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Notes for Farmers

Upon receipt of your plants from the airport you should:


Water the plants. They have been in transit for 3-5 days so may be dry.
They need to be kept damp and free draining, but not waterlogged.
Avoid getting water on the leaves as this can cause leaf damage if the plants are in sunlight.
Keep the plants in an outside, shaded area, protected from the wind to allow them to adjust to
the climate.
A shaded area using commercially available shade netting to cut out 50-70% of the sun is
recommended.
Water the plants regularly in the morning and/or evening whilst in their torpedo pots.
Watering during the day should be avoided as during hottest parts of the day, water droplets on
the leaves can lead to severe marking and damage.
Feed should ideally be applied when watering, using a soluble NPK + trace elements fertilizer to the
manufacturers guidelines
After between 2-4 weeks the plants should be re-potted into 7-10 litre grow bags or pots for
growing on.
When repotting, do not remove any of the compost from around the root system. Once the
plant is removed from the torpedo, plant immediately as the root system will be very sensitive to
drying out.
It is recommended that the plants stay in these bags until they have a minimum of 2 pinnate (true)
leaves and developed a good root system, usually around 6-9 months. It is very important to ensure
that the planting depth is correct.
The re-potting should be done into a good quality, free draining potting mix (rich sandy or
peaty loam). If sand is used, this should be washed prior to use.
Mix slow release fertilizer containing
nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus,
calcium, magnesium and sulphur into the
potting mix prior to replanting.
If possible, choose a slow release
fertiliser also containing the trace
elements iron, zinc, copper, manganese,
boron and molybdenum.
If that is not possible, then we would
suggest buying a trace element mix to
add when watering.
We always recommend following the
guidelines given from the manufacturer.
At the growing-on stage, we recommend the regular watering and application of a high
quality soluble feed.

When watering, make sure that the potting mix is moist but not waterlogged. The plants must
not be allowed to dry out either.
Temperatures in the nursery should not exceed 35C.
Cooling and humidifying may be required during the first 3-4 months of growing on. In a simple
shade house structure this can be achieved by spraying the surrounding chippings/matting with
water twice daily (under shade).
Free drainage is essential at all stages.
Plants need to be protected from pests, fungus and diseases.
Pest control can be managed using a commercial spraying oil (pesticide) and a broadspectrum fungicide to the manufacturers recommendation.
Attention should be paid to local environmental and climatic influences when deciding an
appropriate maintenance regime.
It is important use more than one fungicide/pesticide on rotation to prevent pests building a
resistance.
Pesticide and fungicide application during the day should be avoided as during hottest parts of
the day, water droplets on the leaves can lead to severe marking and damage.
In most date growing areas, spring or autumn are the preferred planting times, avoiding the
harsh weather or summer and winter.
Soil types around the world vary so it is important to take into account local conditions.
Prior to field planting, holes need to be prepared and left to settle for a few weeks. Holes
should dug to a minimum of 1 metre deep and be suitably prepared with a slow release fertiliser and
manure on the bottom layered with
good quality soil on top.
Watering the hole prior to planting is
also necessary.
9 x 9 metres spacing is the
standard planting density.
When planting into the field, it is
very important to ensure that the
base of the shoot is not covered by
soil.
A shade should be created around the
new-planted palm, using either palm
leaves or a shade netting guard.
Water newly planted palms
immediately after planting.