Nursery Management

This refers to the dependable system of facilitating propagation of select breed of cardamom plants. Plants nursed from rhizome reach fruition earlier than the ones reared from seeds. This process of vegetative cloning of plants is very effective where there is no risk of viral diseases. Rhizome proliferation can be taken anytime from first week of March to the first 15 days of October. Gentle slopes and well-drained areas near a water body are identified as nurseries for cardamom plantation. Trenches of 45 cm width and 45 cm depth are dug along the contours of the slope with around 1.8 meter distance in between. This space is filled with loamy top soil, cattle manure, and sand. To begin with, it is important to identify a high yielding mother rhizome from the plantation, prune the roots, segregate sucker plants in order to accommodate an adult breeder along with a budding shoot, then plant them at a distance of 1.80 m x 0.60 m in filled-up trenches, and stake the planting unit. Within one year of planting, an average of 20-30 suckers per initial planting unit can be produced. The shading material should be eliminated with the dawn of monsoon and an overhead panda should be administered in the case of seedling nursery. Some essential measures are prerequisites for propagating cardamom plantation, which include fortnightly irrigation, applying fertilizers 100:50:200 kg/ha NPK in six splits at an interval of two months, administering neem cake at the rate of 100-150 gm per plant with adequate mulch and manure.