Tuberose is an important traditional flower of India. It is used both as loose flower and cut flower. The major constraint in tuberose cultivation is weed management and about 70-80 per cent of cultivation cost accounts for weeding.
Plastic mulching is recommended for weed management, if planted under drip and fertigation system.
Raised beds should be prepared at a height of four feet and lateral drip laid out along the centre of the raised beds. Plastic mulch sheet of 40 micron thickness top silver and bottom black should be spread on the raised beds.
Bulbs are planted in the holes made at recommended spacing. Use of the plastic mulch reduces the weed management cost to a tune of 80 per cent.
It prevents the evaporation of irrigation water which reduces the irrigation water requirement by 30 per cent.
The cost towards plastic mulching per acre is about Rs 20,000. The crop period is for two to three years and the life of mulch sheet almost extends for the period of 15-20 months. If plastic mulching sheet is not used then weeding must be done once in 20-25 days.
The mulch sheet reduces the weeding cost by 80 per cent. The furrows between the raised beds alone need to be weeded. The furrow space is used for daily harvest of the flowers and hence the need for weeding in that area is also lesser.
Flowers are harvested daily and about 20 kilograms of flowers can be obtained per acre per day.
The average cost per kg of flower is about Rs.40 which leads to an income of Rs. 24000 per month.
If plastic mulching is not used, about Rs. 6,000 per month will be spent for weeding, which is now saved by the use of plastic mulching.
As a result, the net returns increases by 40 to 60 per cent compared to an unmulched field. The quality of the flowers is also improved since the soil moisture is maintained and the plants are of vigour physiology.
(Dr. K. Indhumathi, Asst Prof (horticulture) and Dr. P. S. Shanmugam, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Papparapatty, Dharmapuri district – 636 809, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: 09994672204, Phone : 04342-245860.)
Source : The Hindu