They say money does not grow on trees, but this cash crop comes close. Over 2 million people work in the pistachio business in Iran. The autumn harvest produces between 2 and 3 thousand tons every year. In recent years, the number of growers deciding to shift from cultivating other plants to pistachio is increasing. So if you are one of them or if you are about to start your farming journey by planting your pistachio grove from the scratch, you’ve come to the right place.
This article informs you about everything you need to know about planting and harvesting pistachio.
Best climatic conditions for growing pistachio
Pistachio trees like it extremely hot and dry. After the Date palm, they are the second trees to survive in long-lasting hot summers; the ideal temperature for pistachios is above 38 degrees C. (100 F.). Additionally, they need cold but not frigid winters to create a dormancy period.
Pistachio trees’ soil preference
Although they grow in almost any soil type, they prefer rather deep, dry, well-draining sandy loam soils. In case, you keep the soil pH at a range of 7.1 to 7.8 you will have a profitable pistachio tree that produces fruit every other 12 months. If you are willing to plant pistachio on large scales, Soil analysis is recommended.
Irrigation: How do you water pistachio trees?
Pistachio trees are extremely drought-resistant. As explained by WIKIFARMER, farmers provide 4-6 irrigation sessions during the productive period in light and well-drained soils. Pistachio trees require less water than other nut trees, but they still need a consistent supply of water to produce a good crop. There are a few things to keep in mind when watering pistachio trees. First, the trees should be watered deeply and slowly to encourage deep root growth. Second, the trees should be watered in the early morning hours when evaporation is at a minimum. Finally, it is important to avoid wetting the leaves of the trees as this can promote fungal growth.
Pistachio trees fertilization
Fertilizer is important for any kind of plant, and pistachios are no different. In fact, pistachios are especially sensitive to the quality of their fertilizer, as they are very delicate plants. Because of this, it is important to use only the best fertilizer for your pistachio plants. There are a few things to keep in mind when fertilizing pistachios. First, pistachios need a lot of nitrogen. This means that you should use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content. Second, pistachios are also sensitive to potassium and phosphorus, so you should use a fertilizer that has a balance of all three nutrients(NPK). Finally, it is important to remember that pistachios are delicate plants. This means that you should not use too much fertilizer, as it can damage the roots of the plant. One thing to take on board before fertilizing is to always have your soil tested.
Pistachio trees pest control
pistachio trees are susceptible to a number of pests, including mealybugs, scale insects, and aphids. These pests can cause damage to the tree and reduce its yield. Pistachio trees are particularly susceptible to mealybugs, which are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of the tree. Mealybugs can cause the leaves of the pistachio tree to turn yellow and drop off, and they can also lead to the formation of galls on the branches. Mealybugs can be controlled with the use of insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
When to harvest pistachios
If you are growing pistachio for the first time, you ought to know that harvesting the pistachios takes a lot of patience as you wouldn’t be able to harvest within the first 5-7 years. In almost every part of the world, Ripping pistachios takes place in late August or September. When the nuts are mature enough to be harvested, the hulls take on a pink and yellow hue. It is vitally important to pick the pistachios in their golden time to have as many naturally split nuts as possible.
How to harvest pistachio
Indeed, harvesting pistachio isn’t a walk in the park. There are two main methods of harvesting pistachios: shaking and handpicking. Shaking is the most common method, as it is less labor-intensive. It is done by using a machine to vibrate the tree. This loosens the nuts so that they fall to the ground where they can be collected.
Hand-picking is a more traditional method that is still used in some areas of the words such as Iran. It is done by, you guessed it, handpicking the nuts off the tree. This method is more time-consuming but it does not damage the tree as shaking does.
Pistachio nuts post-harvest method
The post-harvest method involves sorting and picking the nuts from the shell by machine. The process of sorting out rotten nuts and other debris is done by hand. Furthermore, The post-harvest process varies with different types of pistachio trees, but in general, it starts with removing all leaves that have fallen during the winter or summer months. This can be done with weed whackers or simple rakes. The next step involves removing any remaining dead plant material left on the surface of trunk branches using hedge clippers or loppers to cut them off at ground level. and then scrubbing the trunks and branches with a stiff brush and water.
To wrap up
By and large, Growing pistachio trees require lots of patience since you wouldn’t receive a good yield at least until the 7th year, be that as it may, the outcome is auspicious. Hence, make sure that your trees are getting enough water during dry spells – they must stay hydrated because without water they will die. And if you want them to thrive then don’t forget about soil nutrition either! It’s also really important to pay attention to pests and diseases; if your trees have any problems then they won’t be able to produce nuts properly which means no harvest! Last but not least, make sure you’re having fun while doing all this hard work! After all, planting trees isn’t just about making money; it’s also about having something beautiful in your life too!
1- Pistachio water requirement – WIKIFARMER