Under intensive management it is advisable to maintain the crop for 7-8 months
HARDY CROP: The fruits are glossy and light green in colour, fleshy with fewer seeds.
BRINJAL, OR eggplant, is a hardy crop and can be grown on different types of soils, that have a good facility for draining water.
It is a popular vegetable crop in South India and in certain parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Brinjal is called Katharikai in Tamil, Baingan in Hindi, Badanekai in Kannada, Vazhuthininga in Malayalam and Vankaya in Telugu.
Scientists at the Department of Olericulture of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), Thrissoor, have developed a bacterial wilt resistant brinjal variety named Haritha.
The fruits of this variety are shining, light green in colour and fleshy with fewer seeds. Each fruit weighs about 120 gm.
Once sown, the plants can be maintained for a period of about two years. However, under intensive management it is advisable to maintain the crop for 7-8 months only.
Suitable areas for sowing
The variety is ideal for sowing in areas where bacterial wilt is a problem. About 500-750 gm of seeds are required for sowing in a hectare, according to Dr. T.R. Gopalakrishnan, Head of the department.
Being a transplantable vegetable, the seeds must be sown first in a nursery and one-month old seedlings must be transplanted to the main fields.
For sowing in the nursery, raised beds must be prepared by mixing well with well-decomposed farmyard manure.
After sowing, green leaves must be mulched over the nursery beds and irrigated daily. The seeds germinate in 5-6 days. As soon as the seeds germinate the green mulch must be removed, according to Dr. Gopalakrishnan, who is also the chief breeder of the variety.
The ideal time for transplanting the seedlings is May-June, about 2-3 weeks before the onset of southwest monsoon.
However, the timing varies slightly depending on the amount of rain the location gets. For irrigated crops the seedlings can be transplanted during September-October.
Giving details on the field preparation, Dr. Gopalakrishnan said, "the main field should be ploughed well into furrows and mixed with well rotten organic manure. "The seedlings have to be transplanted in the main field at a spacing of about 75 x 60 cm between the furrows and the plants.. Irrigation must be done at an interval of 3-4 days ."
Chemical fertilizers about 50 kg of urea, 200 kg of Rajphos and 25 kg of potash have to be applied as a basal dose 10-15 days after transplanting the seedlings.
A second top dressing of about 50 kg of urea and 25 kg of potash has to be applied after a month. During the monsoon, wet cow dung may also be applied around the base of the plant, followed by weeding and earthing. To obtain more yield it is advisable for the farmers to go in for more split fertilizer applications depending on the fertility of the soil. The variety is found to be susceptible to fruit and shoot borer infestations.
Spraying 4 gms carbaryl, diluted in one litre of water, at an interval of about 20-25 days is found to control shoot and fruit borer infestations.
The affected plant parts along with the larvae may also be cut and destroyed manually, according to Dr. Gopalakrishnan.
About 60-65 tonnes of fruits can be harvested from a hectare. For more information, readers can contact Dr. T.R. Gopalakrishnan, Head, Department of Olericulture, Kerala Agricultural University, College of Horticulture, Thrissoor-680656, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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