Prepare 10m X 15 m area of land by finely tilling or digging. Prepare a bed of 9 m long 1 m wide and 15 cm high. Remove clods and bring the bed to a fine tilth. About 10 beds are required to raise the seedling for one-hectare main field. Apply about 15 kg well decomposed FYM to each of this bed. Add 500 g 15 all complex fertilizer to each b,ed. Mix 3g Trichoderma powder in 100 g neem cake and apply to everyone square meter nursery area and prepare nursery beds. Sow the seeds on lines with a spacing of 8cm x 2cm and cover with a thin layer of a manure. Cover the bed with dry grass or straw until germination, If ant problems are noticed, sprinkle 50 to 100 g of insecticide dust formulations around the nursery beds to prevent ants from eating the seeds. As soon as seeds germinate, drench the nursery with copper oxy chloride (at 3g/litre). Cover the beds with 40 or 50 mesh nylon net to protect against some vectors. Seedlings have to be hardened before transplanting by withholding the irrigation and removing the nylon net. Spray systemic insecticides like Imidacloprid (0.2 mIl litre) 7-10 days after germination and before transplanting, for managing the vectors. The seedlings will be ready in 35-42 days after sowing for transplanting.
Use of Nylon Net:
It is important to have vegetable seedlings that are free of insect pests and disease problems. The earlier the plants are infected with pests or diseases, the more severe the effect on the field crop growth and yield. In this direction, growing vegetable seedling under cover using insect proof nylon net (40-60 mesh) is a good practice. Use Casurina or bamboo poles or 01 pipe to support the net to be used by a small farmer. To raise seedlings sufficient for one hectare, a net covered area of about 150 square meter is required.
Solarization for nursery bed sterilization:
This is a non-chemical method. Prepare the raised bed, add organic manure and make the bed ready for sowing in every respect. Bring the bed to field capacity by irrigating. Cover the nursery beds with 200 gauge transparent polyethylene film as tightly and closely to the ground as possible. Leave the beds covered for 30-40 days. The soil temperature of the nursery bed thus covered C3.fi go up to 52°C in summer months. Check the sheets for the tear and if found tom out, seal with transparent tapes. After 30-40 days, remove the polyethylene cover. Sow the seed with least disturbance to the top soil in the bed.
Source: Dr S. S. Hebbar, Senior Scientist, Division of Vegetable Crops, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hessaraghatta Lake PO, Bangalore -560 089