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The carob is a naturally diffused plant in the warm areas of the Mediterranean, as it prefers sunny climates, characterized by mild winters. It is a shrub that belongs to the Fabaceae family, and it is increasingly rare to find carob plants, as its cultivation is progressively diminishing. The carob tree does not need particular attention from the irrigation point of view, as it can brilliantly withstand even prolonged periods of drought. It is enough to consider the fact that a few rainfalls are sufficient during the calendar year to guarantee the survival of the carob tree, with the exception of the young shrubs, which in the first 5 years of life need more regular and systematic watering, especially during the season summer.
How to cultivate
There are many types of carob plants, some of which are mainly found on Italian soil. The carob tree reveals itself as an extremely versatile shrub from the point of view of the culture medium, as it can grow optimally in many different types of soil, not requiring specific indications in this regard. In fact it can tolerate even small sodium levels, adapting to live even in the vicinity of sandy soils close to the sea. In the case of cultivation of the carob tree for the purpose of harvesting its fruit, it is advisable to eradicate the turf near the plant, leaving the cut grass decomposing, thus providing organic fertilizer of particular nutritional value for the carob tree.
It is a good rule to proceed with a preventive fertilization of the carob cultivation land, to be carried out with the homogeneous dispersion of a quantity of 300 kg of organic fertilizer matured in an area of 1000 square meters. After this initial treatment, the carob is confirmed to be a plant with treatments reduced to the minimum from the point of view of fertilization, a distribution of manure of 50 kg per plant will be sufficient to be repeated every 3 years, making sure to superficially move the soil near the trunk of the carob tree. Instead of fertilizing with organic material, it is possible to add nitrogen fertilizer, combined with potassium fertilizer, to be administered to the carob tree shrub at the beginning of the autumn season, immediately after harvesting the tasty fruits, called carobs.
Carrubo: Enemies of the plant
The carob plant is particularly exposed to multiple attacks, both from fungal diseases and from particular types of insects. As for the pathologies related to problems of fungal origin, the main dangers to the carob plant derive from Laetiporus sulphureus, a mushroom commonly called Gallina dei bosco, or dall'Armillaria mellea, also known as root rot. From the point of view of parasites, one of the most feared enemies of the carob tree is the yellow Rodilegno, a characteristic moth with yellow larvae, while the adult butterfly is white with blue and black specks. Another insect feared by the carob tree is the Walnut Python, small butterflies with a camouflaged brown color. At the onset of the first symptoms of any type of attack on carob plants, a specific anti-parasite treatment is recommended.