Cultivating Moringa Trees
The Moringa oleifera tree is largely appreciated by growers because of its successful adaptability to thrive in otherwise harsh environments. However, while the tree can grow quite well when left on its own, there are still some cultivation practices necessary to make sure the trees achieve their full potential.
Moringa trees can be grown either as an annual or perennial plant. Within the tree’s first year of life, all of its pods are edible. As it grows older, however, some pods can become bitter and inedible. Therefore, moringa trees grown commercially are quite often cultivated as annuals, though perennial cultivation can have some advantages in less favorable environments, including soil erosion.
Soil erosion can be particularly problematic when the tree is cultivated in tropical locations. Therefore, it’s important for soil to be treated as shallow as possible. It’s only necessary to plow the soil for high planting densities. In lower planting densities, growers are encouraged to dig pits and then refill them with soil to ensure a good penetration of the root system without causing a large amount of erosion. The pits are typically between 30 and 50 cm deep and 20 to 40 cm wide.
The Moringa tree can be grown either from seeds or cuttings. Because the germination rate of moringa oleifera is so high, direct seeding is possible. After just 12 days, that rate can reach about 85 percent. Plus, it can be far too time-consuming to start with seeding in beds or containers, even though these methods can help to better protect the plants from various pests and insects.
Cuttings are usually between one meter long and at least 4 cm wide. At least one-third of the cutting must be placed beneath the surface of the soil.
To get the most out of an area of moringa trees, the plants should be spaced either at 15 x 15 cm intervals, or 20 x 10 cm intervals. Alleys should be spaced approximately every four meters to help for harvests and management of the plantation.
To learn more about how moringa trees are grown and how moringa is harvested, contact us today at Dead Sea Moringa!