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Page 2

Crop Production Techniques of

Horticultural Crops


Directorate of Horticulture and Plantation Crops
Chepauk, Chennai - 600 005

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Coimbatore - 641 003

Page 150

Part V
Medicinal and Aromatic

Chapter A

Medicinal Plants
Senna: Cassia angustifolia Vahl.; Leguminosae
Varieties : KKM Se 1, ALF-T2.

Soil and climate: In Tamil Nadu, it is grown in sandy or sandy loam or laterite soils. It is a hardy
warm weather crop grown under rainfed and irrigated conditions.

Seed rate: 15 - 20 kg/ha.

The seeds are scarified with sand or can be soaked overnight in water and sown in beds at
a spacing 45 x 30 cm during February – March or June – July.

Season: February - March and June - July.


Basal: Apply FYM 10 - 15 t/ha and N, P and K at 25, 25 and 40 kg/ha.

Top dressing: Apply 25 kg N two splits at 40 and 80 days after sowing.

Aftercultivation: One or two weedings.

Plant protection - Pests

Aphids: Spray dimethoate 30 EC or methyl demeton 25 EC at 1 ml/lit of water.

Harvest: The first harvest of leaves and pods are done 2 months after sowing and subsequent
harvests at 30 days interval. Leaves and pods are dried for 7 - 10 days.

Yield - Irrigated

Dried leaves : 2 t/ha.

Dried pod : 150 - 200 kg/ha.


Dried leaves : 1 t/ha.

Dried pods : 75 - 100 kg/ha.

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Seed Production Technology: Seeds attain physiological maturity at 40 days after anthesis
associated with colour change of pods from green to brown. Seeds can be processed by using
8/64" round perforated metal sieves. Hard seededness can be effectively overcome by acid
scarification with commercial sulphuric acid @ 100 ml/kg seed for 10 minutes.

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01. Pathak, R.K and Ram, R.A (2002). Approaches for green good production. In : Souvenir,
National Seminar-cum-workshop on Hi-Tech Horticulture and Precision Farming, held at
Taj Residency, Lucknow, pp.33-35.

02. Pathak, R.K and Ram, R.A (2001). Approaches for biodynamic farming. Approaches for
Sustainable Development of Horticulture. Singh, H.P., Negi, J.P and Samuel, J.C. (Eds),
NHB, Gurgaon, pp. 113-19.

03. Pfeffer, E. (1984). Using the bio-dynamic compost preparation and sprays in garden,
orchard and farm. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, Inc, Kimberton, PA,
64 pp.

04. Schilthuis W. (2000). Biodynamic Agriculture, S&H Home Ag. Library Biodynamic

05. Sharma, A.K.(2001). A Hand Book of Organic Farming. Agrobios, India, Jodhpur,pp.193-

06. Thimmaiah, A. (2001). Studies on biodynamic system and vermitechnology for sustainable
Agriculture. Ph.D thesis, IIT, New Delhi.


High density planting is the current concept by which productivity of the fruit crops can be
enhanced per unit area . As most of the perennial fruit crops takes long years to attain a bigger
canopy, it is possible to accommodate and maintain more trees per unit area till such canopy
development interferes with general cultural operations or performance of the nearby plants by
competing for light, water , nutrients and other inputs. High density planting of similar kind of fruit
trees is also advantageous as it will not require much labour as required for intercropping with
seasonal crops to make use of the alley spaces available otherwise. The following are some of
the advantages of high density planting.

! The yield per unit area could be increased.

! Reduced labour cost and labour involvement towards weeding and desuckering.

! Efficient utilization of land, water, fertilizer and solar radiation.

! Cost of production per unit quantity of fruits could be reduced considerably.

The methods by which, the HDP can be practiced in different fruit crops are mentioned briefly


Mangoes can be planted at a spacing of 5m x 5m and maintained till such time canopy
overlapping is noted. The alternate rows can be removed if necessary at later stage when
canopy overlapping interferes with the normal gowth and performance of the plants or with
cultural operations. Mangoes can be also maintained at HDP system by proper pruning and
regulating the canopy. Dwarf statured varieties with narrow canopy are much suitable for HDP
system. Experiments with mango varieties like Amrapali, Dashehari and Mallika in Indian
Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi have indicated that even a spacing of 2.5-3m either
way can be maintained in the initial years accommodating nearly 1300 plants per ha.

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Similar to mango, sapota is usually planted at 8-9m spacing conventionally. However, it is
advisable to use a spacing of 5-6 m either way under HDP as it takes many years for the plants
to assume the full canopy coverage. The recently released varieties like CO 3 sapota and PKM
4 sapota can be planted under HDP owing to their upright growth habit.


Banana is grown normally at a spacing of 1.8 x 1.8 m (6’ x 6’) by planting one sucker per pit, in
India. A new concept of increasing the plant density by planting more number of suckers per pit
at a wider spacing has proven successful in increasing the productivity of banana. This system
of high density planting in banana was devised at Horticultural College and Research Institute,
Coimbatore and has proved efficient in increasing the productivity of banana. Interestingly, it
has also showed that possibility of reducing the water and fertilizer to a tune of 30-40% without
affecting the yield.

Based on a series of research trials on HDP on banana taken up in the Department of Fruit
crops, TNAU, Coimbatore it is recommended that HDP can be acheived by planting three
suckers / hill spacing of 1.8 x 3.6 m which ( 4629 plants/ha). On per plant basis, instead of full
dosage of fertilizer (i.e. 110: 35 : 330 g of NPK ) only 75 % of the fertilizer needs to be applied on
per plant. By this method 25-40 % enhanced yield can be obtained from an unit area. Though a
slight reduction in individual bunch weight was observed when compared to conventional planting,
the bunch grade was found to be similar indicating no difference in the market appeal of the


It is possible to accomodate 43,000-50,000 plants per ha in pineapple by planting in double
rows either in beds or in trenches with the plants into the second rows set in the middle of the
plants in the first row. The spacing between two trenches will be 90 cm. Row to row spacing in
the same bed per trench can be 45- 60 cm and plant spacing within the row is 30 cm.

HDP systems are not without disadvantages. Some disadvantages of high density planting are
high initial capital investment, extended cropping cycle in herbaecious crops like banana or
pineapple and occasionally quick spread of pest and diseases. But if managed properly, the
HDP system will prove to be economically advantageous to the grower in the long run.

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