The custard apple, also known as the custard apple tree, comes from western India, but today it is in Spain where its production is mainly focused. This vegetable is highly appreciated for the fruit it produces: the custard apple. This exotic fruit has a great quality both nutritionally and dietary. This is because it is not only low in fat, but also contains phosphorus and is very rich in vitamins belonging to groups B and C. Therefore, we are going to explain in this article how to plant custard apple.
If you are thinking of planting custard apple, you have come to the right place. Here we will explain how and when to plant this tree and the care it requires. So go ahead and keep reading!
Table of Contents
How are custard apple seeds sown?
There is the possibility of planting custard apple, or at least its seeds, directly in the ground with no more work than cleaning them properly and waiting for them to grow on their own. Nevertheless, the chances that this whole process will not just happen naturally are quite high. For this reason, we are going to explain step by step how to germinate the seeds of this plant to be able to transplant them later.
- Acquisition of seeds: First we must get custard apple seeds. They can be bought or we can use the seeds of one that we just ate.
- Cleaning the seeds: Remove any traces of pulp on the seeds. A good way to do this is to mix water with a little chlorine and submerge the seeds there to disinfect them. Those seeds that float are not suitable for planting as they are in poor condition. The seeds must be removed from the chlorinated water immediately and dried with absorbent paper.
- Cut the seeds: Next we must cut or sand a very small piece at the narrow end of the seeds, but very carefully. This increases the chances that they will germinate.
- Water: Put the seeds in a glass of water and let them rest overnight.
- Outbreak: After removing the seeds from the water, we must wrap them in moistened absorbent paper and store them in a ventilated container. The place where we must place this container has to be slightly warm. When the paper dries, it must be moistened again. This is how we must continue until the seeds show a small white bud, which is basically their root. This should happen after 15 days.
- First transplant: When they have already produced their first shoots, we must transplant the seeds to seedbeds or small pots. But before doing so, the pot or seedbed must be filled with a substrate rich in organic matter and with good drainage. The seeds should be planted with the sprout facing downwards, but be careful, it is not good to bury them too deep.
- Care: You have to water the pots or seedbeds. The substrate must remain moist, but not waterlogged. Initially the growth is quite slow, since it is difficult for the plant to break the hardness of the seeds and thus show its first leaves.
- Second transplant: After one to two months, the custard apple plants should be ready to transplant into their final location.
When to plant custard apple seeds?
Habitually, it is best to plant custard apple in spring, since that is when your seeds have the best chance of germinating successfully. However, if we live in a place whose climate is very temperate or tropical, that is, without great variations in temperature throughout the seasons, we can try to plant cherimoya at any time of the year.
More than the climate, the main problem when sowing this vegetable is that its seeds, apart from being extremely hard, they contain germination inhibitors. For this reason, making them germinate is a somewhat difficult task on many occasions and not always successful.
How long does it take for a custard apple tree to grow?
In the event that we have been successful and our seeds have begun to germinate, we must transplant them to the final location of the custard apple. There, with proper care, this fruit tree will begin to grow. But nevertheless, It is a slow process that requires a lot of attention and patience.
How to care for the custard apple tree?
The custard apple is a tree of a relatively small size. It is not very common for it to exceed eight meters in height. In addition, it supports pruning exceptionally well, making it an ideal plant for medium and small gardens. But as with all vegetables, after planting custard apple, this vegetable requires certain care.
First is the location. The amount of light that the custard apple requires is very large. If we live in a place where the climate is mild or temperate, we can place the tree in full sunlight. On the other hand, if the climate that surrounds us is hot or the sun shines very brightly in summer, the best place for the custard apple is a place in semi-shade.
Also when it comes to watering we must meet certain requirements. The frequency of this task should be high. During the warm months you have to water the custard apple every other day. On the other hand, when it is colder, two irrigations a week are enough. We must never forget that the soil of the custard apple tree must be prevented from puddling.
As we mentioned earlier, cherimoya needs soils that are very rich in organic matter. For this reason, it is highly recommended to use some fertilizers such as, for example, bokashi, worm castings or compost. These will help a lot to the growth of the custard apple, apart from being completely ecological fertilizers.
Another aspect to consider is pruning. We must perform this task in spring or autumn. Basically it is about removing leaves and branches of the tree that are in bad condition. As for the formation pruning, as in all fruit trees, it should only be done during the first years.
Now we just have to get down to work!