Marigold Farming Guide
Introduction of Marigold: – No Indian needs to be introduced to this flower. Marigold is one of the famous flowers belongs to “compositae” family and cultivated throughout India all around the year. These flowers are used for many purposes like, religious/spiritual, party/functions and most of the festivals. Marigold flowers are available in attractive shapes and colours and sizes. Hence they are perfect for any garden decoration or making garlands. Due to short cropping period and low investment and care made this flower to become popular among flower growers. The demand for Marigold flowers at the time Dashara and Diwali and Ugadi festivals is very high. Hence retail market price may reach up to 100 to 150 rupees/kg of marigold flowers.
Climate Required for Marigold Farming:- Marigold flowers thrives best in hot and dry as well as humid weather conditions. They grow best throughout the year under both tropical and subtropical conditions, but require mild climatic conditions for best growth and flowering. The ideal temperature for optimal growth is 15 °C – 29 °C. Very hot climate may impact the flowering growth.
Soil Requirement in Marigold Farming:- This flower grows on wide range of soils. However, fertile sandy loam soils with good internal drainage is best suitable for marigold cultivation. Acidic and Saline soils are not suitable and the soil pH range should be 6.5 to 7.5.
Land Preparation in Marigold Farming:- Plough the field with tractor or desi country plough till fine tilth of the soil is achieved.
Seed Rate in Marigold Farming:– An average seed rate in marigold cultivation is 1.5 to 2 kg/ha.
Propagation in Marigold Farming:- Propagation in marigold farming is done by seeds.
Seed Sowing and Transplantation in Marigold Farming:- Before sowing, seeds should be treated with “Azospirillum” of 200 grams in 50 ml of rice gruel. Seeds are sown all-around the year and for raising seedlings, seeds should be broadcasted on the raised bed during May – June months. These sowed beds should be watered frequently, after 1 month of sowing or when the plant reaches about 15 cm height, these can be transplanted in the main field on one side of ridge at 45 cm x 35 cm spacing.
Manures and Fertilizers in Marigold Farming:- This depends on the fertility of soil. In case of nutrient deficiencies in soils, during last ploughing, add 25 tones of Farm Yard Manure (F.M.Y) per hectare at the time of land preparation. Apply these in organic fertilizers Nitrogen = 25 to 30 Kg/ha, Phosphorus = 25 to 30 kg/ha, Potash = 25 to 30 kg/ha.
Irrigation in Marigold Farming:- As this crop requires constant moisture in the soil from bud formation to harvesting of flowers, Irrigation should be given once in a week or as and when needed. Irrigation should be given immediately after planting in the field and life irrigation is recommended on 3rd or 4th day after planting..This crop is sensitive to water logging. Hence this should be avoided and should maintain well internal drainage especially in rainy season.
Weed Control in Marigold Farming:- Weeding should be carried out as and when needed and hand weeding will be fine.
Pinching in Marigold Farming:- Usually, Pinching practice results in high yield of flowers. Earthling should be done after 20 days after transplanting, after 1 week of earthling up, pinching should be followed for bushy growth of the marigold plant and development of lateral branches of the plant.
Pests and Diseases in Marigold Farming:-
- Thrips and Caterpillar: To control these spray 0.1 % of Nuvacron.
- Mealy bug: To control this bug, Spray dimethoate (or) prophenophos @ 2 ml/litre of water.
- Root rot: To control this, drench 1 gram/lit of Bavisitin.
- Spider: To control this, spray Kelthane 1 ml/lit of water.
- Black spot, leaf spot: To control these pests apply 0.2 % of Dithane M 45.
Crop duration in Marigold Farming:- The Marigold crop duration is about 4 months to 5 months.
Harvesting of Marigold:- Normally Marigold flowers can be picked up once in 3 days after 60 days of planting.
- French marigold starts flowering in 45 days after transplanting seedlings.
- African marigold starts flowering in 60 days after transplanting of seedlings.
Yield of Marigold:– Yield depends on the soil type, farm management practices and variety of seed cultivated. The average yield is about “6 to 10” tonnes/ha or “90 to 140” quintal flowers/ha.
Bottom Line of Marigold Cultivation:- Marigold cultivation is profitable farming with low investment and minimal care.