|Better Farming Series 24 - The Oil Palm (FAO - INADES, 1977, 40 p.)|
|The oil palm nursery|
21. Choosing the site
The soil should be fairly rich and well prepared.
It is best to clear a bit of forest for the nursery plot. If you clear a forest site for the nursery pull out all the trees and burn them. Burning all the wood helps to control certain diseases which might attack the roots of the oil palms, and it also makes the soil more fertile. Spread the ashes all over the plot.
If you put the nursery on a field which is already cultivated, pull up all the old crops: cocoa trees, coffee trees, oil palms.
Burn all the wood.
When the site is well cleared, it needs deep tilling. You should till 40 centimetres deep with a hoe or a tractor.
To improve the soil structure, you can then sow a green-manure crop, like Centrosema or Crotalaria. When these crops have grown, work them into the soil by tilling again.
Then apply fertilizers: 500 kilogrammes of dicalcium phosphate per hectare.