Tuesday, October 29, 2019

No-till experiment - 2nd season

First crop in no-till didn't succeed, it was taken over by weeds. Hence planning to grow pureria for 6-7 months to control weeds. This enriches soil also, and rice cultivation should be possible. After cutting weeds, some pureria plants were transplanted.It would take 3 days effort to cut this field.


This 0.1 acre field is cut using Scythe, took around 9 hours spread across 3 days. This grass is very tough and at some point it is like a mat, you have to cut in which direction the grass is slanting and also with reduced width. One scythe cut should finish that instant and you should move on, otherwise it never gets completed.

Transplanted Pureria plants which was raised in a flower pot.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Re-evaluating Pueria Javanica as a cover crop

I have been using Pureria Javanica as a cover crop since 5-6 years now. In some area, it is well established and it is a vigorous climber and climbs all over the small plants and does not allow any other species. But one good thing is that it generates lots of biomass and the mulch looks to be very useful and the soil becomes soft and dark under this cover crop. Recently I planted turmeric, chilli, tapioca, taro and sweet potato after cutting and clearing Pureria established places.

One good thing is that, the soil becomes fertile under this cover crop and if we cut and clean it the land is quite weed free, only this cover crop will come back, so if we periodically cut it then any crop can be cultivated using this as cover crop. I am also planning to try no-till rice using this cover crop.

Never grow Subabul without proper maintenance

Subabul is a leguminous tree but an invasive one in Palakkad,Kerala climate. You can see 100s of small Subabul trees under a grown up tree, that is why it is called an invasive species. Also after growing cutting and removing them is practically impossible, if you want to plant some thing in that area. Also the biomass generation by this tree is not much, since the leaves are very small. Goats and Cows like the leaves, so can be fed to them. So in my opinion, if you plant them and leave it unattended it can cause lots of trouble, if you periodically cut them before seeding, then it is fine. But leguminous trees like Glyrecedia, Pongamia etc are OK, even if you leave them for an year.

Sweet potato

Bought  a few sweet potatoes from shop and cut it into pieces and planted after clearing an area which was fully covered with Pureria. After cutting the area with Pureria, it looks neat since there are no other weeds and also the soil looks soft and dark, may be with nitrogen put by the Pureria. After cutting and keeping the mulch aside, cleaned all the weeds and wines and then mulched back and then dug the ground and kept the sweet potato cuttings.

Once in 10 days, the Pureria wines has to be cut and cleaned, but it is not a difficult task, but if we leave it for long, then the crop will be lost since Pureria would have grown all over the crop, hence timing is very important.


Cuttings from the above was planted in another area..continuous rain is there, hence it does not even wilt a bit...


Established quite well, cleaned few weeds today

Rice farming - 2nd season - 2019

Since 1st crop won't be enough for 1 year, planning to do 2nd crop also. Since family like white rice, looked for this variety, also needed a less duration variety since there will be water shortage towards the end of the crop. While going to farm in auto, asked the driver, how his harvest is going and also checked which variety he is cultivating. Lot of farmers find a second job since income from farming won't be enough. He was using a variety called ASD which is white rice and 90 days duration. This is a variety from Tamilnadu and specially suited for Chittur,Palakkad area. They have been cultivating using this variety for some time and he was saying, if we don't apply much fertiliser it won't fall down. Anyway in my case, there is absolutely no fertilzer at all, so it should be fine. Collected 20Kgs of ASD paddy seeds from him.


Took around 2 hours to complete this.

Put the ASD seeds in water by around 8.00PM today, will put that in jute sack after 24 hours.

Seeds were put in water for 24 hours and in jute bag for 12 hours, in only a few seeds germination was noted. This time it is in put in plastic sheet, first plastic sheet is put, then muddy soil is put on it, then seeds are sown,after that a news paper is spread and thin layer of mud is put. If there is no rain, we may have to keep it wet. After 3-4 days, news paper can be removed.


Transplanting completed....


Weeded once, with 3 women laborers for 2 days...also they brought around 15 kotta of cowdung and spread it


Not much weeds seen, but may have to do an advance weeding

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Air Potato

Last year got an air potato (Adathapu in local language) and it was planted near a tree in the backyard. This year it came up in the same place and it is growing well, gave a support and finally it is growing on the trunk of the tree. Some farmers say it was used in place of potato in earlier days, some youtube videos tell that it is an invasive plant and is bitter. Have to still check the usage. But one good thing is that it grows on tall trees and not much care is needed to grow this.

Some information got from facebook by T.O Raphel Kodikulam

അടതാപ്പ്. 60 വർഷങ്ങൾക്ക് മുന്പ് ഇന്നത്തെ ഉരുളക്കിഴങ്ങിന്റെ സ്ഥാനം അടതാപ്പിനായിരുന്നു, ഉരുളക്കിഴങ്ങ് മണ്ണിനടിയില്‌ ഉണ്ടാകുന്നു- അടതാപ്പ് വള്ളികളിൽ മുകളിൽ ഉണ്ടാവുന്നു.. ഇത് ഇപ്പോൾ പല സ്ഥലങ്ങളിലും അപൂർവ്വമായി കാണപ്പെടുന്നു, കാച്ചിൽ ചെറുകിഴങ്ങ്, പോലെ പടർന്ന് മരത്തിലോ പന്തലിലോ വളർത്താം, ചെറുകിഴങ്ങിറെയോ കാച്ചിലിന്റെയോ ഇലകൾക്ക് സാമ്യം, വള്ളികൾ ഇടത്തോട്ട് മാത്രമേ ചുറ്റുകയോള്ളൂ. മേക്കാച്ചിൽ പോലെ വള്ളികളിൽ മുകളിൽ 100 ഗ്രാം മുതൽ ഒന്നര കിലോ വരെ തുക്കമുള്ളവ ഉണ്ടാകുന്നു, അടതാപ്പിന്റെ ഭുമിക്കടിയിലെ കിഴങ്ങും ഉപയോഗിക്കാം.. നല്ല മൂപ്പ് ആയാൽ അടതാപ്പ് വള്ളികളിൽ നിന്ന് വിഴും. ഏതാണ്ട്‌ രണ്ടു മാസക്കാലം സുഷുപ്താവസ്ഥ ഉള്ളതിനാൽ വിളവെടുത്ത ഉടനെ നടാൻ പാടില്ല, പ്രധാന മുള വന്നാൽ നടാം. മുള വരുന്നതിനു മുന്പ് നട്ടാൽ ചീഞ്ഞു പോയെന്ന് വരും. കാച്ചിൽ, ചേന നടുന്നപോലെ നടാം. നട്ടാൽ പുതയിട്ടുകൊടുക്കുക. കിളിർത്തുവരുബോൾ വള്ളികെട്ടി പടരാൻ അനുവദിക്കുക. ഒരു കടയിലെ വല്ലിയിൽനിന്ന് 20കിലോ അടതാപ്പ് പറിക്കാം. കറിവച്ചാൽ ഉരുളക്കിഴങ്ങിലും രുചി ആണ്. പുറമേയുള്ള തൊലിയും, തൊട്ടു താഴെ പച്ച നിറമുള്ള ഭാഗവും ചെത്തി നീക്കിയില്ലെങ്കിൽ കയ്പുണ്ടാകും. രോഗികൾക്ക് കൂടി ഇത് കഴിക്കാം. നവംബർ, ഡിസംബർ മാസങ്ങളിലാണ് കായ്കൾ കൂടുതലും ഉണ്ടാകുന്നത് അന്നജം, പ്രോട്ടീൻ, കാൽസ്യം തുടങ്ങിയ പോഷകങ്ങളാൽ സമ്പന്നമായ ഇവ പ്രമേഹ രോഗികൾക്ക് പഥ്യാഹാരമാണ്


Planting tapioca in Pureria Javanica ground cover

Pureria Javanica is established in some areas well. Wanted to plant tapioca in one area and cut the area using Scythe and then cleared some more running stems so that ground is clean to start with. It creates lot of biomass and can see that all other weeds has disappeared. Also the can feel that the land is fertile under this cover crop.

Using crow bar loosened the soil and planted tapioca cuttings and then mulched. Mulching later is little bit tedious, may be next time should mulch and plant. For under ground crops,mulching later is fine. Now every week, some cuttings has to be done, so that Pureria from nearby places does not come to this planted area.


Most of the cuttings is growing...