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Agriculture > Spices > Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
Crop Management

Nutrient Management

Fertilizer recommendation

Fertilizer use has become a regular operation in cardamom plantations. Indiscriminate application of chemical fertilizers will do more harm to the crop than applying no fertilizer at all. Hence, it is absolutely essential that the planters follow a judicious fertilizer schedule to achieve satisfactory return and also reduce cost of cultivation. Whether fertilizer is applied or not, organic manure is a must for cardamom crop.

Schedule for the use of NPK fertilizers

a) Soil application
Age of plants Rainfed areas (kg/ha) Irrigated areas (kg/ha)
1st year of planting Nitrogen – 25
Phosphorus – 25
Potassium – 50
(2 split applications)
Nitrogen – 25
Phosphorus – 25
Potassium – 50
(2 split applications)
2nd year of planting Nitrogen – 40
Phosphorus – 40
Potassium – 80
(2 split applications)
Nitrogen – 60
Phosphorus – 60
Potassium – 80
(3 split applications)
3rd year of planting Nitrogen – 75
Phosphorus – 75
Potassium – 150
(2 split applications)
Nitrogen – 125
Phosphorus – 125
Potassium – 250
(3 split applications)


b. Foliar application
Age of plants Both rainfed & irrigated areas
1st year of planting DAP - 2% (2 kg/100 litres water)
(2 applications)
2nd year of planting DAP - 2%
+
MOP - 1%
(2 applications)
3rd year of planting    DAP - 2%
+
MOP - 2%
(3 applications)
OR  
Urea - 3%
+
SSP - 1%
MOP - 2%
(3 applications)


c) Soil cum foliar application (For yielding plants only)
Rainfed areas Irrigated areas
Soil application (kg/ha)
Nitrogen – 40
Phosphorus – 40
Potassium – 80
(Single application i.e. May/June)
Soil application (kg/ha)
Nitrogen – 80
Phosphorus – 80
Potassium – 160
(2 split applications i.e. in May/June & Sept/Oct)
Foliar application
DAP - 2%
+ MOP - 2%
OR Urea - 3%
+ SSP - 1%
MOP - 2%
(2 applications i.e. in Sept/Oct & Nov/Dec)
Foliar application
DAP - 2%
+ MOP - 2%
OR Urea - 3%
+ SSP - 1%
MOP - 2%
(2 applications i.e. in Oct/Nov& Dec/Jan)
DAP - Di-ammonium phosphate MOP - Muriate of potash SSP - Single superphosphate

Planters may choose any one of the schedules given under a, b and c. However, they are advised to get their soil samples tested before making soil application of fertilizers. The samples may be sent to Indian Cardamom Research Institute, Myladumpara, Kailasanadu P.O., Idukki-685553.

Time & method of application

Application Time
Soil application May/June
Sept/Oct
Dec/Jan
Foliar application Aug/Sept
Oct/Nov
Dec/Jan

Source: www.indianspices.com

Method of application

Soil application

After removing the mulches around the plant base, the fertilizers may be applied in a circular band of width 15 cm, leaving 30 cm from the plant base and thoroughly mixed with the top 5 to 7 cm of the surface soil with hand-fork. The fertilizer-applied area may be covered again with mulches.

Foliar application

The spray solution containing the fertilizers in the prescribed proportions may be applied to the foliage of the plant covering both sides of the leaves, using hand sprayer or knapsack sprayer. The application should not be made on a rainy day. A clear sky or even a cloudy condition may be considered suitable for the application. It may be noted that the number of split applications may be increased to more than 2 or 3 because smaller doses give better results.

Application of organic manures

Organic manures are considered essential in improving the physical characteristics of the soil, in addition to their nutrient value. Application of organic manures such as neem cake (@ 1-2 kg/plant) or poultry manure / farmyard manure / cowdung compost (@ 2-5 kg/plant) may be made once in a year, during May/June along with mussooriephos (180 g/plant) and muriate of potash (90 g/plant). The manures should be thoroughly mixed with surface soil after application. For the subsequent application to be made in September, organic manures need not be applied.

In valley area and in high fertile soils, soil-application of chemical fertilizers may be avoided. Instead, one round of organic manures may be applied (during May/ June) and NPK fertilizers given as foliar sprays as per schedule given.

Lime/dolomite application

The results of field experiments on the effect of lime/ dolomite showed that application of lime/dolomite does not have any significant effect on cardamom growth and yield. Moreover, correlation analysis of foliar nutrient content with yield of cardamom indicated that enhanced uptake of calcium and magnesium beyond certain limit may cause decline in the cardamom production. On the basis of these findings, it is now considered that application of lime/dolomite is not necessary for cardamom.

Use of micronutrients

Micronutrient survey conducted recently showed that zinc deficiency is widespread in cardamom soils. Moreover, application of 500 ppm of zinc to the foliage is found to enhance not only growth and yield of cardamom but also the quality of the produce. Hence, it is recommended that zinc may be applied as a foliar spray as zinc sulphate @ 250 g per 100 litres of water during April/May and Sept/Oct. Approximately 1.5 kg zinc sulphate will be needed for one application per hectare. It should not be mixed with any insecticide / fungicide/ fertilizer. The survey results also showed that iron and copper are not deficient in soils. The results of a field experiment indicated that boron might have antagonistic effect over zinc if applied together on cardamom. Based on this information, it is considered not advisable to use multi-micronutrient formulations for cardamom.

 

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