good seed has a length of 25 to 30 cm. The initial process begins with the growth of stem cuttings using poly bag consisting of a mixture of sand and soil with manure. Comparison 1:1:1. After about 3 months old, the seedlings can be moved to the actual land.
Once the seed is planted on the land, the next process is the maintenance steps that include irrigation, fertilization, combating pests / weeds and weeding. Irrigation process as much as 1 to 2 days in a day. This process must be careful because the dragon fruit plants do not like the excess water. Next is fertilization. Best type of fertilizer is manure with distance giving 3 months. the amount of fertilizer around 5 to 10 pounds.
Another thing that is not less important is the control of pests and weeds. During this time, the pests that attack plant dragon fruit is rarely found. The main nuisance weed that is known to inhibit the growth of plants, therefore control is carried out regularly to more optimal plant growth. The next maintenance is pruning process. The steps initiated by cutting the main stem or primer under conditions where the high has reached the very top of the pole. After trimming, it will usually grow new shoots so that the stems have secondary branches. Once fully grown stems, trim the stems again until the Tertiary. Tertiary rod is then serves as the production branch.
Dragon fruit plants start flowering after 7 months of planting. Flower of dragon fruit will grow at night and lasted overnight. Dragon fruit can be harvested at 50-53 days after the formation of flower buds. Dragon fruit tree can produce first results from 6-12 months after planting. Round fruit production is 4-5 times / year and harvested within 7 days. Generally, dragon fruit tree can produce fruit for 30 to 60 years.
Pick fruit when they reach optimal maturity of 38-40 days or 30-32 days of blossoming flowers begin to swell. Plucked in the morning or late afternoon to avoid injury due to high temperature and collect fruit in the shade. Use tools such as scissors, containers and carts clean and appropriate. Avoid picking fruit while still wet (dew or rain). Avoid contact with oil or fruit that is not for treatment chemicals. Use gloves to avoid injury to the fruit. Use a sturdy container, clean, smooth and no sharp parts and do not place the fruit without the pillowtop.
Index 1: Not yet mature (19-20 days). Skin surface and green scales. Not appropriate for harvest.
Index 2: Mature (24-25 days). Colored surface patches of red and green scales. Harvested for further appropriate delivery and export by sea and air.
Index 3: Nearly ripe (27-29 days). Surface reddish colored skin and green sisek. Suitable harvested for delivery and export using the sea and air.
Index 4: Cook (31-32 days). The entire surface of the skin is red, and green sisek. Ideal for delivery and exports using only air.
Index 5: Too ripe (34-35 days). The entire surface of the skin is red and dark red scales. Only suitable for the local market only.
Do isolation on farms and in packing houses. Choose quality fruit that is fresh, ripe, free from defects and damage. Separate the pieces according to the stages of maturity. Use gloves to avoid injury to the fruit. Destroy fruit rejected by the right method.
Wash the fruit from the farm dirt and foreign objects including insect nests, soil and so on. Avoid cleaning the fruit by soaking the fruit in water. Sponge, brush or soft cloth can be used during cleaning to prevent injury to the fruit. Fruit wet due to rain or dew should be dried using a fan at room temperature.
The fruit should be carefully graded according to specific criteria such as variety, size uniformity, uniformity of maturity, free from foreign material, defects, injuries and diseases. Dragon fruit must meet the following minimum meet their needs:
- To achieve the desired level of market maturity.
- Total soluble solids content exceeding 9 percent.
- The fruit is still fresh and relatively free of defects and deformities.
Using container or packaging material suitable and can protect the fruit from mechanical injury during the run well. The material used for the cover must be of soft material, clean and free of toxic effects. Packing materials have sufficient ventilation. The net weight of the packaging unit is between 5 kg – 10 kg. Have label packaging such as name and address, the word ‘Pitaya’ and also varieties, country of origin, grade, class size and number of pieces.
For the domestic market, only fruit arranged in graded paper box and plastic basket is empty. To market much fruit should be wrapped with styrofoam gentle and organized in the city on woven with paper swatch. Fruit arranged in a lie and find the paper also placed among the fruits that it is not damaged during transport. Number of pieces per box is between 12-14 seeds weighing 4 kg box.
Aims to lower the temperature of the fruit to the lowest level to remove field heat (field heat) quickly so that life becomes longer pieces. Avoid sudden temperature changes as this will expedite the process of defective fruit. Suitable storage temperature is 6-7°C with 90-95% relative humidity rate where fruit quality can be maintained expire 3 weeks. Storage at lower temperatures (<5°C) can cause cold injury.
Transport and Distribution
Encouraged to use plastic baskets or boxes for easier handling. Reduce the transportation, Use the pellets to reduce handling. Use a cool truck or trailer with canvas-covered enough ventilation and encouraged to carry in the cold weather. Most operators use 4-wheel drive vehicles or small trucks.
Dragon fruit is graded by weight of fruit:
Grade A – weighing more than 450 gm
Grade B – weighing between 300-400 gm
Grade C – weighing less than 300 gm
When examined, how to grow dragon fruit is quite easy. High economic potential that would offer a satisfactory profit. Therefore, do not hesitate to move start dragon fruit cultivation. Congratulations, Lets farming!