Orchard is a long-term investment and needs lot of planning and expertise.
While planning and planting a new orchard, one should give utmost attention and care to various aspects like selection of location and site, nature of soil and subsoil, planning of suitable kinds and varieties of fruits, proper planting distance and purchasing of plants from reliable nurseries.
Preparation of land
The land should be cleaned properly for free movement of men and machinery.
All the trees, bushes and creepers should be removed.
The soil of the area designed for growing fruit plants needs thorough preparation.
A virgin land requires a deep ploughing and harrowing.
The land should be repeatedly ploughed and bring the soil to a fine tilth.
The marking of position of the plant in the field is referred as layout.
The layout plan of the orchard should be prepared carefully, preferably in consultation with horticultural experts.
The orchard layout plan includes the system of planning provision for orchard paths, roads, water channels and farm building.
A sketch of the proposed orchard should be prepared before the actual planting is taken up.
Method of layout
For laying out an orchard, according to square system, a base line is first established and position of the trees is marked along this line by laying wooden stakes in the ground.
Another base line at right angle to the first base line, is then marked along with the other edge of the field with the help of a carpenter square or a cross staff.
The right angle can also be drawn with the help of measuring tape.
One end of this tape is fixed at three metre distance from the corner along the first line and the tape is then stretched along the second base line for a distance of four metre.
The diagonal distance between these two points should be five metre.
The wooden stakes are put in the ground at the desired distance along the second line.
All the four rows are thus established and staked.
Three men, one putting the peg in the field and others correcting alignment while moving along the base line, can easily stake the whole field.
The marking of position of the plant in the field is called “layout”.