Turmeric is approximately 9th month duration covering crop. It can be grown throughout the Pakistan. The districts where it mostly can be grown in Pakistan are following.
Districts of Punjab:
Kasur Okara Lahore Sialkot
Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
1.Mardan 2.Bannu 3.Huripur
Districts of Sindh:
1.Mirpur Khas 2.Sanghar
Kasur 72%, Bannu 12%, others 16%
Sowing Time of Turmeric:
The best sowing time for turmeric is 15th March to 15th April. It can be grown in wheat crop field after wheat harvesting. During cold season of February and early March its germination can be effected. It’s best to sow this crop when temperature becomes above 300 Celsius. If temperature is below 200 Celsius it’s not good to sow this crop.
Soil type and soil preparation:
Fertile soil is best for this crop. Light or high saline, sodic, saline sodic or water logged soils are not fit for this crop. And also soils with less water drainage are not good for its production. Farm yard manure addition to soil is recommended for this crop.
It’s best to add farm yard manure 1 month before sowing of the crop by incorporating it to soil with by ploughing it and then irrigate the field. By this way farm yard manure will become a part of soil. It is good to plough the field by rota-wetter before sowing of this crop.
Just like as we use whole potato as a seed for sowing, just like same way we use turmeric rhizome for sowing as a seed. Usually the turmeric rhizomes which are used as seed should always be remained in soil instead of digging out them.
These rhizomes are dugout from soil just few days before sowing. About 22 mounds rhizomes are used for sowing of one acre. Just like sugarcane setts these rhizomes can be divided into pieces before sowing.
Turmeric Seed Protection:
During month of January and February turmeric crop is ready to harvest. Mostly seed or rhizome during these months is stored in dig under the tree shade. Then it’s covered with straws or dried hay after it dump it with thin soil layer. In this way seed or rhizome will not be dried till March or April. Keep in mind if rhizome become dry the germination rate will be less.
Usually turmeric is grown on ridges. The row to row or ridge to ridge distance is 40-50 cm and plant to plant distance 15-20 cm. This is sown on one side of ridge only. The large rhizomes are cut down into small pieces before sowing.
Germination and Growth:
Its germination starts about after one month. The farmer will not be afraid of its late germination usually those which are trying it for the 1st time. It is a crop having slow growth rate as it gains about 4 feet height after 9 month. Just remember that it has slow crop growth rate.
It is a high delta crop like sugarcane and rice. Particularly in summer season it requires water after each week. Water requirement also depends upon weather condition and soil type. On an average it requires 35-40 irrigation’s during whole growing season. These are light irrigation’s so that its requirement of water is less than sugarcane crop.
Weeds and their Eradication:
As I have discussed that it is crop with slow growth rate so that weeds dominate the crop. So there is sever or vigorous growth of weeds. Easiest way to control these weeds is hand hoeing. Second way to control weeds is to apply weedicide about 25 days after sowing.
It should be remembered that the weedicide should be applied before emergence of crop otherwise it will damage the crop. After 2-3 months of germination weedicide can be used by huge care otherwise hoeing is the best way. After it plants attain a proper height so that weeds are a little bit controlled.
Insects-pests and Disease:
It is a crop with high resistance against pests and diseases. When the crop is of 5 month old it can be affected by blight or any other insects. It can be controlled by proper pesticide spray.
In January this crop is ready to harvest about after 9 months of sowing. When its leaves become dry the crop is at its full maturity. The seed or rhizomes are present inside the soil just like potato tuber. It is dugout from soil.
It is suggested to give light irrigation to field so that field becomes soft and harvesting becomes easy. When soil reaches to its field capacity the rhizomes are collected by digging out the soil manually by hand hoe.
The average yield per acre is 8 -10 tonnes of green turmeric. Fingers are separated from mother rhizomes. Mother rhizomes are usually kept as seed material. The green turmeric is cured for obtaining dry turmeric.
Authors: Anwar Ul Haq, M.Mohsin