Chikoo Sapota is native to Mexico and other native countries of South America. Sapota is commonly known as Chiku and it is mainly cultivated in India. Sapota is mainly used for the production of latex which is used for the preparation of chewing gums. In India, it is mainly grown in Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Sapota is cultivated in 65 thousand acre of land and gives an annual production of 5.4lakhs metric tonnes. Chiku fruit is a berry which contains 3-5 black shining seeds.
Sapota Plant where they will receive a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of full sun per day. Sapota Plants grown in weak sun may not die at once, but they weaken gradually. Give them plenty of organic matter when planting and don't crowd them. Wear plastic gloves to protect your hands from prickly thorns.
Growing Conditions of Sapota Tree
Sapota Propagation: Sapota Propagation is from Seeds and cuttings. Propagation takes a Sapodilla tree 5 to 8 years to bear fruit. The sapota trees grow best in tropical environments. A single sapota tree can bear as many as 2000 fruits.
Soil: It is grown in a variety of soil but deep alluvial, sandy loam soil and black soil having good drainage are ideal for doing sapota farming. pH having 6-8 is optimum for sapota farming. Avoid chiku cultivation in shallow clayey soil and in high calcium content.
Land Preparation: For sapota cultivation, well prepared land is required. To bring the soil to fine tilth, plowing is done 2-3 times followed by leveling.
Sunlight: Sapota plant needs medium shade to full shade
Watering: Medium watering required fro sapota plants.
Temperature: Sapota Plant needs Between 12 to 36 degrees C
Fertilizer: Apply any organic fertilizer to increase the fertility.
Time of sowing: Planting is mainly done between February to March and August to October month.
Spacing: Spacing between plants is 9m and is used for planting.
Sowing depth: Sowing is done in a 1m deep pit.
Fertilizer: In between December to January month, application of FYM, phosphorus and potassium is done. Application of nitrogen is done in two equal part splits, first half dose is applied in March month and the remaining half dose of nitrogen is applied in between July to August month.
Weed Controlling: Pre-emergence application of Stomp@800ml/acre or Diuron@800gm/acre is done for initial 10-12 months for effective weed control.