Climate and Soil
This crop requires hot and moist climate. It is recommended for cultivation in irrigated areas. Turmeric grows in all types of soils, but it thrives well in well drained sandy loam to loamy soils with moderate organic matter content.
Punjab Haldi 1 (2008) : Its plants are erect and medium in height. Leaves are green and medium in size. Rhizomes are long and medium-thick. Skin color of rhizomes is brown and the flesh is dark yellow. It matures in 215 days and average yield is 108 q/acre.
Punjab Haldi 2 (2008) : Its plants are erect and tall. Leaves are light green and broad. Rhizomes are long and thick. Skin color of rhizomes is brown and the flesh is yellow. It matures in 240 day sand average yield is 122 q/acre.
Land Preparation : To get fine seedbed, 2 or 3 ploughings followed by planking are necessary. The field should be free from stubble and weeds.
Seed Rate : Turmeric is propagated through mother and primary rhizomes. Fresh, healthy and uniform sized rhizomes weighing 6-8 quintals are sufficient to plant an acre.
Sowing Time : For getting higher yield, crop is to be sown directly in the field by the end of April. In spontaneous and northern districts, the sowing can be delayed for a week. It can also be raised by transplanting up to first fortnight of June without losing much in yield. For this, rhizomes should be sprouted in the nursery by planting them in close spacing and 35-45 days old seedlings should be transplanted in the field.
Method of Sowing : Ridge planting improves the size of turmeric rhizomes. It is planted in lines, keeping 45 cm row to row spacing for manual operations and 60 cm for mechanical, whereas, plant to plant spacing is maintained at 15 cm. After planting, apply straw mulch @ 2.5 tonnes per acre. Keep the soil moist until the sprouting of rhizomes.
Manures and Fertilizers
Turmeric responds favorably to organic manuring. Apply 10-12 tonnes of well-rotten farmyard manure per acre before planting.Turmeric does not need much nitrogen. A basal dose of 10 kg P2O5(60 Kg Single Superphasphate) and 10 Kg K2O (16 Kg Muriate ofPotash) can be drilled at planting.
Irrigation : Turmeric takes a long time to sprout and needs frequent irrigation. Apply light and frequent irrigation.
Weed Control : In order to keep the crop free from weeds, 1 or2 hoeing may be given.Alternately, spray Stomp 30 EC (pendimethalin) @ 1300 ml or Sencor 70 WP (metribuzin) 400 g or Atrataf 50WP (atrazine) @ 600 g per acre by dissolving in 200 litres of water within 2 to 3 days of planting of turmeric. After the spray, spread uniformly paddy straw mulch @ 36 quintals per acre over the entire field.
Harvesting and Yield
Maturity of turmeric is indicated by the complete yellowing and drying up of the plants. The crop is ready for harvesting in the month of November-December. After digging, clean the rhizomes by removing roots and soil.
The fresh rhizomes are kept at a cool and dry place or preferably in cold storage for sowing in the next season. Alternatively, for field storage rhizomes are left in soil till late winter without giving the irrigation.
Boil the cleaned rhizomes in a vessel having narrow mouth after adding water sufficient to cover the rhizomes in it. Boiling should be continued for an hour till the rhizomes become soft. If boiling is to be done under pressure (15 Ib/sq.inch), then 20 minutes are sufficient.Boiled rhizomes are dried in the sun. On a small scale, dried rhizomes are polished by rubbing them against a hard surface whereas on commercial scale, special polishing drums are available.