Pit size of 1 m3 are dug and filled up with top soil and compost.
Planting material Spacing (m) Population / ha Budded plants Hilly areas 6.7 X 3.4 445 Plains 4.9 X 4.9 420 Seedlings Hilly areas 6.1 X 3.0 539 Plains 4.6 X 4.6 479 In situ sowing Germinated seeds are sown in situ in the pits. Healthy ones are retained and the others removed.
Manuring is done for immature rubber trees at pre-tapping stage.
Apply 12 kg of compost or FYM and 120 g of rock phosphate in each pit before planting.
Apply 10:10:4:1.5 NPK and Mg as per schedule given below: Months after planting Period of application NPK and Mg mixture(10:10:4:1.5) g/plant kg/ha 3 September/ October 225 100 9 April / May 445 200 15 September/ October 450 200 21 April / May 450 250 27 September/ October 550 250 33 April / May 550 200 39 September/ October 450 200 Apply 400 kg of mixture per ha in 2 doses, once in April/May and another in September/October from the 5th year till the tree is ready for tapping.
For matured rubber trees under tapping, apply NPK 10:10:10 grade mixtures at the rate of 900 g/tree (300 kg/ha) every year in two split doses.
Add 10 kg commercial Magnesium sulphate for every 100 kg of the above mixture, if there is magnesium deficiency.
Banana, pineapple, tuber crops (Amorphophallus, dioscorea, colocasia and arrowroot), ginger, turmeric, vegetables (cowpea, cucumber, bhendi, amaranthus), cocoa, medicinal plants(Strobilanthus haenianus (Karimkurinji), Adhatoda vasica (Valiya Adalodakam) and Plumbago rosea (Chuvanna Koduveli) can be grown in the initial 4 to 5 years.
The rubber plants should be induced to produce branches at a height of 2.5 – 3 m to achieve high rate of growth with increased girth through leaf cap or leaf folding method.
In young green tissues, the leaf folding or leaf cap method can be used.
In the leaf folding method, the leaves of the top whorl are folded down at the point of contact of the petiole with the lamina using only the upper few leaves to enclose the apical bud.
The leaves are then tied with a rubber band. After three to four weeks they are released. In plants where the terminal whorl of leaves is in the leaflet or bud break stage, the leaf cap method is recommended.
Here, three mature leaflets are taken to form a cap to enclose the terminal bud and tied with a rubber band.
The cap is then removed three to four weeks later.