Cultivation of orka is also carried out in the monsoons, but in places where excess rainfall is seen, certain techniques and methods must be adopted to cultivate it on a profit basis. The following slope terrace method is adopted at padval agriculture and farm enterprises & the results can be seen
LAND SELECTION AND PREPARATION
The most important criteria here is selection of the land. As we are going to adopt slope terrace method, the selected land must be a hillock.
selection of land & making rows
After the first monsoon showers, land becomes ready to cultivate. Wide rows are made, measuring a width of 60 to 75 cm. the distance between the rows have to be maintained at a much higher level. Up to 80 cm distance between rows are seen.
photo shows the width of each row
3 to 5 loads of farm yard manure or fresh compost is added to the soil & mixed properly. Weeds, big stones etc must be removed completely. Raised beds or ridges are made where the seeds have to be sown.
The seeds are dibbled by hand over the raised beds made in each row. Due to the monsoon, the soil will become sticky & care should be taken to see that the seed is properly dibbled in the soil. Seeds should be sown at a depth of min 2 inches.
GERMINATION AND RE SEEDING
The seeds will germinate late, sometimes after 7 to 10 days after sowing. Climate and temperature play an important factor in germination. When the soil temperature is low, germination will not take place. Also other factors like ants, nematodes attack the seeds in the soil
sowing the seeds when field conditions have received first rains
For ants, it is advised to mix 2 spoons of turmeric powder with the seeds before sowing.
For nematodes & soil pathogens, carbofuran granules are added in the ridges where the seeds are to be sowed.
germination seen on 10th day after sowing
In most cases, due to excess rainfall, the seeds will not germinate properly. In many cases only 50 percent of the seeds will germinate. Germination percentage of less than 40 percent is also reported. Without wasting much time, re sowing must be done in the gaps where the seeds have not germinated. if this process is delayed, then inter culture operations become difficult as the plants will not have uniform age.
THINNING OUT & FERTILIZER REQUIREMENT
More seeds must be sowed as the percentage of germination during rains in greatly affected. If the germination is much above normal, thinning out of the seedlings must be done. Here, diseased, infected or weak seedlings must be removed. Spacing between the plants must be maintained at 45 cm .
plant growth after first inter culture operation & fertilizer application
Addition of complex fertilizers is not required during sowing, but 15 days after germination, NPK can be applied.
When the plant attains 3 leaf stage, foliar sprays of organic manures is highly recommended. Leaf weevils are major pest when the plant is young. Insect repellants like neem oil & other solutions which are available in the market must be used.
crop seen after 30 days from first day of sowing
Organic sprays such as biovita and others must be sprayed at an interval of 15 days. This will help the plant get the much needed micro nutrients & trace minerals which are lacking in complex NPK.
Fungal infestation is the highest during the rains. When the intensity of rain increases, the young leaves get damaged & get infected by various types of fungus causing loss in yield. To check this it is recommended to spray the crop with systemic fungicides at an interval of 15 days and contact fungicides at an interval of 7 days. 2 to 3 gram per litre water is recommended
crop after 45 days after sowing. flowering is seen
It is highly advised to spray insecticides or fungicides with a suitable wetting agent. This will make the spray concentrate more wet and sticky to the leaf surface, ensuring good absorption by the plants.
Unlike in summer crops, here monsoon okra will show delayed flowering & fruit setting. Sunlight which is a necessary factor for plants to synthesize their own food is a limiting factor here. However when conditions remain favorable flowering is seen at around 60 days after first day of sowing & will continue for a period of 45 days.
fruit setting seen & workers harvesting fruits
Harvesting the fruits is generally done every alternate days, but uniform length of the fruits can be seen during harvesting especially in the rains.
Photos and content by Pritham 'Heavy metal farmer' denzil dsouza