Naturally split, healthy fruits harvested during June–July are used for raising nursery. The seeds are extracted from the pericarp and sown immediately in sand beds of convenient length, 1–1.5m width and 15cm height, prepared using river sand. Regular watering is necessary for good germination. The germination commences from 30–90 days after sowing. About 20 days old sprouts are transplanted to polythene bags containing a mixture of good soil, sand and well-decomposed cowdung in a 3:3:1 ratio. About 18–24 months old seedlings are used for transplanting in the field.
The planting in the main field is done at the onset of rainy season. The spacing varies widely. Even a spacing of 6–7m appears to be inadequate. For graft 5m × 5m spacing is optimum. Pits of 0.75m × 0.75m × 0.75m size are dug and filled with organic manure and soil 15 days earlier to planting.
The plants should be shaded in the early stages to protect from sun scorch. Permanent shade trees are planted when the site is on a hilly slope when nutmeg is grown as a monocrop. It can best be grown as an intercrop in old coconut gardens, where light shade conditions are suitable. The coconut gardens along the river- beds and adjoining areas are best-suited for its cultivation. Nutmeg requires irrigation in summer.
Generally organic manures are applied for nutmeg. Bone-meal is very popular among the growers. Manures are applied in shallow trenches or pits dug around the plants. However, a dose of 20g N(40g urea), 18g P 2 O 5 (110g superphosphate) and 50g K 2 O (80g muriate of potash) during the initial year and 500g N (1,090g urea), 250g P 2 O 5 (1,560g superphosphate) and 100g K 2 O (1,670g muriate of potash)/year in subsequent years for a fully grown up tree of 15 years or more is recommended.
Nutmeg can be grown as an intercrop in coconut, clove, arecanut and coffee gardens. Regular mulching of plant basins after slashing weeds and shading in summers in the early years are very essential. Banana can be raised for shade in early growth phase of nutmeg at 1m away from nutmeg on three sides.
Nutmeg needs sufficient water for its growth, requiring irrigation in summer season. The quantity/frequency of watering depends upon the region and the condition of the plant.