Scientists at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Nauni have claimed to develop a unique technique of raising apple plants in one year.
Dr RC Sharma, Director, Research, with the university, said the plants were generally propagated through grafting or budding on root stocks and prepared in a year. He added that this method took at least two years and sometimes three.
He said root stocks were raised one year and grafted or budded with a scion variety in the next during February and March, with plants attaining saleable size during December. Dr Sharma said the scientists developed and standardised the technique for apple plants in one year. He said seeds were put for stratification in alternative layers of moist sand and seed in wooden boxes mid-December and boxes kept in refrigerators at 3°C-4°C for 60 days.
He said that stratified seeds were sown in seedbeds at the polyhouse in mid-February. He said seedlings were transplanted to nursery beds at the 2-3 leaf stage at a spacing of between 10 and 15 cm per seedling, with between 15 and 20 cm between rows.
Dr Sharma said all nursery management practices like weeding; irrigation and pesticide and fungicide spray were done at regular intervals. He said the seedlings attained budable thickness of between 0.5 and 0.9 cm in July and then seedling root stocks were budded with a chip method, which generally gave over 98 per cent bud-take success rate. He said plants attained the adequate height of more than 4 feet in December and more than 90 per cent of the plants became ready for sale in a year.