Mulberry Cultivation and Management
Mulberry is a hardy plant capable of thriving under a variety of agro-climatic conditions wide range of soils, but best growth is obtained in loamy to clayey loam soils. The mulberry plant can tolerate slightly acidic conditions in the soil. In the case of too acidic soils with pH below 5, necessary corrective measures through application of Dolomite or Lime and in the case of alkaline soils, application of Gypsum for correction of the soil. Mulberry thrive well upto about 4,000 feet, above which growth will be retarded because of the cooler temperature
Mulberry is grown under both rain-fed and irrigated conditions. Mulberry generally thrives well in the soil having 40-45% water holding capacity.
Mulberry is well suited for intercropping with a number of vegetables and can provide farmers an additional income of Rs 10,000-50,000 per hectare depending on the vegetable crop used, spinach being the most profitable combination.
Yield of mulberry leaves
An average of about 25 MT to 30 MT of leaf (without twigs) can be harvested per annum per hectare under row system of cultivation.
Pests and diseases of mulberry
Apart from the freaks of nature, such as floods, draught, snow, or forst, damage is also cause to mulberry by insects and plants pests. Life history of more than 20 insects pests have been studied in Japan. It is also stated that more than 500 fungal and bacterial diseases attacking mulberry are known but that about 30 kinds occur in a severe form, and that 7-8 diseases cause heavy damage. In India pests and diseases are fewer probable on account of the climate and soil.
Glyphodes Phyloalis (Pyralideae) is a serious pest causing heavy damage to late autumn crop. Eggs are laid on the under surface of the leaves during May and June.