Cultivation of Palak and Vilayatipalak (Beta vulgaris)
Beta vulgaris L, and
Palak: Marathi, visalacheera: Malayalam.
Amongst all the vegetables, the leafy vegetables have a very high protective food value. They are rich in mineral and hence can be called as “Mines of minerals”. Vitamin A and C are present in abundant quantities. Beside this, soft fibrous matter is specially in providing necessary roughage in diet.
It is a widely grown leafy vegetable. It is rich and cheap source of vitamin A, iron, essential amino acids Ascorbic acid etc.
Spinach beet is a hot weather crop but can also be gown during moderate winter season. It can also tolerate frost to some extent. Spinach does well during winter season. It is extremely susceptible to water logging and bad drainage. It can be grown successfully in plains and on hills.
Soil and its Preparation:
Though it can be grown on any kind of soil that is free from bad drainage yet sandy loam and alluvial soil are best suited fro them. Their growth is checked in acidic soil. They need a Ph between 6.0 to 7.0 for optimum growth. The soil is prepared by ploughing 4 to 6 times and then leveling by planking. The beds and irrigated channel are made sowing it in the field.
It is sown from October as main crop and in January- February as summer crop in this region. It requires 30 -40 kg seed per hectare. Seeds are soaked in water before sowing. Seeds are generally broadcast in flat beds. However, line sowing at 20 cm distance is convenient for intercultural operation. Follow light irrigation after sowing.
Manures and Fertilizers:
30 to 50 cart loads FYM should be at the time of soil preparation. 50 kg n/ha should applied , ½ dose of N should be given at the time of sowing, remaining ½ dose is again divided in two equal doses which are given at the time of first and second harvesting.
One to two weeding should be given to keep the crop clean and healthy.
Winter crop needs irrigation 10 -15 days interval depending on soil type. January- planted crop needs irrigation at 6 -7 days interval in summer months.
The crop becomes ready for first cutting after 35 – 40 days of sowing. Only well grown succulent and tender leaves be trimmed. Winter crop gives more cuttings. On an average Palak crops gives 4 -6 cuttings. The total yield of green leaves is 80- 100 quintals per hectare. After harvesting, leaves are tied in bundles and sent for marketing.
1. Pusa All green:
It produces uniformly green tender leaves and gives about 6 cuttings depending upon time of sowing and management. It is heavy yielder giving leaf yield of 125 quintals per ha.
2. Pusa Jyoti:
It produces large, green, thick, tender, succulent and crisp leaves of good taste. Plants are vigorous quick growing and regenerate quickly after each cutting. It gives 6 – 8 cuttings and yield over 200 – 400 quintals per hectare. It performs well in this region.
Besides, there are other varieties viz. Pusa harit and jobner Green.