- Mulberry is a fast growing deciduous tree occurring in sub tropical and temperate climate.
- Mulberry has characteristic long idioblast cells in the upper epidermis of leaves. Inflorescence is a catkin / spike with unisexual flowers. Hence it is a cross pollinated crop.
- The important species of mulberry cultivated in India are , a) Morus alba b) Morus indica c) Morus bombycis. d). Morus sinensis. e) Morus multicaulis.
- They belong to family Moraceae. The cultivation of mulberry is called Moriculture
Varieties of mulberry
;- MR 2 (Mildew resistant 2)
Highly nutritious leaves; yield – 25,000 – 30,000 kgs/ha/yr.
;-Kanva 2 ( K2) / Mysore 5 (M5)
Thick, broader leaves.
;-V1, S36, S54, DD (Viswa)
high yielding (40,000 – 60,000 kgs/ha/yr).
- Mulberry is a deep rooted, perennial, hardy crop.
- The quality of soil of mulberry garden influence not only the leaf yield, but also leaf quality, which in turn influences the growth and development of silkworm, subsequently the quantity and quality of cocoon production.
- The soil should be deep, fertile, well drained, clayey loam to loamy in nature, friable, porous with good moisture holding capacity.
- The pH of the soil should be around 6.2 to 6.8. Saline and alkaline soils are not preferred and need improvement through the use of soil amendments like gypsum, sulphur or green manuring etc.
- Mulberry comes up well above 600-700 MSL.
- It can be grown in areas with rainfall of 600 mm to 2500 mm. Mean temperature of 24-28°C, relative humidity of 65-80% are ideal for growth of mulberry.
- It can be grown with sunshine hours of 5.0-10.2 hrs/day in temperate conditions and 9.0-13.0 hrs/day under tropics
Planting season :
Planting after the onset of monsoon is ideal under both rainfed and irrigated condition. Planting in winter and summer is to be avoided.
Cuttings are to be planted either in north-south or east-west direction depending on sun shine hours and wind direction
Land preparation :
The land should be tilled properly before planting to bring the soil to fine tilth. Land should be free from weeds and stubbles and leveled properly.
FYM is to be incorporated @ 10 and 20 t/ ha for rainfed and irrigated crops, respectively as basal dose.
Preparation of planting material :
Mulberry can be propagated in two ways.
Sexual propagation by means of seedlings.
Asexual propagation by means of cuttings.
- Propagation through cuttings is most common and widespread practice.
- Shoots of proper maturity and thickness with active, well developed buds are chosen for cutting. The tips of tender branches and the bases of over matured branches are rejected. Branches with pencil thickness (10-12 mm dia) from 8-10 months old plants of desired variety are used for cuttings.
- The branches are cut into 18-20 cm (7-8”) long cuttings with a minimum of 3 internodes with well developed buds.
- The ends are cut clearly with sharp knife with no splits or peelings in the bark. The cuttings are placed in the nursery bed with about 2.5 cm of cutting with one node projecting above the soil.
- The cuttings are watered regularly. In ten days, the roots develop from buds in the internodes below the soil and the leaves from bud in the internode above the soil.
- The cuttings may be planted directly in fields or may be grown in nursery for 2-3 months and then transplanted
As saplings in the main field
Nursery for sapling:
- 800m2 nursery area for covering one ha
- Apply 1600 kgs of FYM
- Plant stem cuttings (10 – 12 dia) at a distance of 15 x 7 cm.
- Water once in two days and carry out weeding at 30th and 45th DAP.
- After weeding apply 100 g urea/ m2 at 45th DAP.
- Pull out saplings on 90 – 120th DAP and plant in the main field.
As Stem cuttings:
- Followed under irrigated conditions
- Ridges and furrows – 60 x 60 cm
- Two stem cuttings / one sapling at 20 cm spacing
- Followed under rainfed conditions
- Pits of 30 x30 x 30 cm size dug at 75 x75 cm distance
- Pits filled with 1 kg red earth, ½ kg sand and 1½ kg FYM
- Three stem cuttings planted per pit as a triangle with 15 cm space in between.
Plant population: 12,345 plants / ha.
Irrigation: Once in 10 – 15 days
Weeding: 4 – 5 months after planting
130 : 65 : 65 Kg NPK – rainfed in two split doses
Two types of harvesting
- Leaf picking – Individual leaves are picked
- Shoot harvest – ½ – 1 ft long shoots cut along with leaves
First harvest – six months after planting
Subsequent harvest – once in 45 days
Totally 5 harvests / year
Essential to maintain production and quality
Pruning done when twigs are over 6 ft height and more than ½ inch thickness
Four to five pruning / year
Bottom pruning (At 15 – 30 cm height)
May – June
Aug – Sep
Oct – Nov.
Dec – Jan
Feb – Mar (only in irrigated)
Yield (Kgs / ha / Yr):
12,000 – 15,000 – rainfed ; 25,000 – 30,000 – irrigated