Climate Information for Tulsi Farming.
Tulsi plants can be grown in a wide variety of climates including tropical and subtropical conditions. Since it is a crop of the tropical region, the optimum temperature ranges from 15℃ to 21℃ during sowing. However, in adult stages, the plant can withstand temperature ranging from as low as 8℃ to as high as 35℃. Being a crop of the tropical region, it requires high rainfall for optimum growth which is about 700 mm annually.
Long days with short nights and higher atmospheric temperature are good for its growth and better oil content. It can also be grown in shaded conditions but will eventually result in low oil content. Moderate rainfall with humid conditions like that of a typical tropical country is ideal for good yields.
Suitable Soil for Tulsi Farming.
The tulsi plant is quite a hardy plant and can be easily cultivated in a wide range of soils. Still, rich sandy loam soils with excellent internal drainage are ideal for the cultivation. Appropriately drained soils with good organic matter content will result in good vegetative growth. Neutral pH or 5. 5.7 of the soil is ideal for better yield of Tulsi.
Extreme conditions like high alkalinity, salinity and water stagnation should be avoided.
Recommended sowing times for Tulsi farming.
It has no particular season of sowing. However, in India, the Kharif season which starts from June and ends in July should be the ideal time for sowing the plants to achieve the highest yields.
Land preparation for Tulsi farming.
The main field should be ploughed 2 to 3 times to bring the soil to a fine tilth. 15 tonnes of farmyard manure should be added in the field after tillage. Further, good internal drainage should be ensured to avoid waterlogging.
Sowing Methods and Tips for Tulsi farming.
Tulsi plant can be propagated both seeds and cuttings.
The nursery beds should be prepared with farmyard manures. The nursery bed should be covered in partial shade and the soil should be of fine tilth. Then, the seeds should be sown 8 weeks in advance of monsoon for best germination percentage. The seedlings are then transplanted into the main field after about 2 months when they attain the 3 to 5 leaf stage.
Vegetative Propagation through cuttings – In this method of artificial propagation, terminal cuttings with 8 to 10 nodes of 15 cm length should be used. These cuttings should be planted in well-fertilized polythene bags and after nearly 4-6 weeks, the plants become ready for transplanting. Aa 40 cm x 40 cm space should be maintained in the original field.
Irrigation methods for Tulsi farming.
Irrigation should be carried out immediately after transplanting from nurseries. The irrigation should be carried out two times a week for one month. On the basis of rainfall and soil moisture content, frequency of irrigation can be varied. However, in the rainy season, irrigation is not required and special attention should be given towards prevention of waterlogging.
Fertilizer Requirements for Tulsi farming.
Farmyard manure (FYM) should be applied at the rate of 15 tonnes per hectare or 6 tonnes per acre. N, P and K should be applied in the ratio of 48:24:24 kg per acre. Along with FYM, entire phosphorus and potassium and half nitrogen should be applied as a basal dose.
Seed Requirement for Tulsi Farming.
For one hectare 300 to 320 gram seeds are recommended .
Seed Treatment for Tulsi Farming.
No seed treatment is required since Basil seeds are very minute in size and their germination percentage is fairly high.
Best Varieties of Tulsi Farming.
There are quite a number of varieties of Tulsi found in the Indian sub-continent. The important ones include -
- Rama Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
- Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
- Amrita Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
- Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissum)
- Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Thai basil (Ocimum thyrsiflora)
- Purple basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Lemon basil (Ocimum citriodorum)
Best cultivation practices for Tulsi Farming.
Weed control or intercultural operations – For tulsi plants, 2 weedings at intervals of one month are more than enough for controlling unwanted weeds since the plant has a bushy structure. After every harvest, weeding should be carried out to prepare the field for the upcoming batch.
Harvesting – Crop becomes ready for harvesting from three months after planting. The crop should be harvested in a fully bloomed stage. The harvesting should be scheduled particularly on sunny days for good oil content and yield.