Sunday, January 8, 2017

Tapioca cultivaton

Earlier when I tried tapioca it was not growing well. Then I moved my cultivation to a different area where the soil was little more fertile, it started yielding. In general, fertility is improving and cultivation becomes more easy. I just planted this tapioca cuttings and applied dried cow dung once, it gave reasonable yield. One good thing is that, it does not need much water, some moisture in the soil will keep them growing.


I got many more cuttings after the harvest and planting them in conventional style, by piling up soil require lot of effort, so just made some holes and planted them. These area was watered a week back so soil was loose.


With just some moisture in the soil, the cuttings germinate, but not sure, if they will survive the summer...If there was a bit of watering, they will survive.


Subith Nair said...

The important thing for any root vegetable is that the soil must be loose. While planting try adding lots of dry leaves and/or green leaves, along with some dry cow dung around the stem. Then during the growth add more soil and leaves over it, may be a couple of times.

The second thing to note is the time during which you plant the stems, especially for kappa . The planting should be done during the dark times of the moon (between the full moon and dark moon), and avoid 2-3 days on ether sides of Full moon and dark moon. Practically you get less than 10 days that are ideal for planting on any given month.
Sounds ridiculous!!! First time i felt so. But over the last 4-5 years i have gone through a few cycles, and surprisingly it is true. Although i do not know the logic behind it, it is a common practice our elders used to follow religiously. I experienced this to be true in case of paddy, kappa, and Chembu. One thing i noticed in paddy is if the sowing is done during the bright days (between dark moon and full moon) lots of pests- Thandu thurappan, ela churutti, chazhi etc grow. It is comparatively low in the other time. Probably it could be because their larvae cycle may have some relation to the lunar cycle.

In case of kappa and i observed that the plants grow well irrespective of the time in which it is planted. But if they are planted during the bright period, there will be lots and lots of roots, but hardly any kappa. Same case with chembu, it will grow like a big palm tree, but there wont be any chembu underneath.

And lastly i have a particular type of kappa, which during our childhood we used to have in plently. It is called Ceylon Kappa in our place. Off late it became almost extinct, mostly because it requires about 10-12 months to fully grow. This has a white stem, which grow about 10-11 ft tall. The taste is amazing, it becomes so soft after boiling and you would not require any sides to go along with it. But commercially not viable due to the longer growth cycle.

Nandakumar said...

Thanks Subith for the detailed comments...True, putting dried leaves and cowdung has good effects and the same with piling up of soil. But issue is that, the amount of work is huge and hence I try to simplify and see what best I can get with minimal effort. So I try to put some cowdung, probably only once and then expect the best. If this does not work at all, then I may have to start appying more cowdung, dried leaves etc..


Subith Nair said...

thanks for the reply.
May be just slightly off the topic, but would like to know if you know about single straw paddy cultivation. This has been seen in many discussions as a great process. I have attempted this with njavara during the last 3 months. It was extremely difficult to get the seeds on the first place, but finally managed to get 2 kgs @ 350/kg from Wayanad. They had recommended transplanting with single straw, within 18 days after sowing. They also suggested to plant the seedlings at 20-25 cm distance. Initially the field looked empty after the transplantation, and took hardly 1/3rd of the total seedlings for about 20 cents of land, eventually they grew well, and from each plant on an average 20 shoots grew and in a month's time the field looked full.
But there was a very difficult problem, each shoot came up at different times. When the original stem started flowering, still new shoots were starting to grow. so in one bunch if there are 20 shoots, there are 4-5 different growth patterns, that too each almost a week apart. thus the first one and the last one have about 4 weeks difference in growth.
One layer of the paddy started ripening and maturing by end of december but most of the remaining are still not matured yet. Harvesting has become a nightmare now, as the njavara plants are very weak. the mature straws started falling down and the grains started dropping.
this time i have not aimed at getting a high yield, just wanted to make seeds for future. so i have started collecting the mature bunches one by one by hand. Got bored with it soon and dropped that idea. Come what may, i am planning to harvest them all during the next week, and manually separate the mature ones for seeds.
Have you come across such issues or know about someone who has practiced this single straw principle? If yes, it would be a good help to understand how they managed it.


Raj The Ultimate Analyser said...

I really like the work you are doing. I am under the process of getting into part time farming. As of today in the process of earning the back up money before leaving my IT profession. :) All the very best for your work and the efforts sir.

Nandakumar said...


I have done SRI (System of rice intensification) once and never faced any problem, basically all matured at the same time. It was Kunjukunju rice and never did Navara. I heard that Navara is not quite suitable for SRI since it is very short duration, just 70 days. May be you can try direct seeded SRI, instead of transplanting.

I can give you contact details of Jacob Nellithanam who is a master in SRI rice.


Nandakumar said...

Hi Raj,

Yes, have a backup and then get into it and cling to the land and it will provide you everything.

All the best and keep in touch.