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Innovative Crops

Crop Name:  Lemon Grass

Soil:  

It can grow in wide variety of soils ranging from rich loamy to poor laterite. The sandy loam to loam soil with assured drainage facility and average soil fertility are considered ideal for its cultivation. Calcareous and water-logged soils should be avoided as they are unsuitable for cultivation.


Climate:  

It requires a warm humid climate with plenty of sunshine and rainfall ranging from about 200 to 250 cm well distributed over the year.


Land Preparation:  

Before planting, plough the land 2-3 times to bring the soil to fine tilth. FYM, full dose of phosphorus and potash are incorporated into the soil.


Sowing:  

Planting is done in the last week of June or in the first week of July. The slips plant at about half way down the slope of the ridges at a spacing of 45 x 45 cm accommodating 40,000 slips/ha.


Varieties:  

Some of the varieties developed in lemongrass are OD-19, Pragati, Cauvery, CKP-25, Krishna, Nima, CIM-Suwarna and CIM-Shikhar. OD-19 is the traditional variety. Pragati is the first improved variety. Krishna and Cauvery are suitable for south India with yield potential of 200-240 kg oil/ha/year. CKP-25 and nima are suited to north India with yield potentials of 300 and 240 kg oil/ha/year.


Irrigation::  

After planting, if there are no rains, the field should be irrigated at 10 days intervals.


Fertilizers:  

FYM : 10 t/ha, 150 kgs of Nitrogen, 40 kgs of phosphorus, 40 kgs of potash per hectare in a year. FYM, full dose of phosphorus and potash are incorporated in the soil as a basal dose. The nitrogen is applied in six equal split doses at two monthly intervals.


Disease Management:  

No serious diseases have been reported to attack this crop.


Pest Management:  

No serious pests have been reported to attack this crop.


Propagation Methods:  

Lemongrass is propagated by slips obtained from well grown clumps. The slips are prepared by clipping all the old roots and trimming the leaves.


Plantation Method:  


Intercultural Operations:  

Earthing up of plants after about four months and again after every harvest is beneficial.


Weeding:  

The field is kept free of weeds till a complete cover of the crop is obtained.


Harvesting:  

The crop is perennial in nature and can sustain for more than seven years. Harvesting is done by cutting the grass 10 cm above ground level. In the first year, only two cuts can be taken. Harvesting can be done 8 to 9 months after planting and 3 to 4 months after the first harvest. From second year onwards harvest can be taken three times per year at 3 to 4 months interval. The crop can be maintained economically for about five years and thereafter it has to be replanted.


Yield:  

A yield of about 25 tons of fresh grass/ha/year is considered normal under irrigated conditions. On an average, 200 – 250 kg oil/ha/year @ 0.8 – 1.0% oil content can be obtained.


Tips for Cultivation:  


Cultivation Procedure:  


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