Organic Turmeric cultivation in Polyhouse
In every Indian kitchen, you can easily spot a brightly yellow colored powder called turmeric powder or commonly Haldi. From maintaining the natural glow in your face to healing the wounds and to boosting the immunity this yellow powder is always first preference in every Indian house. It is utilized in a diversified way as a condiment, flavoring, and coloring agent, and as a primary ingredient in Indian culinary as curry powder Turmeric is more than just a bright, flavorful spice; it’s also laden with potential health profits. Many of its perks have been accredited to curcumin, the primary plant compound that provides turmeric its bright yellow color.
A guide to Organic Turmeric cultivation, farming practices in Polyhouse
Turmeric scientifically known as Curcuma longa belongs to the family Zingiberaceae which also includes ginger. Turmeric is an old and sacred spice of India, which is also known as ‘Indian saffron’ is an imperative commercial spice crop grown widely in India.
Today we will help you all of our dear readers and step by step guide of organic cultivation of turmeric in Polyhouse
Polyhouse cultivation: meaning and benefits
Polyhouse is a house or a structure prepared of a translucent material such as glass or polyethylene wherein plants are grown and developed under controlled climatic conditions. The size of the structure can vary from small shacks to big-size buildings as per the requirement. Anything can be grown in Polyhouse be it plants, flowers, fruits, or vegetables since our article is all about turmeric so we will be focussing on it only.
Advantages of using Polyhouse for Organic Turmeric cultivation
Polyhouse is very advantageous for farmers or growers particularly those who have a preference for organic farming.
- The plants are in Polyhouse grown under controlled conditions for example light, temperature, and humidity are kept as per the growth requirements thus there are fewer chances of crop loss or damage.
- Year-round crop production: You can cultivate turmeric throughout the year and will not have to wait for a particular growing season.
- There will be fewer pests and insects infestation in the Polyhouse, which simply means better yield.
- Proper drainage and aeration will be provided
- Your plants will not have to compete for nutrition and light
- No weather-related crop failures by providing protection of plants from extreme heat and strong winds
- Since there is full proof protection from the external environment, disease -pest infestation and individual plant approach is followed hence it becomes quite easy to layout organic farming principles using Polyhouse
- The yields are many-fold increased in Polyhouse in comparison to the normal field cultivation which makes it favorable for commercial practice too
- Eliminates agricultural runoff
- Significantly reduces the use of farm machines and hence saves labor
- Can make use of otherwise abandoned or unused properties
Polyhouse construction for Organic Turmeric cultivation
Greenhouse farming nowadays in India is achieving a reputation quite fast. One can obtain a huge return from Polyhouse farming. Polyhouse cultivation may seem a costly investment but trust me this one-time investment will benefit exponentially for a long time. Moreover, governments also provide subsidies under various vertical farming projects in India. There are many service providers who can help you out in establishing Polyhouse according to your requirements various online platforms/online consultancies are perfect to get your dream Polyhouse on the ground.
Points to be considered for Polyhouse construction
Site Selection for Polyhouse Construction
Initially, the purpose of having a greenhouse was to cultivate those plants that have need of heat in colder regions. It was simple to regulate the climatic factors such as temperature and moisture level inside a greenhouse and defend the plants from the harsh external cold winds.
The site selected should be a well-drained area and not a place that has a water logging problem. Waterlogging can cause possible harm to the crop particularly in areas with heavy rainfall and floods.
The greenhouse must not be constructed nearby any industrial units. This is to protect the crops from possible pollution effluents especially when we are dealing with organic farming.
Although it must not be constructed very near the roads, however, they should be effortlessly accessible through various modes of transport for pre-harvest operation and storage.
Naturally ventilated Polyhouse is more suitable when dealing with organic farming as this type of Polyhouse or greenhouse does not have any environmental control system except for providing sufficient ventilation and fogger system to protect the crop from bad weather conditions and pests and diseases.
These are mostly used greenhouse by local growers in which facilities such as exhaust fans with thermostat system is there to control the temperature. Cooling pads and arrangements for misting to maintain humidity levels are also present. The price for constructing this type of greenhouse varies between ₹ 800- 1100 per square meter.
Requirements for Organic Turmeric cultivation in Polyhouse
Organic farming is a crop cultivation method that encourages sustainable cultivation practices by promoting biological cycles in nature. It is focussed on producing healthy, nutritive, toxin-free crops maximizing the use of on-farm resources, and minimizing the use of any type of unnatural substance. It seeks to completely avoid the use of chemical nutrients and pesticides.
Climate and soil requirements for growing Organic Turmeric
Turmeric prefers a warm and humid climate. It can be grown in diverse tropical conditions within a temperature range maintained at 20-30°C with a rainfall of 1500 mm or more per annum or under proper irrigation conditions.
Turmeric growth ceases when, the temperature falls below 20°C, and hence early-planted turmeric gives a good yield. Although turmeric grows well in different types of soil ranging from light black loam, red soils to clayey loams, rich loamy soils which are well-drained. Turmeric cannot stand water stagnation or alkalinity. Any problem related to temperature, irrigation can easily be sorted in Polyhouse by regulating the growing conditions irrespective of turmeric growing season.
Manure for Turmeric plants
The focus must be on enriching the soil with rich organic matter which increases the fertility of the soil by improving its structure and water holding capacity. All starts with adding manure or FYM, oil cakes, and biofertilizer during bed preparation or during the preparation of pots after providing minimum tillage operations and turning to promote maximum aeration in the soil. Beds of 15 cm height, about 1 m widths, and of the desired length may be prepared to keep at least 50 cm spacing in between beds. The solarisation of beds is helpful in avoiding the multiplication of pests and diseases causing organisms. Turmeric is a heavy feeder it needs heavy manuring. Application of well rotten cow dung or compost at a rate of about 2-3 tonne /acre can be given as basal dose at the same time as planting rhizomes in the pits. In addition to this, the application of neem cake at a rate of 0.8 tonnes/ acre is also advantageous.
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Systems for Turmeric planting
It is done under rainfed conditions where soils are light. Flatbeds of about 1 m in width and-of suitable length varying in accordance with the slope of the land are prepared.
Ridges and Furrows
Used in under irrigated-conditions where the land is leveled or plain and soils are heavy, planting is done on ridges and furrows, opened at 75 cm of distance, and having 3-3.5 m length. Broad ridges must be having 90 -100 cm width and 3 – 6 m length depending upon the slope
Container /pots or growing turmeric vertically can also be followed when growing in Polyhouse this is success and done similarly as ginger vertical farming
Planting material for Organic Turmeric cultivation in Polyhouse
- The seed of turmeric consists of rhizomes.
- Both mother and finger rhizomes can be used.
- Mother rhizomes are favoured since they offer 50% more yields in comparison to the finger rhizome and also provide good growth.
- Large-sized, plumy, and healthy mother rhizomes of at least 100 g weight are recommended to be used.
Carefully preserved seed rhizomes free from any pests and disease infestation which are collected from organically cultivated farms should be utilized for planting. However, to begin with, turmeric seeds material from high yielding local varieties can also be used if organically produced seeds are not available
For planting, either whole or split healthy mother – rhizomes and fingers are used. The fingers are carefully cut into 4 – 5 cm long pieces, and the mother rhizomes are planted as it is or split into two; each having at least one healthy bud. The seed is sometimes sprouted under moist straw before sowing for obtaining a better field stand.
The seed rate of Turmeric
Turmeric seed rate varies according to the type of planting material, spacing, and weight of rhizomes for example
Mother rhizomes: 2000-2500 kg/ha.
Finger rhizomes: 1500-2000 kg/ha.
If grown as an intercrop: 400 – 500 kg/ha
Planting procedure of Turmeric
At the time of planting using 25 g powdered neem cake and mix it well with soil, this mixture is applied in each pit made at a spacing of 20-25 cm within and between the planting rows. Selected healthy seed rhizomes can be kept in low pits and covered with well rotten cattle manure or compost mixed with Trichoderma (10 gm compost inoculated with Trichoderma) which is a biofertilizer. This process helps in avoiding the pest and disease along with good growth.
Irrigation requirement of organic turmeric in Polyhouse
Turmeric thrives in soil with plenty of moisture but, make sure you are not overwatering it. Make sure your soil is evenly moistened poorly drained soils not only harm the turmeric crop but encourage the development of diseases and pests. Quality of irrigation water is vital, sewage water, wastewater from industry is not allowed.
First irrigation is given before planting. Good soaking irrigation is given immediately after sowing
Turmeric crop duration is generally 7 to 9 months depending on the variety. Subsequent irrigations are given at 7-10 days interval depending on the soil (for eg. 15 to 20 for clayey soils and 40 for sandy).
During the period of rhizome development and maturity frequent irrigations are suggested.
A total of 20-25 irrigations are given, during the life cycle of the crop.
Mulching in Organic Turmeric cultivation in Polyhouse
Mulching is done when-planted on raised beds first mulching is done immediately after planting while second and third at an interval of 40 – 50 days.
The beds covered with green leaves are a significant practice advantageous to this crop. This helps to improve the germination of the seed rhizomes, prevents wash off of soil during frequent irrigation, adds organic matter to the soil, and conserves moisture for the dry period. For mulching operations, a mix of leguminous crops with leaves loaded with nitrogen content, phosphorus content such as Acalypha weed can be included. Cow dung slurry can also be poured on the bed after each mulching to boost microbial activity and nutrient availability. Make sure you have provided proper drainage channels in the inter rows to drain off stagnant water.
Turmeric plant protection
The fundamental approach for pest and disease management in organic cultivation is based on a range of preventive and other management strategies to reduce the occurrence of pests and diseases. Regular field inspection, implementation of phytosanitary measures collective with understanding the life cycles of both pest and its predators will permit decisions to be made.
If shoot borer incidence is observed, such shoots should be cut open and larvae must be picked out and destroyed. If required neem oil 0.5% can be sprayed at fortnightly intervals.
Although no major disease is noticed in turmeric. Leaf spot and leaf blotch can be controlled by limited use of Bordeaux mixture 1%. Applying Trichoderma at the time of planting helps in preventing the incidence of rhizome rot.
Harvesting of Turmeric
The crop should be harvested at the right maturity and is usually ready for harvesting in about 7 to 9 months after sowing depending upon the variety used. Generally, the Polyhouse pots/land is ploughed and the rhizomes are gathered by handpicking or the clumps are carefully lifted by using a spade. Harvested rhizomes are cleaned through with water. The average turmeric yield per acre is 8 -10 tonnes. Fingers are separated from mother rhizomes. Mother rhizomes are generally kept as seed material for next planting.
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