Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Minimum till rice - monsoon season

I have 0.15 acre kept aside for no-till crops and in this monsoon I tried minimum till rice here. In 0.1 acre I had grown pureria for an year and it became completely weed free except the pureria itself. I had cut pureria in the summer so that most of it decays on the field. Because at the time of planting heavy mulches has to be kept aside, if we just cut at the time of planting most of the mulch had to be kept aside.

After cutting and cleaning, made rows using the row maker and then seeded 4-month duration upland rice in this area. It came up reasonably well, may be little more attention to be paid to put more seeds at places where germination is bad or transplant in this area. To my surprise this area retains water well now.

In 0.05 acre, 6 months duration upland rice has been tried, and here in 6 rows happy hill rice also is sown, germination was bad in some places. Transplanted in few places where there was big gap.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Alley cropping using Mexican Sunflower

Trying out alley cropping using mexican sunflower in one part of the farm which was not used at all. Recently a big tree was cut from here and hence has good sunlight in this area. Has to have a clear plan of when to cut and mulch the mexican sunflower and when to grow the crops. Ideally with rain, we should be able to plant and before that cut mulch should be decomposed to some state so that land is fertile, timing has to be worked out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Ash Gourd

Ash gourd is a crop which climbs easily to terrace from ground and produce lots of vegetables.

Applied home made compost couple of times and cowdung slurry once and watered it regularly in the summer

Rice farming monsoon season

This year, got good summer rains but monsoon got delayed badly. Some good rains are coming as of June 28th, but only drizzling and one or two good rains before this.

29th May

29th May, field was tilled with rotovator, it took usual 2 hours and 2500/ charged for that, but he comes promptly. 

June 28th

On June 28th started sowing seeds in line using the new row marker tool. It has been a month since the field was tilled, but no single grass was there in the field because of lack of rain. When the irrigation water was coming and there were signs of monsoon starting, thought of sowing seeds. Even if the rain is delayed, irrigation water will make the field wet enough for the seeds to germinate. 

Had 2 para (16Kg) of seeds which was presoaked in cowdung water for 12 hours and used for sowing. The seed type if kunjukunju and it was from last monsoon season harvest.

It took 3 ladies and 1 man two days to complete the sowing. On the 1st day around 75% was done and hence probably 4 ladies and 1 man on a single day can complete the sowing. Initially all the ladies were sowing seeds and covering it with soil, this looked to be inefficient and hence asked two of them to put seeds and one to keep covering it with soil. Covering seeds with soil was done using Fokin's hoe. Row marker accumulate the dried grass and hence gets clogged and does not move. One suggestion is to raise the height of the marker and also pointed edge has to become more horizontal.


germination was good, in some places gaps are there, it has to be filled.

Rain have picked up speed and continuous rains now. First time seeing the field getting full with rain water. First weeding was done, 4 ladies on first day and 5 ladies on 2nd day.

Weeds were small so it is not pulling, they just puddle with their hand and legs so that it will be uprooted and then they will push it to mud. Also applied compost made in the farm.


There was no rain for 10 days, got irrigation water today


Rain started again and floods in some areas

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Taro planted in summer

This time taro seeds were planted at the time of harvest itself and mulched with leaves. Even though it took some time to germinate after the rains, all came up nicely. It is always safe to put 2 seeds in one place, so that at least one will come up. Thick mulch of leaves help, and coconut leaves avoid chicken scratching that area.


with rain, they are growing well..coconut leaves as a mulch after planting the seeds do well, since it covers the soil well and chickens won't be able to scratch the soil underneath and taro would make space and come out nicely

Trial of Attapadi upland rice varieties

I had collected two upland varieties from tribal area Attapadi. These are being tried in small areas near home. Seeds were soaked in water for 12 hours and sown in soil by 1st week of may, when there was enough rain.

4 month old variety

Left side is Chettadi and right side is 4 months old

6 months old variety

on the extream right is the 6 months old variety

Monday, May 23, 2022

Mexican sunflower for more mulch

I have been growing mexican sunflower from last year. It is easy to grow, just put the sticks in rainy season, it will start growing in a week's time. Number of plants which I loose is also minimal. It grows quite fast, especially after cutting, it has to be frequently cut since other wise it will snap and fall down.

I also plant them around newly planted saplings so that saplings can be easily identified even after grass takes over