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Agriculture > Spices > Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Crop Management

Cultivation Practices


In Kerala and other west coast areas (India) where the rainfall begins early, the crop can be planted during April-May with receipt of pre-monsoon showers.  The land is prepared with the receipt of early monsoon showers.  The soil is brought to a fine tilth by giving about four deep ploughings.  Hydrated lime @ 400 kg/ha has to be applied for laterite soils and thoroughly ploughed.  Immediately with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers, beds of size 3m x 1.2m with spacing of 40 cm between beds.  Planting is also done by forming ridges and furrows.

Seed material


Whole or split mother rhizomes are used for planting and well developed healthy and disease free rhizomes are to be selected.  Small pits are made with a hand hoe in the beds in rows with a spacing of 25 cm x 25 cm and covered with soil or dry powdered cattle manure.  The optimum spacing in furrows and ridges is between 45-60 cm between the rows and 25 cm between the plants.  A seed rate of 2000 - 2,500 kg of rhizomes is required for planting one hectare of turmeric.
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Manuring and fertilizer application

Farm yard manure (FYM) or compost @ 20 tonnes + 1 kg ash + 2 t neem cake +4 t vermicompost /ha. are applied by broadcasting and ploughing at the time of preparation of land or as basal dressing by spreading over the beds to cover the seed after planting.  Also use Azospirillum and P-Solublising bacteria (20g/ bed 3 x 1 m ) as nutrient supplement. Apply N:P2O5:K20 @ 30:30:60 Kg/ha. 

Fertilizer schedule for turmeric (per ha)






Basal application




40 tonnes

After 30 days





After 60 days






The crop is to be mulched immediately after planting with green leaves @ 12-15 tonnes/ha.  Mulching may be repeated for a second time after 50 days with the same quantity of green leaves after weeding and application of fertilizers.

Weeding and irrigation

Weeding has to be done thrice at 60, 120 and 150 days after planting depending upon weed intensity.  Earth up the crop after 60 days.  In the case of irrigated crop, depending upon the weather and the soil conditions, about 15 to 23 irrigations are to be given in clayey soils and 40 irrigations in sandy loams.

Mixed cropping

Turmeric can be grown as an intercrop in coconut and arecanut plantations.  It can also be raised as a mixed crop with chillies, colocasia, onion, brinjal and cereals like maize, ragi, etc. In wetlands, it is grown in rotation with rice, sugarcane, banana or vegetables.

Turmeric + onion combination recorded an average yield of 16 to 20 tonnes of turmeric and 2,945 kilograms of onion, fetching the highest net income against net income obtained from monocropping of turmeric. This highly profitable finding should be seriously taken note of and implemented by progressive turmeric growers.

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