Do you like to chew on cashew nuts in a box of mixed nuts? It is entirely possible to grow cashew trees at home. If you live in a subtropical or tropical region, you can make your own ready supply.
Most people do not think of growing nut trees at home, like they grow fruitful trees, but it is not as difficult as you might think. You need the right environment and to know the right tricks for growing cashew nuts.
Can’t wait to dig in? let’s get started.
Know cashew trees
Cashew tree (Anacardium Oxidale) Originating from the Caribbean Islands and Brazil, but nowadays, they are grown in tropical regions of the world. They are most often found in Africa, India and Southeast Asia.
Cashew trees grow up to 40 feet with evergreen, oval, leathery leaves. The trees have beautiful pink flowers, so they are ornamental on top of providing food.
Talk of food… When looking for the nuts on the tree, it is easy, because the tree produces cashew apples which are oval. Cashew apple looks like a yellow, orange, or red bell pepper; They are edible, so don’t worry. These are not actually apples, but rather swollen stems of fruit.
Nuts are attached to the end of the “fruit”. Here you will find the nut which everyone knows by the name of cashew.
Growing cashew trees are perfect for beginners, so as long as you live in a subtropical or tropical area. The key is to make sure that you fertilize in the hole where you plant trees and take care of water and fertilize regularly.
Growing Cashew Trees
If you have proper environment and growing conditions, it is not difficult to grow cashew trees. These trees grow in USDA zones 10–11, so they must be in a subtropical or tropical zone.
Unfortunately, people who live outside those areas cannot grow cashew as these trees need to be planted in the ground and will not live through cold temperatures. These trees need to grow in areas where the temperature does not go below 50 ° F; They prefer average temperatures around 80 ° F, but they handle all the way up to 105 ° F.
Let us look at the requirements required to grow cashew trees.
When to apply cashew nut
You can grow cashew seeds anytime, but the best time to sow seeds is in autumn or winter. Plants can be grown under a cover until they are ready to be planted in the spring.
Where to plant cashew trees
Cashew trees require at least six hours of direct sunlight to grow. Make sure the area you choose needs each day throughout the year. If you plant these trees in the shade area, the tree will grow slowly and will never bear fruit.
Make sure the area has well-drained soil; Never plant these trees in soil rich soil as the roots will burn away, which will kill the trees over time.
When choosing a location, keep in mind that these trees are up to 40 feet high and require a distance of 30 feet between each tree.
Preparing soil for cashew trees
Cashew trees grow best in sandy, laterite soils between 5 and 6.5. Make sure you apply manure in the hole before planting the tree to help the nutrients grow. Compost also helps the soil to flow properly.
How to grow cashew trees from seed
If you want to grow cashew trees from seed, then you need to find a ripe, unripe nut (or seed in this case). Also, keep in mind that trees grown by seeds will not be true for type. Cashew seeds are viable for four months. Once collected, you need to dry it in the sun for three days and soak it in water overnight.
It is best to sow fresh cashew seeds as they germinate easier and faster. Sow the seed in the initial mixture of seeds and wait for it to sprout. Cashew seeds take up to three weeks to germinate.
Place the seeds in a warm area with some indirect light, but make sure the container is not in full sunlight. Regularly check the soil to ensure that it is not drying.
Growing cashew trees from plants
If you do not feel comfortable starting your walnut tree with seeds, the next best option is to find a grafted tree or seedling at a local garden nursery. This option is preferred for new gardeners who have never propagated with trees before.
Cashew Planting Trees
It does not matter if you are growing a cashew tree from a seed or a tree grafted tree, you have to dig a hole that is twice as big as a root ball. Put manure at the bottom of the hole and spread the roots of cashew tree, gently plant the tree in the hole.
Fill the hole with the rest of the soil, pressing down firmly. Water the ground deeply to help establish roots, and spread mulch around the base of the tree.
Cashew care trees
Once your trees are planted, taking care of your young tree takes time. As the tree grows older, it requires less care and watering, but in the early years, you need to remember the water and fertilize it regularly.
Watering your cashew tree
Once established, cashew trees are moderately drought tolerant, but the more water they receive, the more fruit and nuts produce the tree. It is best to water your trees in summer each week; Once or twice is enough, and make sure to water deeply.
When winter arrival decreases or watering stops. The last thing you want to do is dominate your trees because it can kill them. Water deeply and allow the soil to dry between water.
Fertilizer Cashew Trees
Cashew trees benefit from regular fertilizer applications; This results in higher yield of fruits.
Use slow-release fertilizer, and follow the instructions on the back of the package. Apply fertilizer around the base of the tree every two months during the growing season. You also need to apply compost every year to the soil surface around your tree.
Pruning is an essential step when you grow a fruit or nut tree. Regular pruning is required to remove weak, dead and tangled branches. Remove branches suffering from pests or diseases.
You should also close congested branches to promote better growth. Look for branches that cross; When the branches cross, they rub, increasing the risk of damage to one of the branches. Damaged branch increases the risk of diseases.
Don’t forget the country
Every year, you should apply a new layer of mulch around the base of your tree. Mulk helps prevent the growth of weeds and conserves moisture in the soil. You will need to plant more mulch every year as it washes or decomposes in the soil.
Common Pests and Diseases
In general, cashew trees have very few problems without any pest or disease problems. This makes it an easy nut tree for beginners to grow. Although rare, there are some pests that you can deal with while growing these trees.
Adult cashew veils are large and brownish-brown with a curly color, while the larvae are legally grubs that are white. They give rise to a gummy, insect growth on the trunk of the tree, which leads to the death of the tree.
Remove the bark from the infected area on your trees and destroy any larvae or pupae found on or around the tree. It takes several months to remove all of them. Unfortunately, there is a need to remove and destroy severely infected trees.
Another pest that can infect your cashew tree is the coconut bug. Adults are reddish-brown, while nymphs vary from red to green. They give rise to necrotic lesions on the fruit which eventually develop into hard lumps and spotting on the kernels.
The best way to control is to protect the natural enemies of the coconut bug in your garden, which will help control the pest population naturally. Weaver ants and fire ants are the two best natural enemies of coconut worms. If the insecticide is very bad then you can use the insecticide.
Never heard of the Halopeltis bug? you’re not alone. Also known as mosquito worms, these pests have long legs and thin bodies with antennae. Seriously; The antennae are twice as long as the body. Females are red while males are brown. They resemble a large mosquito.
Halopeltis insects lead to discolored leaves with lesions on the veins, and fruits may fall from the plant. They can cause some serious damage, so you should look for signs of these pests regularly.
To counter Tham, introduce natural enemies to take care of the population, such as weaver and green tree ants. You can also use chemical pesticides if the infection worsens.
Harvesting Cashew Nuts
When the apples on the cashew tree start becoming pink or red, then see if the cashew shells are brown or not. When it is time to cut the nuts. If you grow a tree from seed, expect it to take three to five years to produce the first fruit.
Believe it or not, those cashew apples are edible, so don’t toss them away. You can eat them raw or make cashew apple juice with them.
Leave the cashew nut open for two years; If they are placed in a cool, dark place they will be cured.
When it is time to cook cashews, do not break the shells before frying because the cashew shells contain caustic oil that will burn your skin. Wear gloves and take care when processing them.
Processing Cashew Nuts
Unlike other nuts, you cannot pop open shells and eat the nuts inside. The shell is filled with a dirty liquid that will literally burn holes in your skin. You have to separate the nuts from the shells without burning your skin or moving it into your eyes.
This is why safety goggles and gloves are a must when processing cashews. Once you have your protective clothing, you have some options when processing domestic cashew nuts.
1. Freeze the sphere
One of the easiest methods of processing cashew nuts is to freeze the shells and separate the shells from the nuts before it comes out. You still need to wear gloves and safety goggles to be safe. After the shells and nuts separate, you can eat the nuts raw, but be sure to clean any liquid before eating.
2. Fry cashews
The second method is to roast cashew nuts. You need a mask, long gloves and sleeves that start before covering your hand.
Heat the vegetable oil to 410 ° F and add the nuts to the oil for two minutes. Do not let them cook for more than two minutes or they will become brittle.
After that, drop them in a bucket of water and take the shell nuts. Allow them to dry on a towel and then dig.
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