Raising Seedlings and Nursery Care for Cole Crops and Fruit Vegetables

Raising Seedling and Nursery Care for Cole Crops and Fruit Vegetables

Raising Seedling and Nursery Care for Cole Crops and Fruit Vegetables
Quality seeds & Quality seedling are the most essential requirements for the full potential of any seeds to achieve a high yield of an vegetable crop . Raising a quality nursery means savings in the usage of precious hybrid seeds, timely and sufficient seedling availability for the planned acreage, uniform crop maturity, plant health, and ultimately the quality of produce. 

Selection of site
Raising Seedling and Nursery Care for Cole Crops and Fruit Vegetables

Select a location where one could ensure semi-shady conditions well-drained medium-loam soil; rich in organic matter and neutral soil pH. An irrigation source in the vicinity with neutral pH water is highly desirable. 

Preparation of cover soil for the nursery 
Raising Seedling and Nursery Care for Cole Crops and Fruit Vegetables
a) This is done at least a year in advance. 
Arrange sufficient quantities of good and fine topsoil from an area where vegetable farming has not been practiced for over 3 years. 
(b) Well rotten Farm Yard Manure (FYM) or leaf mould.
(c) Vermiculite or rice husk. 
Prepare a mixture of the ingredients stated in a), b) and c) in equal proportions and add fertilizer Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) @ 200 gram per 100 kilograms of the mixture along with 20 grams of Carbendazin 50% WP / Captan 50% WP. Mix thoroughly. Ensure that sufficient moisture (not wet) level is maintained. Add water if required. Shift the quantity so prepared on a polyethylene sheet sunny position and cover with a tarpaulin or dark colored plastic sheeting. Leave unattended for usage during the next season. Ensure that during the monsoon, field over-runs do not mingle with the mixture. 
Preparation of seedbeds
Raising Seedling and Nursery Care for Cole Crops and Fruit Vegetables

Nursery beds should be prepared with the utmost care. Ensure that while preparing the beds the soil is at optimum moisture level and workable. Prepare raised beds 10 to 15 centimeters high with the help of spade in straight lines and parallel to each other. Work to a fine tilth. Remove all soil lumps and pebbles. Some 20 beds measuring 8-meter x 0.6 meters are sufficient for raising sufficient seedlings for one hectare. Add 150 to 200 kilograms of well rotten FYM along with 200 grams of DAP and 30 grams of Carbend 50% WP / Captan 50% WP per bed and work to mix thoroughly within the bed.
Seed sowing

Seed sowing is best carried out during the evenings. Seeds are sown in minute straight furrows prepared on the seed-beds along the width  Furrow to furrow distance for seed sowing should be 5 cms and the depth between 0.50 to 0.75 centimeters. This can be easily accomplished by using a pencil-thick strong twig or a wooden ripper
Sow seeds singly 2.0-2.5  centimeters apart in the furrows. from 20 to 25 grams of seed is sufficient per bed. Use no more After sowing use only sieved one-year-old cover soil( as explained earlier) to cover use only sieved one the seeds up to the depth of the furrows i.e. 0.50 to 0.75 centimeter. 
Irrigation of the nursery
Immediately after the seeds are sown, watering adequately or rather
drenching the seedbeds with the help of a watering-can is absolutely necessary. It may be noted that this ensures good seed-soil contact,
ensuring good germination. Remember to add 1 gram of Carbendazin 50% WP/Captan 50% WP per liter of water for irrigation
 On the following morning and days irrigate lightly with the watering can. Till such time the seedlings emerge carry on with the usage of Carbendazin 50% WP/Captan 50% WP with each irrigation 
Nursery beds require frequent light irrigations. Take care that the beds are never too wet. When most seeds have germinated, cut down the frequency of irrigation and use normal water without chemicals till the seedlings attain the 4 to 6 leaf stage. 
Seedling hardening-off treatment
This is a simple treatment of hardening the seedling to prepare it for a transplanting shock into the main field. At 4 to 6 leaf-stage of the seedling gradually cut down the irrigation till on the 5th to 7th day the seedling gets used to practically no irrigation. In that case, the seedlings droop, showing water stress during the afternoon sun but
firms-up next morning. This is nothing unusual, hence, do not panic. 
Seedling care on removal from nursery
Seedlings are like small babies, hence, need tender care while handling. Remove seedlings with the help of a fork or a twig with sharpened edges. Place the fork under the root system of individual seedlings and lift roots applying a gentle pull upwards with the other hand. In the process some roots are bound to break Some root breakage facilitates early main root development. Packing for the seedling shipment is often overlooked. Place the seedlings in an upright position with some soil attached to the roots. Never crowd and bundle too tightly. It is always better to transport these in baskets or crates at the earliest possible. Care should be taken to minimize dehydration in transit due to hot sun/dry wind blowing over. Provide cover of thin muslin cloth. Never use polyethylene as cover during hot sun.
Transplanting of the seedlings into the main field should be done as soon as the seedlings arrive, preferably during late evenings. It is important to dip and rest the roots of the seedlings in plain water for about 20 minutes before transplanting. This enables the plant to imbibe a sufficient quantity of water to withstand new conditions and a better crop stand

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