Climate Information for Carnation Farming.
The crop requires less than the average temperature range of India for its optimum growth. The range stays between 18°C to 24°C in the day time and 10°C to 15°C at night. However, for cultivation in the controlled environment of greenhouses, a temperature of 20°C to 25°C should be maintained.
Carnation tree requires a humid climate with an evenly distributed annual rainfall of about 1000 mm to 1200 mm. However, Carnation trees can easily survive in rainfall lower or higher than that. Physical conditions like prolonged periods of drought, excessive rainfall, prolonged periods of bright sunlight and invasion of frost during the winter season are not at all favorable for the growth of the plants.
90 to 120 frost-free days are absolutely necessary for the optimum growth of the plants. Carnations are long-day plants and require high light levels to produce high-quality flowers.
Carnation trees are typically grown in the temperate climatic regions of the world. It requires cool but stable temperature with high humidity and long days with high light intensity. During the stage of flower setting, the plants must be protected from rain, dew, frost and blizzards. Wet plants, wet buds and wet flowers are highly susceptible to fungal infection
Suitable Soil for Carnation Farming.
Carnation plants can be cultivated in a wide range of soils. But, the best suitable soil conditions are well-drained and highly fertile rich sandy loamy soils with a high percentage of organic matter content and humus for better growth and yield. Soils with poor drainage are not suitable at all. The optimum range of pH is from 5.5 to 6.5. pH value of 10 and more would result in very poor yields and would require appropriate soil treatments. For commercial cultivation of carnation, very heavy soils should be avoided at all costs. Carnation performs best on neutral or slightly acidic soils.
Recommended sowing times for Carnation Farming.
Carnation plants are mainly propagated asexually by means of suckers. The ideal planting times for the suckers are –
Land preparation for Carnation Farming.
Like all other commercial cultivations, an important task required for Carnation farming is proper land preparation. At least 2 to 3 thorough ploughings are necessary for making the field weed-free as well as for obtaining fine tilth of the soil. This would also level and clear the previously grown vegetation. The remaining soil clods after these ploughings should be crushed manually by country ploughs or other instruments since it favors germination. After opening up the topsoil, the land is left as it is for 15 days in the sun for sun-drying. This will ensure the elimination of the weeds and potential weed seeds. After that, about 20 tonnes of well-rotted farmyard manure (FYM) or vermicompost should be applied and spread evenly on the soil. Then, it should be properly mixed with the soil by means of further ploughing. After that, irrigation ridges, furrows and channels are created for further operations. Raised beds of 15-20 cm height, 1-1.2 m width and of convenient length should be prepared in the field. A distance of 45-60 cm should be kept between the beds.
Sowing methods and tips for Carnation Farming.
The propagation of Carnation plants takes place by means of plantlets or suckers. The method of staggered planting at a two weeks interval ensures regular flower supply. The depth of the planting will entirely depend upon the size of the sucker. The standard calculation is maintaining the planting depth as two to three times the height of the sucker. In general, carnation suckers should be planted 5 to 8 cm deep at a spacing of 15 cm X 15 cm or 20 cm X 20 cm. To get good yields, plenty of sunlight of high intensity should be made available. Suckers are sown directly on top of the raised beds.
The terminal cuttings of 5-10 cm are treated with NAA at 500 ppm for 5 minutes to induce rooting. Cuttings are dipped in Carbendazim 2 g/lit solution. The cuttings normally develop a good root system within 21 days.
Seed requirements for Cumin Farming.
However, the rate of germination of carnation plants is medium and about 75,000 suckers are required for covering one-acre land.
Seed treatment required for Cumin Farming.
A specific seed rate of carnation plants cannot be calculated and seed treatment is also out of practice since propagation by means of seeds is generally not performed widely.
Irrigation methods for Carnation Farming.
Light irrigation is provided to the plants just after sowing and the subsequent irrigations are provided 8-10 days after irrigation. Carnation plants require a highly humid and moist climatic condition. So, depending upon the climate, water holding capacity of the soil and other soil characteristics, the frequency of the irrigation can be altered. Frequent watering is needed for the carnation crop. In the summer season, water should be applied 2-3 times a week whereas, in winter, the interval should be 15 days. In the case of winter rains, irrigation should be stopped for maintaining appropriate moisture conditions in the soil. But, in case of heavy rains and floods, the stagnated water should be quickly drained out from the soil.
Mulching also retains good moisture conditions in the soil apart from preventing weed growth.
Fertilizer Requirements for Carnation Farming.
20 tonnes of FYM per hectare of land is added as a basal dose during the time of land preparation. Under appropriate soil moisture conditions, the rates of application of various fertilizers should be –
Phosphatic and potassic fertilizers should be applied at a depth of 8 cm before sowing the seeds. Besides those, micronutrients like Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Boron, etc. are also necessary. For commercial farms, fertigation methods should be adopted for achieving higher efficiency.
Best Varieties for Carnation Farming.
Carnations are mainly classified into two groups namely -
- Standard type
- Spray type
Varieties in standard carnations include Ariane, Corso, Candy Master and Tanga, Solar, Athena and so on.
Varieties in Spray carnations include Rhodos, Alliance, Barbara, Indira, Autumn, etc.
Best practices for Carnation Farming.
Weed control or intercultural operations – For Carnation plants, 2-3 weeding operations at intervals of one or two months is necessary for controlling unwanted weeds since they affect the overall yield of the plants. After every harvest, weeding should be carried out to prepare the field for the upcoming batch. Chemical weedicides like glyphosate at the rate of 300 g per hectare or oxyfluorfen at the rate of 200 g per hectare can also be used in these limits for better results. Mulching by means of 100-micron recyclable black polythene sheets is also a good alternative for controlling weeds. For organic mulching, 12 to 15 cm thick mulch should be used which will also facilitate penetration of water to the roots of the plants.
Harvesting – The harvesting depends upon the bud size and petal growth. The operation of harvesting should be carried out in the morning and cuts should be given stem with a sharp knife at the apex. Harvesting should be carried out in the flowering stage every two days. After harvesting, the flowers should be kept immediately in water or in a preservative solution for at least 4 hours to keep the freshness of the flower intact. The flowers should then be stored and stacked in cool and dry spaces and then transported to domestic as well as export markets.