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Olericulture is one of the branches of Horticulture that deals with vegetables. Olericulture is derived from that latin word ‘oleris’ which means pot herb and the English world culture which means cultivation. The olericulture means cultivation of pot herbs. However, presently it is broadly used to indicate the cultivation of vegetables. The term ‘vegetable gardening’ is more popular to signify olericulture in the present context. The term vegetable is applied to the edible herbaceous plant or parts there of which are consumed generally in unripe stage after cooking. Nutritional value of Vegetables: Vegetables are the cheapest source of natural protective agents foods contributing vitamins, minerals and proteins and calories. They also supply roughages which helps to improve digestion and prevention of constipation. Vitamins: Those are essential for regulating body processes. They are
found in small or large quantities in most natural form in the vegetables. Among them.
Vitamin A - Is essential for normal growth. Reproduction and maintenance of health and vigour. It offers protection against cold and influenza and helps in improving eye sight. It can be had from palak spinach, amaranthus, fenugreek, carrot, cabbage, lettuce peas and tomatoes. Green leafy vegetables are rich in carotenes which is the precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin –B complex: Tones the nervous system and helps in proper functioning of the digestive tract. Its deficiency in human diet results in ‘Beri Beri’ a disease condition and loss of appetite. Beans are rich source of this vitamin peas and asparagus are also good sources. Vitamin – C: Promotes general health and healthy gums prevents scurvy and keeps the blood vessels in a good condition cabbage green chilies, tomato, spinach, potatoes, and carrot are the good sources of ascorbic acid Vitamin – D: It is necessary for building up bones preventing rickets and diseases of teeth. It helps in the calcifications of bones by proper utilization of calcium and phosphorus. All green vegetables are particularly rich in this vitamin.
Vitamin – E: Has an important effect on the generative functions and promotes fertility. Green lettuces and other green vegetables are good sources of this vitamin. Vitamin –K: Helps in blood clotting and green leafy vegetables are rich source of the vitamin. Minerals: Of the ten elements required by the human body calcium and iron are supplied mostly by vegetables. Leafy vegetables are rich in many minerals such as calcium, Iron, potassium and phosphorus. Calcium is essential for strengthening the bones, regulation of heart beat and in controlling blood clots. As the leafy vegetables like amaranthus, fenugreek and spinach are rich in calcium. Iron is largely present in spinach, bittergourd, carrot and onion. Iodine in present in lady’s finger (okra), summer squash and asparagus. Calcium, magnesium and potassium are most important base elements for neutralizing the acid produced in the body and these are obtained from the vegetables consumed.
Carbohydrates: Vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, root crops like colocasia, tapioca, Elephant’s foot, yam are valuable sources of carbohydrates. Which are energy giving foods. Proteins: Peas and beans are the rich source of proteins that are utilized in the building up of new tissues and body growth. Roughage: Most vegetables particularly leafy vegetables such as
amaranthus, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, characterized by high water content chlorophyll and high percentage of cellulose or fibre are the sources of roughage which aids in digestion of more concentrated food and also assists in pushing the food through digestive canal, thus preventing constipation. It has been estimated that for maintaining normal health each adult should consume daily 100 gm of roots and tubers, 100 grams of leafy vegetables and 120 grams of other vegetables i.e. the fruit vegetables. Economic Importance of Vegetables:
contributing carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral salts in the human diet. They yield roughly 3 to 4 times the nutrients obtained from cereal crops in a much shorter duration. When vegetables are adequately consumed, the pressure and demand on cereals can be reduced. Increased intake of vegetables reduce appreciable quantity of cereals consumed by individuals. 2. Per hectare yield of vegetables is very high. Most of the vegetables if properly grown can give a yield which is five to ten times higher than any cereal crop. 3. Vegetables are important source of farm income as they are sold at higher rates than that of cereals and grains. Even when they are sold at a cheaper rate in the peak production season, due to their high yield, they compensate losses and will have higher monetary returns. Market garden of vegetables, provide
substantial incomes due to intensive cultivation and production. 4. Vegetables compared to other crops can be raised through out the your. Many of the vegetables like Spinach, Potato, Brinjal, Bhendi, Tomato etc. can be grown twice and even thrice in a year. Some green vegetables are ready for harvest within 45-60 days. Thus several vegetable crops can be grown one after the other, throughout the year, if irrigation facilities are available.
Now a days many early varieties of vegetables are available which can grow earlier and yield good returns to the growers. Their cultivation as such occupies an important place in the agricultural development and economy of the country. 5. As the demand increases especially in cities, the cost of vegetables become very high. As such there is urgent use to utilise every bit of space available, for vegetable cultivation. A kitchen garden for a house hold, a school garden for a school or a college’s not only produce the valuable vegetables, but also lend an esthetic appearance and beautify the drab surroundings. Area and production of vegetables: According to the information available (1978-79) the area under vegetables in India is 27.31 lakhs hectares (i.e. 4.27 per cent of the total cropped area in the country) and the total annual production is about 16 million tonnes. The states which account for maximum area under vegetables are Kerala (4,10,000 ha). Andhra Pradesh (3,89,000 ha), Tamil Nadu, (3,3, 000), and Bihar (3,42,000 ha). In Andhra Pradesh Vegetable crops occupy about 1.91 per cent of the total cropped area of the states. Kurnool, Ranga Reddy, Chittoor and Guntur districts have large areaunder vegetables.
The present area under vegetables is inadequate in most of the requirements. The yield per hectare is also very low as compared to that of the developed countries. Recently more attention is being paid to increase the production of mark vegetables. This is being implemented through programmers. TYPES OF VEGETABLE GARDENS Vegetable gardens can be broadly classified into 6/7 different types according to the purpose for which they are grown. They are: 1. Home or Kitchen garden: The main purpose of a kitchen garden is to provide the family, daily with fresh vegetables rich in nutrients and energy. There will be continuous supply of vegetables through out the year and for each season. The vegetables are grown according to the taste of the family members. The size of the garden depends o the size of the family and on the availability of land. Its cultivation is intensive. Advantages of a kitchen garden are: 1. It is a best means of recreation and exercise to family members 2. An excellent hobby and healthy occupation for the young and old during their leisure time. crash, emergency and applied nutritional
3. Cuts down the expenditure on purchase of vegetables. 4. An ideal medium for training children in duty and order. 5. Vegetables grown in one’s home with one’s own labour have special appeal to his or her palate and the dividends paid by those in the form of pleasure and satisfaction and priceless. 6. Vegetables grown in kitchen garden are fresh and are free from market infection. Points to be considered for raising crops in a kitchen garden: 1. The perennial plants should be located on north side of the garden so that they may not shade other crops and compete for nutrients with annual crops. Once the perennial crops are established, they will supply vegetables regularly without any additional cost and also with less care. 2. Around the boarder, on the fence, reapers can be raised i.e. lab lab, cucurbits etc. 3. The land should not be left vacant. A continuous pattern in the from of successive or companion cropping is to be followed 4. Root crops can be raised on ridges.
5. One side of foot path a single staked tomato and on the other side leafy vegetables may be planted. 6. A proper rotation of crops is to be followed i.e. deep rooted followed by shallow rooted crops, a leguminous crop followed a non-legume etc. 7. The compost pits are located in two corners of the garden. The kitchen waste and pulled out plants etc. may be dumped into them. A pendal may be erected over the pits and a cropper may be grown on it to cover the ugly spot. Cropping pattern: It is always better to make a plan before planting. The location of plots, crops to be grown, season of sowing varieties of crops to be used and succession of planting should be clearly indicated in the plan. The ultimate aim is to produce crops which ensure continuous supply of fresh vegetables and to avoid glut of any one crop or season. Name of the crop: Plot-I Brinjal (Round) Cauliflower Coriander Growing period: May – oct. Nov- Feb March – April
With Palak as intercrop Lady’s finger cluster bean Jan- April May- July
Chillies (Green with Radish intercrop Lady’s finger
Sept – March
April – August Oct. – Jan. Feb- May June – August June-September Oct – January Feb - May May – August Sept – December Jan – May June- Nov. Dec – May
Potato Cowpea Menthi
Ladys’s finger Cabbage Tomato
Plot – VI
Tomato Califlowr (early) Onion
Plot – VII
On Ridges : Colocasia – beet root Radish – Carrot Elephant foot yam- knol – khol Crops along the fence:
Rainy season – bottle gourd, pumpkin, lab, bitter gourd summer season: Ridge gourd, bottle gourd, crops on the pandal: snake gourd, Coccinia 2. Market garden: Generally these gardens are larger in size which produce vegetables for commercial purpose to cater to the local market. Most of the market garden are located within a radious of 15 to 20 km of town or city. The cropping Pattern of those gardens will depend on the demand of the local market. The cost of land is high and intensive methods of cultivation are adopted. A market Gardner has to grow varieties to catch the early market so that he gets better price. He can utilize organic manures like municipal compost which are available at a cheaper rate. The market gardener himself has to transport to the market and sell it in the whole sale market. 3. Truck garden : This is the type of garden which produces special crops in which relatively large quantities for distant market. More extensive area is taken for gardening and the method of cultivation is less intensive as compared to market garden. The location of this type of garden is determined by the soil and climate factors suitable for raising a particular type of crops. Very few crops ie. one or two crops only are
grown . eg. In summer season, tomato is grown in madanapally area of chittoor district and they are marketed in Bangalore, Tirupati, Vellore etc. cabbage, cauliflower, potato raised in summer at Nilagiri hills are sold in Madras, Bangalore etc. The produce are generally sold through the middlemen. The cost of land and labour are comparatively cheaper, hence the cost of production is less and usually the net returns are less as larger amounts are incurred on transport and commission to middlemen. 4. Vegetable garden for processing : This is the type of garden which comes up around vegetable processing factories. These gardens are responsible for regular supply of vegetables to the factories. Due to lack of processing industry, this type of gardens are not well developed in India. Few existing factories purchase from local market and the products produced from them are not up to the standard. These gardens specialize in growing only few vegetables in bulk which are suitable for processing like canning, dehydration, paste making of freezing. The prices are paid on contract basis on weight and quality of the product. 5. Vegetable forcing:
This type of garden is concerned with the production of vegetables out of their normal season. Vegetables like tomato, cucumber etc. cannot be grown in winter in temperature regions. Therefore, these vegetables are grown in foreign countries. Asparagus, mushrooms etc. are also grown in glass houses or other special structures. Special varieties are developed for this purpose and the cost of produce is very high. In India this types of gardening has not been developed since we have varied climate regions where it is possible to grow in the open all types of vegetables in one region or other. The cost of production of vegetables in special structures will be high. In Punjab early sowing of summer cucurbits is one method of vegetable forcing. The seedlings are raised in polythene bags under cover and transplanted in January and the transplanted are protected with dry leaves against frost. Thus they get crop earlier and higher price in the market. 6. Vegetables for seed production: Good seed is essential for successful growing of any crop. Seed production is rather a specialized operation. Soil climate and disease free conditions are factors influencing the location of seed producing areas. A knowledge of the crop, its growth habit and mode of pollination are essential. A proper isolation distance have to be
maintained for each crop. The grower should also know the method of roguing, threshing, cleaning, grading, packing and storing. Generally the growth, flowering and fruit development should be during rainy or humid season and harvesting in dry period. There are different kinds of seed production: 1. Nucleus or breeder seed : It is the initial seed which is produced by the organization which releases a variety. Seed is 100% pure. 2. Foundation seed: It is seed multiplied from the nucleus seed in the Government farms or NSC farms. The 3rd and 4th stages of multiplication are registered and certified seed respectively which are multiplied by growers. 7. Floating gardens: This is a special type of garden which is seen on the dal lake of the Kashmir valley. The water in the lake is stagnant. A floating base is made from the roots of Typha grass which grows wild in the lake. Seedlings are transplanted in summer on leaf compost made from weeds in the lake. All operations are done i.e. weeding, sprinkling of water and harvesting using boats.
CLASSIFICATION OF VEGETABLE CROPS There are more than 240 types of plants which are used as vegetables in the world. To study the cultural requirement of each vegetable in detail, it is rather very difficult. Therefore it is essential to group or classify the vegetables to show the relationship between the vegetables and to avoid repetition while describing their cultural operations. It also helps in proper understanding of the principle and practices in the cultivation of these crops. There are five different classifications: 1. Botanical classification 2. Classification based on hardiness 3. Classification based on parts used 4. Classification based on essential methods of culture 5. Classification based on season of sowing 1. Botanical classification: This classification is based on the botanical relationship which exists among the different vegetables. According communities. to Bailey, plants are divided into four sub
• • • •
Thallophyta Bryophyta (Mossess) Pteridophyta (Ferns) Spermatophyta (seed plants)
The sub-community spermatophyta is further divided into two divisions (1) Gymnospermae and (2) Angiospermae. All vegetables belong to angiospermae. The Angiospermae has two classes Mono and Dicotyledoneaee. They are further dived into families, genus, species, subspecies and botanical varieties. The grouping of vegetables therefore is as follows: A. Monocotyledoneae: 1. Family Onion Garlic Leek 2. Family Asparagus 3. Family Arvi 4. Family Yam Lilliaceae Allium Cepa A. sativum A. Porrum Liliaccae Asparagus officinalis Araceae Colocasia esculenta Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea alata
B. Dicotyledonous: 1. Family Beetroot & palak Spinach 2. Family Lettuce Chicory 3. Family Sweet potato 4. Family Tapioca 5. Family Cabbage Cauliflower Knol Khol Turnip Chinese cabbage Radish 6. Family Pumpkin Summer squash Musk Melon Cucumber Water melon Chenopodiaceae Beta vulgaris spinacia oleracea Asteraceae Lactuca sativa Chicorium intybus Convolvulaceae Ipomeae batatas Euphorbiaceae Manihot esculenta Cruciferae Brassica oleraceae var. capitata B. oleraceae var. Botrytis B. Caulorapa B. Campestris var. rapa B. Chinensis Raphanus sativus Cucurbitaceae cucurbita moschata C. pepo Cucumis melo C. sativus Citrullus lanatus
Ridge gourd Sponge gourd Bottle gourd Bitter gourd Snake gourd 7. Family Lady’s finger 8. Family Potato Brinjal Tomato Chilli 9. Family Carrot Celery Cluster bean 10. Family Peas French beans Lima bean Broad bean Cowpea
Luffa acutangula L. cylindrion Lagenaria siceraria Momordica charantia Trichosanthus anguina Malvaceae Abelmoschus esculentus Solanaceae Solanum tuberosum S. melongena Lycopersicon esculentum Capsicum annum Umbelliferae Daucus oarota Apium graveolens Cyamopsis tetragonaloba Leguminosae Pisum sativum Phaseolus vularis P. Lunatus Vicai faba Vigna sinensis
The above are only a few common examples of the vegetables better known in Andhra Pradesh and India.
This method of classification is to study the relationship that exists between groups of vegetables in a family. The cultural operation of vegetables belonging to a family are not always similar eg. Cultural operations of potato differs from tomato, radish from cauliflower. Therefore this method is not useful from the point of cultural requirements. II. classification based on hardiness: According to the temp. requirements, all vegetables are grouped into two viz., winter and summer. Winter or cool season vegetables are those, whose edible parts are roots, stems, leaves and buds (vegetative parts). Except sweet potato and New Zealand spinach, warm season crops are those in which edible part is the immature fruits except in pea and broad bean. This classification is useful to decide the season of cultivation. The cultural requirements of all
winter and all summer season vegetables are not the same. Hence it doesnot help much in cultivation. On the basis of soil reaction, they can also be grouped into three groups. Group-I: Slightly tolerant to acid soils: pII 6.8 to 6.0 Asparagus, beet, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, palak, muskmelon.
Group-II: Moderately tolerant to acid soil; pH 6.8 to 5.5 Beans, carrot, cucumber, brinjal, pea, pumpkin, tomato, radish. Group-III: Very tolerant to acid soil : pH 6.0 to 5.0 Potato, sweet potato, water melon. This method of classification gives information about a particular aspect of soil reaction but does not fulfill the objectives of
classification. III. Classification based on the parts used: According to parts used for consumption: 1. Leaf Vegetables fenugreek, 2. Fruits 3. Flower parts 4. Underground parts : a. Stem tubers b. Root tubers potato, colocasia Carrot, Sweet potato, Tapioca Cabbage, Spinach amaranthus palak,
Tomato, brinjal, peas, bhendi, beans, cucurbits Broccoli
The cultural requirements of crops in each group are not the same i.e., tomato, bhendi and cucurbits. Hence, this method is also not of much value. IV. Classification based on the method of cultivation: This is a very convenient method. In this method, all the crops that have similar cultural requirements are grouped together. Therefore it is possible to recommend general cultural practices for the vegetables, which are grouped together. Some groups like cucurbits, Cole crops, bulb crops not only have similar cultural requirements for the group but the crops in each groups belong to same family. In groups like greens, salad crops, bulb crops, the parts eaten in each group are also same. Therefore this system of classification has been found to be more satisfactory in understanding the principles of vegetable growing than any other methods. According to this method, the vegetables are grouped into 13 groups. Group-1 Group-2 Group-3 perennial crops Eg. Asparagus Greens - Spinach, Kale, mustard Salad crops – Celery, lettuce
Group-4 Group-5 Group-6 Group-7 Group-8 Group-9
Cole crops – Cabbage, cauliflower Root crops – Beet, Carrot, radish Bulb crops – onion, leek, garlic Potato Sweet potato Peas and Beans – pea, cowpea, broad bean
Group-10 Solanaceous fruits, tomato, brinjal, chilli Group-11 Sweet corn, okra Group-12 Cucurbits- Bottle gourd, ridge gourd, pumpkin Group-13 Yam, tapioca. V. Classification based on season of growing: Kharif season : June- Sept. Rabi season : Oct – Jan. Cucurbits, brinjal lady’s finger, chill Cabbage, cauliflower, beet, peas, potato, tomato Summer season: bottle RAISING OF VEGETABLE NURSERIES Feb – May. Brinjal, chillies, cucumis,
gourd, cluster beans.
Seed bed preparation, seed sowing, seedling production and hardening: Vegetable crops like tomato, brinjal, chilies, cabbage, cauliflower, knoll-khol, lettuce, Brussels sprouts and onion are required to be sown first in nurseries, where the seedlings are raised and then
transplanted. Proper nursery management for raising seedlings and transplanting them are important operations in vegetable production. A nursery has the following advantages. 1. It is very convenient to look after the tender seedlings by providing required water and drainage to the seedlings. 2. 3. 4. Timely and careful plant protection measures are possible. Most favourable growth medium is provided Seedlings are in a protected place and usually timed for early crop. 5. There is economy of land and seed and more time is available for field preparation. Preparation of seed beds: The size of the nursery plot to raise seedlings for planting a hectare of tomato, brinjal and chilli would be 10 x 1.2 m, 16 x 1.2 and 10 x 1.2 m respectively. In case of Cole crops like cabbage, cauliflower
and knol-khol a plot of 50 x 1.2 m would be sufficient. These plots could be better made into smaller beds of 3 x 1.2 m instead of a single bed. The width of the bed does not exceed 1.2 m so that it facilitates weeding and watering without trampling the bed. The site for nursery beds should be located close to the source of water supply. The soil should be ploughed thoroughly to get fine tilth which is an excellent medium for better germination and seedling growth, 1. One cart load of well rotten powdered farm yard manure of sieved compost should be spread and 2. 1 kg of super phosphate applied and mixed toughly with the soil. Application of super phosphate is an essential practice since seedlings require more phosphorus for root development at initial stages of their growth. 3. Aldrin or dioldrin wettable powder at 30gms per bed should be applied to keep away the white ants. 4. The soil should be leveled and made into raised beds of 3 m x 1.2 m with irrigation channels between the beds. Irrigation channels help the water to drain away during rains. The bed usually kept raised about 15cm high so as to provide proper drainage of excess water.
The level of the bed surface is also slightly raised in the centre with a little slope on either sides.
A week before sowing, the soil should be sterilized by drenching with commercial formalin (formal dehyde 40 per cent) at 1 : 100 dilution at the rate of 5 litres per sq. meter, against damping off disease.
Sowing: The common practice is to broadcast seeds in the nursery bed, but line sowing is preferred so as to check proper germination, uniform spacing and to facilitate weeding hoeing and plant protection operation. The rows are usually kept about 8-10 cm apart. The seeds are treated against ‘damping of disease and then sown in furrows. Small seed should be sown mixed with a little sand and covered with soil by passing a flat wooden plank followed by light irrigation with a sprinkler. After Core: i. Watering of the bed is done gently to avoid packing or washing away of the soil covering the seed. ii. In the beginning shade is provided by covering the bed with a thin layer of leaves or by erecting a thatched cover over the
bed. Partial shading against hot sun will save the moisture and help quick growth of seedlings. iii. When the seedlings are more than 2.5 cm tall, the shade should be removed as too much of shade and water make larky, yellow, succulent and susceptible to insect pests and diseases like damping off especially in humid and warm weather. Diseased plant if any should be removed and spray Bordeaux mixture (5-5-60) or iv. Blitex 0.2 per cent should be sprayed or the nursery drenched with captan at 2 gm per litre to control the spread of this diseases. Racking the soil every week along with light irrigations will promote rapid growth of the seedlings. If the growth of seedlings is slow the bed may be irrigated with a week solution of ammonium sulpahte (30 gm in is liters of water ) or 2% solution of calcium ammonium nitrate. v. A week + 15 days before transplanting the number of watering are reduced and the seedlings exposed to full sunshine so that they become hardy to bear the shock of transplanting. Hardening of plants :
The term hardening is any treatment that results in a hardening of the tissues of the plants thus enabling them better to withstand unfavorable environmental conditions such as less intake of water, hot dry winds and low temperature. A hardened plant tends to be hard and stiff rather than succulent. The foliage is dark green and exhibit purple pigmentation in the stem as in tomato or waxy purple as in the case of cabbage. These external changes are accompanied by certain changes in chemical composition. Carbohydrates such as starches, sugars and pestosans tend to accumulate. The purple pigmentation in the leaves is an indication of high sugar content. Hardening is also accompanied by: i. Increase in percentage of hygrophilous colloids and dry matter and. ii. Decrease in percentage of freezable water and transpiration per unit area of leaf. Methods of hardening: 1. By watering the plants sparingly till they are not withered and exposing to full sunlight. 2. Lowering of temperature also retards growth which adds to the hardening process.
Both these methods decreases the rate of growth and early yields, but with possible increase in seasonal yields. Hardening treatment is advisable for some warm season crops like tomato, pepper and egg plant also. 3. Repeated transplanting is also another method of hardening seedlings. It is practiced in cauliflower where seedlings are
transplanted twice giving wide spacing for proper growth and development. This practice markedly improved the growth and yield of curds in cauliflower. However double transplanting may damage seedlings and result in delayed maturity, besides increasing the cost of production. Therefore this method is not commonly practiced. Transplanting: Transplanting is done when the seedlings are above 4-5 weeks old and 10 to 15 cm high with 3 to 4 true leaves. 1. It should always be done in the evening so that plants may
establish themselves in the cool weather at night and may recover from the shock of transplanting before the sunrise. 2. The bed must be watered a day before uprooting the
seedlings for transplanting so that they may not suffer from desiccation. The seedlings should be lifted from the bed without
damage to the roots and transplanted soon at one seedling per hill pressing down the soil near the roots. 3. During transplanting care should be taken to protect the
seedlings against wilting by sprinkling water or by covering the root zone with moist soil. 4. Regular watering is necessary after transplanting.
Seedlings that are not doing well may be removed and replaced by new ones. 5. Any attack of disease or insect pests must be controlled
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