|Better Farming Series 24 - The Oil Palm (FAO - INADES, 1977, 40 p.)|
|Looking after the plantation|
You must remove the weeds around the young oil palms. This work is done with a hoe or a machete.
During the first year, cultivate 6 times.
Remove all the weeds for 2 metres around each stem. During the first months, the weeds between rows have to be cut.
If you leave the weeds, the cover crop will not grow well.
37. Trimming the plants
You must always cut away the dry leaves of the oil palm.
In order to cut the leaves without damage to the oil palm, your tools must be well sharpened.
Cut the leaves very close to the stem, so that no other plants can grow in the axil of the cut-off leaves.
Remove from the trunk any plants (ferns) that may grow in the axils of the leaves. Remove also the male flowers.
38. Applying fertilizer
The oil palm needs a lot of mineral salts to form its leaves and fruit clusters. When the oil palm is young, it needs above all nitrogen.
When the oil palm has begun to produce, it needs a lot of potash. Potash increases the number of fruit clusters, and makes them bigger.
Nitrogen brought down by the rain