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Tuesday, 26 June 2012



The scientific name of Indian Gooseberry is Phyllanthus emblica. In Kerala (INDIA) it is known as Nelli. Its fruits are rich source of Vitamin –C and calcium. It can be grown in homestead garden with little care. It prefers warm dry climate and soil except very sandy type.

The high yielding varieties of gooseberry are Chambakad Large, Banarasi, Krishna, and Kanchan.
Indian Gooseberry plant
Indian gooseberry is usually propagated by seeds and wedge grafting. Seeds can be extracted by drying the ripe fruits in the sun for 3-4 days till they split open releasing the seeds. The seeds can be directly sown. Root suckers can also be used for planting. One year old plants are planted in pits of 90 cubic centimeters in size during rainy season.
If the soil is poor in organic matters, some cattle manure or compost may be added while filling the pit with top soil for planting.
No serious pests or diseases are seen in this crop.
Indian Gooseberry plants start bearing about 10 years after planting.

Monday, 25 June 2012


The scientific name of Colocasia is Colocasia esculenta. In Kerala Colocasia is known as Chembu. Colocasia is a tubular vegetable that can be grown with little care. Its tuber as well as stem and leaves are used as vegetable. Its tuber contains 21.1% carbohydrate, 3% protein and 1.7% minerals. Its stem and leaves give Vitamin- A, C, iron and calcium.
Colacasia is grown well in warm humid climate and rich soil. It can be grown as rainfed and irrigated crop. The season of irrigated crop in Kerala is May-June
The improved varieties of Colocasia in India are Sree Rashmi, Sree Pallavi, Sreekiran and Thamarakannan.
Tubers of Coocasia
Side tubers are used for planting. Select side tubers weighing 25-35 grams for planting. Make ridges 60cm apart. Plant the side corms at a spacing of 45cm on ridges. Cattle manure or compost may be used as basal manure while planting. It can be applied in holes on ridges before planting. Soon after planting the ridges may be covered with dry leaves or other mulching materials. It prevents loss of moisture and growth of weeds.
Weeding and earthing up is necessary for Colocasia at 30-45 days and 60-75 days after planting. Some vermin compost or other organic manure can be used at the time of first earthing up for better yield. The leafy parts may be smothered about one month before harvest so as to enhance tuber development.

No major pests or diseases for Colocasia.

Colocasia becomes ready for harvest five to six months after planting. Side tubers are separated from mother corms and used. 


Saturday, 2 June 2012

PINEAPPLE - A popular fruit plant that can be grown easily in homestead garden

Scientifically, Pineapple is known as Ananas comosus and belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae. Pineapple is a popular fruit plant to be grown very easily in homestead garden. A corner area of homestead is enough for growing one or two plants. It’s juicy and fleshy fruit is commonly used for fruit and cooking purpose. Fruits are rich source of Antioxidants, vitamin-C and Vitamin-A. It also contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein.

The promising varieties of Pineapple available in Kerala(India) are Kew, Mauritius and Amrutha.
Plant suckers are used for propagation. The best season for planting is May-June, in the beginning of monsoon. Select healthy suckers of size weighing 700-1000gm.Suckers can be planted in raked soil. About 3kg organic manure may be added with soil.
During summer, Pineapple should be irrigated where ever possible. Do mulching with dry leaves to keep soil moisture.
Pineapple plants
No major pests or diseases are noticed in Pineapple.