First durian harvest coming in May 1

BALIK PULAU: Durian lovers can expect to sink their teeth into the first batch of the D604 and Kunpoh Angbak from May 1 onwards.

Bao Sheng Durian Farm owner Chang Teik Seng said these would be followed by the Lipan, D600, Kapri, Little Red, D11, Horlor, Green Skin, Green Skin Ang Bak, Kunjit, Lim Fong Jiao, and Mausan.

"All of the above will be available from May, with some spilling over to June and July.

"In June, the Black Thorn, D99, Bak Eu, D15 and Ganjau will be available while the Red Prawn will only make its appearance from July 10 onwards," he said here yesterday.

Although Chang is struggling with the dry weather and experiencing a drop of about 40 per cent in harvest, he said his durian trees were coping well - thanks to the organic farming methods he had adopted about 20 years ago.

"By practising organic farming, my durian trees live and last longer, and are not badly affected by any changes in the weather.

"They are also not attacked by diseases so easily. The worms and bugs in the organic soil also help keep it moist.

"The grass, which is free of pesticides, can add moisture to the soil.

"If it is too hot, the flowers will dry up but if there is too much water, the flowers will keep growing. However, they will eventually drop on their own as it is too wet," Chang added.

He noted that it would be ideal for the trees if it rained for half an hour each week.

"If it rains too many times or doesn't rain at all in a week, it's bad.

"If the rain is heavy, 10 minutes will be enough," he said.

He added that even though the quantity of the harvest might be down due to the dry weather, the quality would be good.

"This year, the durians will taste better. The trees are not producing new leaves, so all the nutrients will go to the fruits," Chang said.