Introduction to Cauliflower farming- Package of Practices: We know Cauliflower is mainly cultivated for its curd that is vegetable. In this post, we will let you know about Cauliflower Farming guide, soil requirement for Cauliflower farming, list of Cauliflower varieties in India, ICAR/ IARI New Delhi released Cauliflower varieties, weed management in Cauliflower farming, insect pest and disease management in Cauliflower farming, harvesting and yield of Cauliflower, marketing in Cauliflower farming and other questions related to Cauliflower cultivation in India.
Scientific name: Brassica oleracea
Common name/Vernacular name: Bantgobi, Phoolgobi
Economic importance of Cauliflower: The edible part of cauliflower is called curd. It is rich in proteins and vitamin C, minerals such as potassium, sodium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. Cauliflower young seedlings are used for salad purposes. The curd is used in the preparation of curries, soups, and pickles. The inflorescence extract is used for the treatment of scurvy, acts as a blood purifier and as an antacid.
List of Cauliflower Varieties
Hybrid Cauliflower varieties:
- Pusa hybrid 2
List of Cauliflower Local varieties:
- Early Kunwar,
ICAR/ IARI NewDelhi released Cauliflower varieties
- Pusa Early Synthetic,
- Pant Gobhi 3,
- Pusa Deepali,
- Pant Gobhi 2,
- Pusa Sharad,
- Pusa snowball-1,
- Pant gobi 4
- Pusa Shubhra,
- Pusa Himjyoti,
- Punjab Giant 35
- Pusa Snowball k1
Pre sowing in Cauliflower Farming Package of Practices:
Soil and climatic requirement of Cauliflower: It is a vegetable crop that grows in a wide range of climatic conditions generally grown for its curd. The optimum temperature for growth is 23-25 degrees Celsius. It grows in a wide range of soil having good fertility and a good regime. However, in light soil, the plants are most sensitive to drought and therefore, adequate moisture supply is necessary. Usually, wee-drained soils with good irrigation facilities is recommended. The optimum pH of the soil is between 6.0-6.5.
Time of sowing and seed rate for Cauliflower: The optimum time for sowing seed in the nursery varies that depends upon climate, varieties, and temperature requirement for curd formation. The nursery for mid-season crops can be raised during May-June. In plains, it can be grown from September to February. It requires about 200-500 g for one-hectare planting. Seed treatment in hot water at 500 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.
Nursery bed preparation in Cauliflower Farming
Seeds are sown in a nursery bed and 3-6 week old seedlings are transplanted to the main field. Preparation of Raised beds of size 3 x 0.5 m and 10-15 cm height is recommended. About 70cm distance is kept between two beds for watering, weeding, etc. Well-decomposed rotten FYM @ 10 kg per meter square is added during bed preparation. Meanwhile, seeds are treated with Trichoderma viride at the rate of 4 g or Thiram @ 3g per kg of seeds to avoid damping-off disease. Seeds are sown with a distance of 5 to 8 cm between plants at a depth of 1-2 cm covered with sand. Watering with rose can is necessary immediately after sowing.
Land preparation of Cauliflower: The land is ploughed and pulverized into fine tilth and make it free and clods. Proper leveling is done and transplantation is carried out. The seedlings are ready for transplanting in 3-6 weeks after seed sowing, depending upon variety, its temperature, and soil fertility. For an early crop, 5-6 weeks old seedlings have a better establishment, while, in mid-season and late varieties 3-4 weeks old seedlings are transplanted. The planting distance varies according to the variety, climate, and soil conditions. The seedlings of early varieties are planted to 60 cm row to row and 45 cm plant to plant distance. The late varieties are planted at a spacing of 75 cm between rows and 60 cm between plants.
Nutrient management in Cauliflower: The nutrient requirement depends upon the variety, organic matter, and fertility status of the soil. 20-25 t/ ha of well-decomposed FYM is applied at the time of last ploughing. Generally, 180 kg of Nitrogen, 50 kg of Phosphorus, and 50 kg of Potassium is recommended. Half dose of Nitrogen, with a full dose of Phosphorus and Potassium is applied as a basal dose. Remaining half dose of Nitrogen is applied at 30-40 days of transplanting. Along with NPK, borax @ 15 kg/ha and ammonium molybdate @ 15 kg/ha is applied in deficient soils of Boron and molybdenum.
Water management in Cauliflower: Thefirst irrigation is given immediately after transplanting. Further irrigation depends upon climate, soil type, and variety. It requires regular maintenance of optimum moisture during both the growth and curd development stage. It gives maximum growth and yield when sufficient water is applied.
Weed management in Cauliflower Farming Package of Practices:
Natural weed control in Cauliflower: It is necessary to keep the crop free from weeds and aeration of the root system. During the rainy season, adequate earthing is needed. Two hand weeding at 30 and 45 days after transplanting is recommended. Gap filling is done after 20 days of planting for maintaining optimum plant population and growth.
Chemical weed control in Cauliflower: For weed control, apply basalin @2-3 kg a.i/ha + one hand weeding or application of tenoran 50 WP @ 1 kg a.i. /ha is recommended.
Insect management in Cauliflower Farming:
Diamond back moth: Plutella xylostella is the scientific name of Diamond back moth. Signs/ symptoms of the insect pest include thatlarvae cause mines in the leaf by scraping the epidermal tissues leading to the formation of whitish patches. Matured larvae causes holes in the curd. Chemical control by Spraying Cartap hydrochloride 0.5% at 10, 20, 30 days in the nursery and the primordial stage. Natural/biological control includes growing mustard as a trap crop in the ratio of 2:1(cauliflower: mustard) to attract the adults. Crop rotation with other crops like cucumber, tomato, and chili.
Cabbage borer: The scientific name for Cabbage boreris Hellula undalis.Signs/ symptoms of the insect pest includes that the immature larvae web the leaves and bore the flower and curd. Chemical Sprays with Malathion 50 EC@500 ml/ha is effective. Natural/biological control includes the collection and destruction of caterpillars and application of Bacillus thuringiensis @ 2g/lit per hectare at the primordial stage.
Leaf Webber: Crocidolomia binotalis is the scientific name of leaf webber. Signs/ symptoms of the insect pest is that the young larvae web the leaves and feed within. Chemical control by Sprays with Malathion @0.1% is effective. Natural/biological control by setting up of light traps @ 1/ha. Removal and destruction of damaged leaves.
Cabbage butterfly: The Scientific Name of Cabbage butterfly is Pieris brassica. Signs/ symptoms includes thatthe young larvae bore the curd and feed within. Chemical control by spraying insecticides like quinalphos 25 EC @ 1 liter per hectare. Natural/biological control of insect pest includes setting up of light traps @ 1/ha. Removal and destruction of damaged heads.
Disease Management in Cauliflower Farming:
Black leg: The causal organism of black leg is Phoma lingam. Signs/ symptoms of the disease include thatthestem of the affected plant splits vertically with severe discoloration of the black sap stream. The whole root system decays from bottom towards up. Chemical control by Seed treatment with Thiram at 4 g/ kg of seed followed by Trichoderma viride at 4 g/ kg of seed. Naturally controlled by avoiding water stagnation in the field.
Black rot: Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris is the causal organism of Black rot. Signs/ symptoms of the disease include yellow ‘V’ shaped spots along the leaf margins with a typical black discoloration of the veins. In severe infection, the vascular bundles turn black. Chemical control is by applying bleaching powder at 10.0 to 12.5 kg/ha is advisable. Naturally controlled by avoiding splash irrigation to the crops and by avoiding mechanical damage to crops.
Club root: The causal organism of club root is Plasmodiophora brassicae. Signs/ symptoms of the disease include swelling and clubbing of roots with stunting and yellowing of plants. Chemical controlled by seed treatment with Thiram at 4 g/ kg of seed followed by Trichoderma viride at 4 g/ kg of seed. Soil drenching with copper oxychloride @ 0.25 % is also recommended. Naturally controlled by going with crop rotation.
Maturity indices of Cauliflower: Curd size and color of the curd are deciding factors of maturity indices. Snow white or creamy white, compact curds covered by turgid green leaves.
Harvesting of Cauliflower: Harvesting is done bythe curds are cut off stalk well below the curd with a sharp cutting knife.
Yield of Cauliflower: Yield varies between 200-300 quintals per hectare depending upon variety and climatic conditions.
Post-harvest management of Cauliflower Farming – Package of Practices:
Grading: The curds are graded based on their color and size.
Packaging: The curd is packed in a gunny bag for local markets and in wooden baskets for distant markets.
Storage: For storing up to 3 weeks, the optimum temperature recommended for storage is 0 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity of 95%.
Economics of Cauliflower: The farmer invests about Rs. 29,000 for cultivating one acre. He gets about Rs.1,50,000 per acre. Therefore, the net profit or net return from cauliflower cultivation is about Rs.1,21,000.
Summary of Cauliflower farming: It is a highly profitable crop with high net returns.