TURMERIC-package of practices

Family: Zingiberaceae


Turmeric is a tropical crop, requiring warm and humid climate. Temperature ranges from 21°C to 34°C. Growth ceases when, temperature falls below 20°C, and hence early-planted turmeric gives good yield. Thrives well in localities with annual rainfall from 70 - 225 cm. It can be grown at an altitude of 1200 m.


A friable well drained red loamy soil in wet or garden lands under tropical conditions with a pH range of 4.5-7.5 with good organic status is ideal. In Guntur and Krishna districts of AP, turmeric can be grown with proper drainage.


Field (Tillage) preparation:
For a hectare 12 tonnes of farm yard manure and 120 kg of neem cake is incorporated in the soil. Starts immediately after harvest of previous crop or with/onset of early rains in plains. Land is ploughed 15-20 cm deep arid exposed to sun for one month. 2-3 crosswise harrowing are given. Temporary ridges are opened to prevent soil erosion on sloppy lands.


Seed Rate:
Varies according to type of planting material, spacing and weight of rhizomes.

Mother rhizomes: 2000-2500 kg/ha.
Finger rhizomes: 1500-2000 kg/ha.
As an intercrop in fruit garden: 400 - 500 kg/ha


Seed Treatment:
Rhizomes are dipped in Emison -6 (Methoxy ethyl mercuric chloride) solution or chlorpyriphos before planting to prevent rhizome rot and scale insects respectively. Some of the farmers follow dipping the rhizomes in 0.1% Carbendazim 1g/l, and Monocrotophos 1.5 ml /l to control rhizome rot and scales.


Nursery Raising:
Flat Beds: Are used under rainfed conditions where soils are light. Flat beds 1 m in width and-of suitable length varying according to the slope of land are prepared.
Ridges and Furrows: Under irrigated-conditions where the land is leveled or plain and soils are heavy, planting is clone on ridges and furrows, opened at 75 cm distance and haying 3-3.5 m length. Broad ridges should having 90 -100 cm width and 3 - 6 m length depending on the slope.


Time of sowing in nursery:
Season of Planting: May to July depending on tract


In Andhra Pradesh the broad ridge method of planting is superior and more profitable than the ridge and furrow method, as the elevated beds provide better drainage


Single row system of planting: 45cm between rows and 15cm among plants and 4cm depth.

Broad ridge system or paired row system : Under drip system of irrigation the farmers follow broad ridge system of planting in which 120 cm broad ridge formed and 2 rows of rhizomes planted at a spacing of 15 x 45 x 45 x 15 cm and 4 cm depth.

Black heavy soils 45-60 cm X 22.5 cm
Red loamy soils 30 X 15 cm




Nutrient Management:


Basal application

Incorporate FYM 10 t/ha neem or groundnut cake - 200 kg/ha along with N, P and K at 25, 60 and 18 kg/ha; 30 kg/ha of Fe SO4 and 15 kg ZnSO4. Apply 10 kg/ha each of Azospirillum and Phosphobacterium one month after planting.


Basal dressing - 25 : 60 : 18 (NPK Kg/Ha)

Top dressing

At 30 Days after planting - 25 : 25 : 18 (NPK Kg/Ha)
At 60 Days after planting - 25 : 25 : 18 (NPK Kg/Ha)
At 90 Days after planting - 25: 25 : 18 (NPK Kg/Ha)
At 120 Days after planting - 25 : 25 : 18 (NPK Kg/Ha)


Micronutrient application

For correcting deficiency of micronutrients especially Boron, Iron and Zinc at rhizome development stage, apply 375 g Ferrous sulphate, 375 g Zinc sulphate, 375 g Borax, 375 g of Urea in 250 lit of water/ha. Spraying twice at 25 days interval is recommended. The above micronutrients are dissolved in Super phosphate slurry (15 kg Super Phosphate is dissolved in 25 lit of water stored overnight and the supernatant solution is made upto 250 lit). In this solution, the micronutrients are added.


Ferrous Sulphate - 375 g/ha
Zinc Sulphate - 375 g/ha
Borax - 375 g/ha
Urea - 375 g/ha


Inter cultivation & Weeding:

Earthing up is done with light digging 2-2.5 months after planting to avoid exposure of developing underground rhizomes to sun due to soil erosion. Depending on intensity of weeds, 5-6 weeding are given.

Inter Cropping & Crop rotation:

Mixed crops like chilli, onion, brinjal and maize can be taken. In Maharashtra, it is recommended to grown French bean as an intercrop.


Pests and Disease Management:



Thrips (Panchaetothrips indicus)
Control: Thrips can be controlled by spraying Dimethoate 30 EC or Methyl demeton 25 EC 2 ml/litre.


Shoot borer (Conogethes punctiferalis)
The larvae bore into pseudo stems and feed on internal tissues. The presence of a bore-hole on the pseudo stem through which frass is extruded and the withered central shoot is a characteristic symptom of pest infestation.
Control: Spraying malathion at the rate of 2.5ml per litre of water or Dichlorovos at the rate of 2 ml per litre of water at 21 day intervals during July to October is effective in controlling the pest infestation.


Rhizome scale (Aspidiella hartii)
The rhizome scale infests rhizomes in the field (at later stages of the crop) and in storage.
Control: Rhizome scale can be controlled by applying well rotten sheep manure @ 10 t/ha in two splits (once basally and other at earthing up) or Poultry manure in 2 splits followed by drenching Dimethoate 30 EC 2 ml/lit or Phosalone 35 EC 2 ml/lit or application of Carbofuran 3 G @ 1.5 kg a.i./ha.


Nematode (Meloidogyne spp.,& Radopholus similis)
Increasing the organic content of the soil also checks the multiplication of nematodes. Avoid planting turmeric after Banana or other solanaceous vegetables.
Control: Apply Carbofuran 4 kg a.i./ha twice on the third and fifth month after planting the rhizomes.




Rhizome rot (Pythium graminicolum or P.aphanidermatum)
The collar region of the pseudostem becomes soft and water soaked, resulting in collapse of the plant and decay of rhizomes.
Control: Rhizome rot can be controlled by drenching with Bordeaux mixture 1 % or Copper oxychloride 0.25 %. Treat the seed rhizomes with 0.3% Copper oxychloride for 30 min before storage.


Leaf spot (Colletotrichum capsici)
Brown spots of various sizes on the upper surface of the young leaves. The spots are irregular in shape and white or grey in the centre. Later, two or more spots may coalesce and form an irregular patch covering almost the whole leaf. The affected leaves eventually dry up. The rhizomes do not develop well.
Control: spraying Carbendazim 500 g/ha or Mancozeb 1 kg/ha or Copper oxychloride 1.25 kg/ha.


Leaf blotch (Taphrina maculans)
Symptoms like small, oval, rectangular or irregular brown spots on either side of the leaves which soon become dirty yellow or dark brown. The leaves also turn yellow. In severe cases the plants present a scorched appearance and the rhizome yield is reduced.
Control: The disease can be controlled by spraying mancozeb in the proportion of 3gm per litre of water or combination of Carbendazim and Mancozeb in the ratio of 3gm in 1 litre of water.



Starts from Feb. and continues till April. Rhizomes are ready for harvest in 7-9 months after planting. Yellowing and drying of leaves are the signs of crop maturity. The rhizomes are picked after digging deeply with mammuttis or digging forks. Harvested rhizomes were separated as fingers and mother rhizomes to enable easy boiling and grading.



Fresh rhizomes: 25-30 t/ha
Cured rhizomes: 5-6 t/ha


Preservation of seed rhizomes:

Rhizomes for seed purpose are generally stored by heaping in well ventilated rooms and covered with turmeric leaves. The seed rhizomes can also be stored in pits with saw dust, sand along with leaves of Strychnos nuxvomica (kanjiram). The pits are to be covered with wooden planks with one or two openings for aeration. The rhizomes are to be dipped in quinalphos 7.5ml in 10 litres of water solution for 15 minutes if scale infestations are observed and in mancozeb 35gm in 10 litres of water to avoid storage losses due to fungi.



1 Ferrous Sulphate - Dow Nutribuild Fe EDTA 6% (Chelate), Aries Chelater, Aries Agromin micro nutrient fertilizer, V Hume
2 Zinc Sulphate - Aires Chelamin plus nutrient, Aries Agromin micro nutrient fertilizer, CalRRhiza bio fertilizer
3 Borax - Aries Born - 20 nutrient
4 Weedicides - Ataraf, Weedmar 80, Metri herbicide, Machete, Round up,, Swat
5 Thrips - V Bind (Viricide)
6 Shoot borer - Malathion 50 % EC insecticide
7 Rhizome scale -FMC Furadan insecticide
8 Nematode - FMC Furadan insecticide
9 Rhizome rot - Blitox fungicide, V Kure
10 Leaf spot & Leaf blotch - UPL SAAF Fungicide, Indofil Sprint Fungicide, Blitox fungicide, V Kure

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