- Aonla/Amla (आंवला) - Phyllanthus emblica
Aonla or Indian gooseberry (Emblica Officinalis) is regarded as Amritphal. It is an indigenous fruit to the Indian subcontinent. Besides fruits, leaves bark and even seeds are being used for various purposes. Though aonla is not utilized as table fruit it is commercially utilized for processing industries and products like murabba, chatni, squash, candy, toffee shreds, sauce are prepared.
Climate & Soil:
Aonla is a subtropical plant and prefers a dry subtropical climate but it can be grown in a wide range of climatic conditions. The natural growing plants can be seen on hills up to 1800 MSL. The plants are susceptible to winter frost. A mature aonla tree can tolerate freezing as well temperature of 46OC.
Aonla is a hardy plant and it can be successfully grown in variable soil conditions - an ideal plant for arid and semi-arid conditions. Aonla can easily be cultivated in marginal soils. Heavy soils or land with high water tables are not suited for its cultivation. The deep, fertile, well-drained sandy loam soil is ideal for aonla cultivation. Aonla plants can tolerate pH up to 9.5, ESP - 35, and ECe 6-9 dsmˉ1.
Grafting or budded aonla plants are planted during July-August or February. Pits of 1-1.25m length,1- 1.25m breadth, and 1-1.25m depth are dug 2 months prior to planting. In each pit, 3-4 baskets of well-rotten farmyard manure and 1kg neem cake or 500 g bone-meal are mixed with soil and filled.
The dose of manure and fertilizers depends upon soil fertility, age of plant, and production. Every mature tree should be fertilized with 1 kg Nitrogen, 500 g phosphorus, and 500 g murate of potash. This dosage should be given in two split doses, once during September and again during April-May after setting of fruit.
Normally, 15-20 kg FYM plantˉ1 should be given every year. The spray of micronutrients viz., B, Zn, Cu (0.4%) is also helpful in reducing the fruit drop and improving fruit quality.
The young plants require watering during the summer months at the fortnightly intervals, particularly till their establishment. No irrigation is required during the rainy season. However, irrigation at 15-20 days intervals is desirable in dry summer particularly during the early years of orchard establishment under wasteland conditions. Mulching with organic wastes is helpful in improving the organic-matter content.