Thursday 30 May 2013

Few steps on cardamom cultivation

Cardamom prorogation
(a) Cardamom can be propagated in following ways
(ii)Rhizome and
(b) Suckers, free from pest and diseases are better suited for clonal multiplication.
(c) Although, large scale prorogation is done through seeds but, it has inherent draw back due to heterogeneous progeny due to cross pollination.
(d) Cardamom can also be propogated through tissue culture techniques.

Let us see the popular method of prorogation i.e. through seeds.
Prorogation through seeds  
(a)Fresh seeds are collected from desired mother plant having good quality attributes.
(b)Cardamom seed possesses hard seed coat which delays the seed germination.
(c)For better germination percentage, seeds are treated with 20% nitric acid for 10 minutes before sowing the seeds to the seed beds.
(d)Nursery beds are selected in gentle slope with perennial water source.
(e)There are 2 (two) stages of nursery
(i)Primary nursery and
(ii)Secondary nursery
(f)After sowing of Cardamom seeds in the primary nursery, seed bed is mulched with paddy straw or Phyllanthus ermblica for better germination.
(g)Transplanting of cardamom seedlings are done at 4-5 leaves stage.
(h)Time of transplanting to secondary nursery bed is as follows
(i)December or January OR
(iii)May- June.
Planting in mainfield 
Field preparation
(a)Ground should be cleared
(b)Thinning out of excess shade tree branches
(c)In sloppy land, ground should be cleared from top to down word spacing to be maintained.
(a)Spacing is based on variety and longevity of crop. There are various spacing followed.
(1)3m x 3m or
(2)2.4m x 2.4m for high rainfall or irrigated
(3)1.8m x 1.8m or
(4)1.2m x 1.8m in Karnataka
(5)2.0m x 2.0m in flat and
(b)Terrace should be made on sloppy hills
(c)Width of terraces should be 1.5 to 1.8m
(d)Top soil of the terrace to the depth of 8-15 cm should be removed and kept aside for filling in pit.
(e)Pits are dug before monsoon
(f)Pit size is 90cm x 90cm x 45cm
(g)1/3 of pit should be filled with top soil
(h)½ of pit with 1:3 mixture of topsoil and organic manure
(i)In low rainfall area, trenches size of 75cm width and 30 can depth and plant spacing 1-1.5m is maintained.
Planting time
(a)When soil is moist
(b)Cloudy days with light drizzling are ideal for planting
(c)Deep planting should be avoided.
(d)Plant should be supported by staking
(e)Base of plant should be mulched with fallen dried leaves of shade tree
(f)Planting during rainy season from June is ideal on steep to moderate slopes
(g)Early planting gets assured and distributed rains in south-west monsoon that helps in good establishment and growth
(h)In low lying area, ideal time of planting is after cessation of rain.
(i)Cardamom is sensitive to drought
(j)Mulching is advisable for conserving soil moisture
(k)Trench method is superior to pit method of planting
Weeding management:-
(a) Cardamom being surface feeder in the first year of planting, frequent weeding is necessary.
(b) Depending upon the weed density, 2-3 rounds of weeding in a year are necessary.
(c) Where manual weeding is not practicable, herbicide in the inter space leaving 60 cm around plant base is also done.
Consists of removing of old and dry shoots of cardamom plants, it facilitates:-
(a) Adequate sunlight
(b) Aeration
(c) Reclining insect infestation
(d) Ensures over all build up and growth
(e) Pollination by bees and formation of green capsule.
(f) Trashing operation may be carried out 2-3 times in a year.
 It is done towards the end of monsoon rains by
(a) Soil digging around the plant
(b) Digging is done in one year old plantation to ensure.
(i) Better root development.
(c) Deep chugging is strictly avoided.
Light earthing up:-
(a) Rice humus top soil around the plant to a distance of 75cm is scrapped and applied thinly/ thin year to the base of clumps.
(b) It forms mulching covering the plant roots and rhizomes.
Shade Regulation
(a) Sufficient shade is maintained to protect the plants from scorching sun.
(b) Too much shades causes over tillering, lanky growth of tillers and consequently poor yield.
(c) Medium to high light intensity (45-60%) is ideal for better growth and yield
(d) To provide adequate light during rainy season, when intensity of light is less, If is necessary to carry out shade regulation before onset of monsoon.
(e) Threes having well distributed branching habit and small leaves are ideal for cardamom.
Nutrient Management
(a) 75:75:150 kg of NPK/ha is recommended to get a yield of 100 kg of dry capsule/ha
(b) Additional fertilizer doses of 0.65 kg N, 0.65 kg P and 1.3 kg K/ha is to be applied for every increase in yield of 2.5 kg of capsules over the normal yield.
(c) Urea is better source of nitrogen fertilizer
(d) Liming corrects soil acidity and enhances rate of nitrification, resulting in better growth.
(e) Spice Board of India recommends
(i) 75:75:150 kg/ha of NPK for rain-fed
(ii) 125:125:250 kg NPK/ha for irrigated
(e) Zinc deficiency is over come through foliar application of 500 or 750 ppm of zinc enhances yield and quality of cardamom.
 Irrigation us required during the
(a) February to April but also
(b) January to May upon rainfall.
(c) Sloppy topography - overhead sprinkler at 35-45 mm water at 15 days interval
(d) In drip system- @4-6 litres /chump/day may be given.
N:B: Actual package of practices may vary in place to place, user is requested to refer specific recommendation

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