Lemongrass Farming – Introduction
Lemongrass which is popular for its flavor is a favorite ingredient of chefs all over the world. It belongs to the grass family. It also looks like common grass. It is a very popular herb all over the world. Because of its smell of lemons, it is cultivated. It is mainly used in cooking dishes and for medical purposes too. Known by many common names, this grass is now very commonly cultivated among the farmers.
The lemongrass is mainly used powdered or dried. Mainly it is used fresh in many ingredients. It is used in a wide range of dishes ranging from soups, stews, teas and many other dishes. Lemongrass oil has disinfectant and other properties too. For that reason, it is used for medicinal purposes too. It is also used as an essential oil too. It is also used as a pheromone trap for honey bees. It is also used as an insect repellent. That is why it is used in insect repellent sprays and candles too. It is mainly used as a flavouring agent in many dishes. The cultivation of lemongrass must be done properly. The demand for lemongrass is also very high in the local as well as the international market.
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Scientific Name Of Lemongrass: Cymbopogon Citratus
Top Countries Producing Lemongrass
The lemongrass is naturally found in the tropical regions of Australia, Asia, and Africa. Due to its popularity, it can be seen being commonly cultivated in many other parts of the world.
Common Name Of Lemongrass In Other Languages And Countries
- English- lemon grass
- Arabic- حشيشة الليمون
- Bengali- গংধবেনা
- Burmese- Zabalin
- Chinese- 香茅
- Croatian- Vlaska
- Czech- Citrónová tráva
- Danish- Citrongræs
- Dutch- Citroengras
- Esperanto- Harilik sidrunhein
- Finnish- Intiansitrusheinä
- French- Verveine des Indes
- Galician- Herba de Limón
- German- Guatemaltekisches Lemongrass
- Gujarati- લિલિચા
- Hebrew- לימון גראס
- Hindi- Sera
Different Varieties Of Lemongrass For Cultivation
The pragathi is a high yielding variety of lemongrass. The herb is dwarf and erect in nature. The plants have dark green coloured leaves. The oil and citral content of this variety is very high. This variety is suitable for cultivation in highly fertile soils or irrigated soils. The tropical or subtropical climate is best suited for the cultivation of this variety of lemongrass.
The yield of this variety is very good. The content of oil obtained from this variety is very good. The variety grows up to be tall. To cultivate this variety, the moisture content of the soil must be very high. It is best cultivated in the areas close to riversides. The special characteristic of this variety is its white colored stem.
It is a high yielding variety of lemongrass which was released many years ago. The herb yield from this variety is very high. The herb grows up to be 100-110cm tall. The leaves are broad in shape with a dark purple sheath. The oil content of the variety is 0.4 percent. The citral content of the variety is 84 percent.
The main characteristic of this lemongrass variety is its red colored stem. The herb grows up to be 1-1.75m tall. The tillering of this variety is very much. The oil content of this variety is 0.3-0.4 percent. The oil yield of this variety is about 40-50kg per hectare of land. The citral content is quite high at 84-86 percent. This variety is suitable for cultivation in rainfed areas. This variety can be cultivated in a variety of soils and a range of climatic conditions.
This high yielding variety of lemongrass gives a very high yield of biomass. About 25-28 metric tonnes per hectares of biomass can be obtained by cultivating this variety. The oil yield of this variety is also very high at 230-250kg per hectare. This variety of lemongrass herb is tall and is of citral type.
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This variety of lemongrass variety is medium tall in length. The tillering capacity of this variety is very high. The oil yielding capacity and citral content of the variety is also very high. The yield of biomass is also very high at 25-28 metric tonnes per hectare. The oil yield of this variety is high at 230-250 kg per hectare of land.
This is one of the improved varieties of lemongrass. It is mainly known for its high oleoresin content. The oleoresin content of the leaf is 18.6 percent. The yield of oleoresin is about 1050 kg from every acre of land each year.
Cultivation Of Lemongrass
Due to a high demand of lemongrass in many places, the variety must be selected carefully. There are many improved varieties of lemongrass in the world. The variety must be selected based on the place where they are to be cultivated. To get the best yield, the proper cultivation techniques must be employed. If the best yield and quality is to be cultivated, the profits will also be good. Proper soil, irrigation and cultivation techniques must be followed.
Land Preparation For Lemongrass Farming
The proper land must be selected for the cultivation of lemongrass. If the cultivation is being done for the first time, all the weeds must be removed. After that, ploughing must be done. The ploughing can be done with the help of bullocks or tractors. Ploughing makes the soil smooth. Followed by ploughing, harrowing or tilling can be done. Ridges and furrows might be made based on the planting methods. Proper drainage channels must be made in the field. After ploughing, proper quantities of farmyard manure must be mixed with the soil.
Soil Conditions For Lemongrass Farming
The lemongrass can grow very well in medium fertile soils. It will give a very good yield in fertile soils. Sandy loam soils are best for lemongrass cultivation. It can be grown on a wide range of soils. Even loamy to laterite soils can be used to cultivate lemongrass. The soil must be well drained and well aerated. Waterlogged conditions are not suitable for cultivating lemongrass. The ideal ph for the cultivation of lemongrass is 6-9. The ph of the soil must not be extreme else it will not be good for the growth of the lemongrass plants. The soil must be rich in organic matter. The soil also must be checked for calcium levels. Too much calcium is not good for the growth of the plants.
Climatic Conditions For Lemongrass Farming
The lemongrass can be well cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates. The lemongrass can be cultivated in an elevation of 900m above the sea level. It can also perform very well till 1500m above the sea level. The best climate for cultivation of lemongrass is a humid climate. There must be plenty of sunshine for the lemongrass plants to grow. The ideal temperature for the cultivation of lemongrass is 20-30 degree Celsius. The regions which are semi-arid and have a low rainfall are best suited for lemongrass plants. An average rainfall of 250-300 cm rainfall annually is best suited for the cultivation. Extreme climatic situations are not good for the cultivation. Frost conditions and too many hot or cold conditions must not be used for the cultivation.
Propagation Methods For Lemongrass Farming
The main propagation method for the cultivation of lemongrass is through seeds and slips. The seeds must be selected carefully. The healthy and disease free seeds must be selected for propagation. The vegetative propagation is done by slips.
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Planting Methods For Lemongrass Farming
For planting, ridges and furrows must be made in the field. The planting must be done in the ridges. It is always better to use transplanted seedlings in the field. The seeds which are directly planted in the field have lesser chances of growth. The immediate watering must be done after sowing the seeds. The seeds germinate after 5-6 days. After 60 days, the seedlings can be transplanted to the main field. For seeds swing, the seeds must be dried properly after collecting them. There must not be any delay in sowing of the seeds. If the delay is done for more than a year, the seeds will lose their viability. After transplanting, the soil around the plants must be pressed properly. They must be watered properly after transplanting.
Irrigation Methods For Lemongrass Farming
The first irrigation must be given at the time of planting. After that irrigation must be given based on the moisture content of the soil. In the rainy season, irrigation must be less. If there is too much waterlogging in the field, the extra water must be drained away through drainage channels. If the rainfall is irregular, watering must be done in the field. About 4-6 irrigations are required in the summertime. Irrigation can be given after every 3 days. Otherwise, in normal cases, irrigation can be given at an interval of 7-10 days. Basically, the irrigation is given based on the soil condition and the weather conditions. To save water, other irrigation methods may also be used. Drip or sprinkler irrigation must be given.
Fertiliser And Manure Application For Lemongrass Farming
The well-decomposed farmyard manure must be applied at the time of land preparation. After that proper amounts of macronutrients must be applied in the field. A proper amount of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus must be applied in the field. Proper quantities of micronutrients must also be provided in the field. a soil test must be done in the field. the soil test will determine the number of fertilizers and manure to be put in the field. Too much application of chemical fertilizers will degrade the quality of the soil. Organic manure must also be put in the soil.
Intercultural Operations For Lemongrass Farming
The intercultural operations for lemongrass cultivation mainly include weed removal. Weeds must be removed at the earliest. If it is not done so, they will compete with the main crop for nutrition. The weeds can be removed by application of chemicals or manual methods. Hand hoeing may also be done as a part of the intercultural operations in the field. Mulching may be done to control the weeds. Mulching also helps to retain the moisture level of the soil.
Diseases And Pest Control For Lemongrass Farming
The main diseases and pests and their control measures which affect the cultivation of lemongrass are as follows:
- Nematodes- fenamiphos application
- Red leaf spot- Dithane or Bavistin spray
- Stem-boring caterpillar- folidol application
- Grassy shoot- Dithane spray
- Leaf blight- copper oxychloride or Dithane spray
A Yield Of Lemongrass Farming
The average yield which can be expected from lemongrass cultivation is 25-30 tonnes. The yield can give about 80 kg of oil. If proper crop management can be done, more oil and herb yield can be expected.
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After transplanting seedlings, it takes about 4-6 months to obtain the first harvest. The next harvesting can be done after every 60-70 days. Sickles can be used for harvesting and they are cut a little above the soil.
Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of Lemongrass
After harvest, the harvest is allowed to wilt and dry. After drying and distillation, the oil is purified through suitable methods. The oil is therefore packed and stored under right conditions. The fresh herb is also in great demand and sold in the market.
Benefits Of Lemongrass
- The lemongrass has special properties which can lower the cholesterol. It can reduce the bad cholesterol in the body and keep the heart healthy.
- Lemongrass can help to prevent skin cancer. it prevents the growth of cancerous cells in the skin.
- The lemongrass can be made into tea. The tea can help to cure insomnia and help to fall asleep.
- The lemongrass herb has antibacterial properties. Due to this property, it can be used to cure and treat many infections and bacterial conditions.
Lemongrass Farming – Conclusion
Lemongrass is such a herb which is in great demand. The herb is best known for its lemon-like flavor. It can give huge profits. For that, proper cultivation techniques must be followed
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