Introduction: Hello polyhouse farmers, Cluster bean farming in polyhouse is as easy as growing any other green vegetables in controlled climate. Cluster bean is commonly known as guar. It is one of the most important commercial crops of the arid and semi-arid region. Guar belongs to the family of “Leguminaceae” and its scientific name is “Cyamous tetragocalobe L. Taub”.
Cluster bean is an annual legume crop and one of the famous vegetable in India. It is also called as Gavar, Guwar or Guvar Beans.
Cluster bean farming in polyhouse
Cluster beans plant grows between 1 to 2 meters in height; it is an upright plant with oval-shaped leaves and fine branching. Cluster beans plant develops a bunch of flowers, in colors of blue, pink, pale and white depending on the variety before forming seedpods. It forms slimy and glossy seedpods of green color in clusters that is why it is known as cluster beans.
Cluster bean varieties
Pusa Mausami, Pusa Naubahar, Goma Manjari, and Pusa Sadabahar are the some popular varieties of Cluster beans.
Requirements for Cluster bean farming in polyhouse
Polyhouse is a house or a structure made of translucent material like polyethylene where the plants grow and develop under controlled climatic conditions. The size of the polyhouse structure can differ from small shacks to big-size buildings as per the need.
The Cluster bean plants inside the polyhouse farming are hale and hearty. Fertilizer application is easier and this is controlled automatically with the help of a drip irrigation system. Polyhouse farming gives the right environmental facilities to plants in any season. Cluster bean plants are grown under controlled temperature thus there are fewer chances of crop loss or damage.
Polyhouse farming is a new and widely accepted process of farming in present days. Polyhouse farming is a tunnel used with polyethylene in a semicircular shape. Polyethylene sheets stabilize the ultraviolet rays and help in good photosynthesis in crops.
In Polyhouse farming, we can protect crops from any adverse environment such as high humidity or high temperature.
Polyhouse is a very excellent example of modern agriculture. With the help of polyhouse, we can produce export quality and high quantity product so that we can get a good amount of money. The polyhouse design lets light in, and when this light is absorbed by objects inside the polyhouse and turns to heat energy, it is not permitted to escape. GI pipes are used to construct polyhouse and in some cases, farmers use wooden or stone pillars which need less initial investment.
Transparent UV stabilized polyethylene film and 200-micron thickness is used for covering the polyhouse roof. Polyhouse farming should be designed in such a way that smart farmers can produce high-value crops out of season when prices of farm produce are at their highest. This is the way you can get higher incomes and a higher return on the high initial investment. Since you can control light, ambient temperature, humidity, and water for irrigation, you can generate all the crops that fetch a high price in local and regional markets.
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In Polyhouse, you can generate pesticide-free produce or even organic produce that fetch a higher price due to their high nutrition value, better taste, and freshness.
Soil requirement for Cluster bean farming in polyhouse
Cluster bean can be grown in a different variety of soils. It does not thrive well on heavy and waterlogged soils. It does not thrive well in saline and alkaline soils.
Well-drained sandy loam with a pH range of 7 to 8.5 and warm climate is suitable for Cluster bean cultivation.
The Cluster bean crop requires 30 to 35°C temperatures at the sowing time for proper germination and 32 to 38°C temperature encourages good vegetative growth. But the high temperature at the flowering stage can result in premature flower drop. It can tolerate temperature as high as 45-46°C. The cluster bean crop is photosensitive and indeterminate. Atmospheric humidity encourages the infestation of several diseases like bacterial leaf blight, root rot, etc.
Field preparation for Cluster bean farming
For the plant to obtain soil aeration and better root development, the lands need to be plowed 2 or 3 times, which is followed by planking. One needs to make sure that weeds are removed so that the Cluster bean plant is germinated well.
How to Propagate Cluster bean
Seeds are required for Cluster bean propagation.
Cluster bean seed
Quality of seeds is very important for maintaining optimum plant stand. Certified seed of improved varieties obtained from reliable sources must be used for sowing. Seed produced by the farmers must be graded before sowing. Discard small, shriveled and damaged seed. Only bold seeds that are free from weed seeds and other impurities must be used for sowing purpose. Delayed in sowing, flowering could be affected due to high temperature which may result in a decrease in seed yield. Therefore, timely sowing for summer crop is important non-monetary input.
How to Treat Cluster beans seeds
Various types of seed treatment can do to check the proper growth. Seeds could be treated with Ceresan or Thiram at a rate of 3gm/kg seed to kill dry root rot fungus spores.
To verify sucking pest like Jassids and Aphids, seeds can be treated with Imidacloprid at a rate of 6ml/kg.
Fungus mycelium could be killed as well as their spores inactivated by a series of treatment starting from seed immersion in hot water at 50°C for 20 minutes and drying the seeds after that.
Cluster bean seeds need to be inoculated with bacteria it depends on for its symbiotic relationship so that its population is maintained in the soil. We need to make a 10% sugar solution in boiling water, followed by cooling. After that mix the bacterial culture making a thin paste this is coated over seeds. After that, the seeds are dried for 30 – 40 minutes before sowing.
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Spacing between plants for Cluster bean farming
In polyhouse, the optimal plant population per acre depends upon the plant’s growth habit like compact, sizes like small, medium or large at maturity, climate, soil moisture and nutrient availability, soil productivity, and intended use. Dibble the Cluster bean seeds on the sides of the ridges at 10 to 15 cm apart.
Water management in Cluster bean farming in polyhouse
Usually, Cluster bean is developed as a rain-fed crop in arid and semi-arid condition. The irrigation should be provided to crop suffers moisture stress, if irrigation facilities are available. Life-saving irrigation must be given to the crop particularly at the time of flowering and seed formation stage.
If the crop does not germinate properly, light irrigation can be given at 6 to 7 days after sowing. Irrigation given after the germination of the crop at an interval of 15 days. A drip irrigation system can be adopted for effective use of water.
Manures and fertilizers
Cluster bean is a leguminous crop and needs a small quantity of nitrogen as a starter dose during the early growth period. It requires 20 kg N and 40 kg P2 O5 per hectare. A full dose of nitrogen and phosphorus must be applied at the sowing time. It is advisable to follow integrated nutrient management practices for Cluster bean crop. About 2.5 tons of compost or FYM must be applied at least 15 days before sowing. Application of FYM or compost helps improve the water holding capacity of the soil and also to supply all the nutrients required for the plant growth. At the sowing time, 10 kg nitrogen and 20 kg P2O5 should be applied as a basal dose. Fertilizer placed at least 5 cm below the seed. Seed inoculation with suitable rhizobium strains and phosphorus solubilizing bacteria (PSB) helps increase crop yield.
How to Control weeds in Cluster bean plants
As Cluster beans is a Kharif crop, due to various factors several weeds grow around it which compete for nutrients, moisture, and space and thus is important to remove them for better yield of the plant. It is important to clear the field within 20 days of sowing seeds, followed by another clearing session within 35 to 40 days. Proper control of weeds can increase the seed yield by 60%.
Pests and diseases in Cluster bean farming
Leafhopper, aphids, and glasshouse whitefly: Leafhopper could be controlled by spraying Methyl demeton 25 EC 1 ml/lit or Dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/lit.
Ash weevils: Spray phosalone 35 EC @ 1.5 ml/lit.
Pod borer: Pod borer could be controlled by spraying Carbaryl 50 WP 2 g/lit, or Quinalphos 25 EC 2 ml/lit.
Leaf spot: Leaf spot disease can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb 2 g/lit.
Powdery mildew: This can be controlled by spraying Wettable sulfur 2 g/lit or dust with Sulphur 25 kg/ha. Repeat the application at 15 days interval.
How and when to harvest Cluster bean
Cluster bean will be ready for harvesting in 60 to 90 days and the green pods can be harvest from the plant by cutting or twisting. Picking of green pods must be continued over some time as they continue to pop up as the plant grows. The crop yield depends on good management practices and variety.
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