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Cultivation of Tomato, Brinjal and Chilli

A) Climate & Soil :
Heavy rainfall and over irrigation is harmful to nightshade cultivation. They love well-drained soils like sandy soils. They are winter crops (20-25c) but grown in all seasons. Tomato loves slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.8).

B) Quantity of Seeds per acre : 
  1. Tomato – 200g 
  2. Brinjal - 200g 
  3. Chilli - 200g -400g 
Collect seeds from a farmer by checking his crop in last season. Don't collect seeds from virus affected crop.

C) Nursery: 
  1. A site should be selected where no nightshade plants are grown for last 3years. Where light sun appears to avoid the place where the heavy/bright sun appears. 
  2. 3feet * 9feet beds with good height (30cms) approx 10-15 beds need to ready by amending compost or powder manure with Neem cake. Beds should be the east-west direction. Sowing should be the North-south direction. 
  3. Note: Small beds are preferred instead of one large nursery bed in order to avoid waterlogging, prevention of spreading diseases and easy weeding. 
  4. Because of overwatering or over application of fym or compost diseases like root rot, fugal are spreading in a nursery. 6kg farmyard manure or 2kg compost is sufficient per bed. If it is clay/silt soil plough to fine tilth or adds 10kg sand per bed with compost. The aim is rooting need to penetrate easily and water logging should be avoided. 
  5. Draw 1cm depth lines with a stick from north to south and the 5cm gap between lines. 
  6. Broadcast treated seeds on those lines. 
  7. Check for seed treatment methods.
  8. Mix farm soil + sand + compost/fym (1:1:1) ration to cover the seeds or close the lines in the nursery bed. 
  9. Cover beds with mulch for 3-5days. Paddy straw, sugarcane leaves(summer) or plastic sheet(winter). Check every day and maintain moisture. 
  10. Remove mulch after 3-5days or plants emerging from the ground. 
  11. Thining needs to be done or plants need to be takeout where a bunch of plants emerged at the same place, weak/unhealthy plants. 
  12. Spray Neem solutions every week as to ward off pests. Be Ready with fungicides(raw cow milk, hing(Asafoetida) +buttermilk, copper vessel fermented curd, etc). Apply them when necessary. 
  13. Saplings will be ready to transplant after the first set of true leaves typically 30-45days 
  14. We need at least 20,000 Saplings per acre in the least case. 
  15. Stress need to apply by stopping water gradually. No irrigation for 3-5days before transplantation.this stress ensures to withstand transplantation shock. 
D) Land Preparation : 
  1. Land should be prepared simultaneously with the nursery. Green manure should be grown when cultivated with irrigation. 
  2. When cultivation under rainfed use FYM or Compost etc
  3. If trellis required, do arrangements. trellis constructed using copper wires counters pests. Before or after or anytime before flowering. 5-6 feet poles need to use with threads hanging and tied to every plant. Space between poles 7-10feet. 

E) Spacing 
  1. Normal density : 60cm * 60cm 
  2. Medium density : 60cm *45cm 
  3. High density : 45cm * 30cm 
  4. Ultra high : 30cm * 30cm 
Give more space in rainy season as growth is more vigorous in vegetable and less spacing in winter n summer. Due to cold in winter n high temperature in summer plant growth is less n flower n fruit drop happens this decrease yield so go for high density in winter n summer accordingly seed requirement go up in winter n summer crops.

F) Irrigation 
These plants don't like over irrigation. Overwatering, stagnation leads to several viral/fungal diseases

G) Intercrops 
  1. Brinjal: Beans, Marigold, Mint 
  2. Chilli: Beans, Okra, Basil, Sunflowers 
  3. Tomato: Cabbage, Sunflowers/marigold, Basil, coriander. 
**All 3 can intercrop in onion/garlic fields. 
**Brinjal and chilli can be transplanted into Red gram fields. 
** Choose Marigold as intercrop because they can transplant along with Tomato or Chilli or Brinjal.
**Brinjal has heavy nutrient requirement so transplant in red gram fields.

H) Best Cultivating Practices for Brinjal
  • Cow dung and poultry manure mixed in 1:1 ratio if applied to brinjal garden during land preparation, gives more yields. 
  • Growing castor in brinjal fields as border crop acts as a trap crop for insects. 
  • Growing onion/garlic as intercrop in brinjal helps to control many pests including fruit borers 
  • Cultivation of Sabbasige/Dill (Anethum Sowa) in Brinjal controls fruit borer in Brinjal. Sabbasige (Anethum Sowa) odour repels fruit borer 
  • Grinding 40 kg of Neem seeds and applying to one acre on 50 days old plants, help in obtaining higher yield. 
  • Neem cake 4 kgs (Powdered), and Aloe vera 4 Kgs (chopped and crushed finely) are soaked in 100 litres of water and the above mixture is stored in a container closed with a lid. After 10 days, the contents are filtered and sprayed to control thrips in one acre of brinjal. 
  • Ash and turmeric powder are mixed in 1:1 ratio and sprinkled to control aphids in the morning hours, when the dew moisture is there on the leaves. 
  • The sprinkling of lime powder helps to control mealy bugs. 
  • Cow urine, neem oil and tobacco decoction are mixed in 1:1:1 ratio in one litre of water and sprayed to control all sucking pests. 
  • Placing one spoon of neem cake at the root zone helps to control shoot borer and stem rot. 
  • Spray neem cake extract to control mites and the spotted beetle (Epilachana octopunctata) in brinjal 
  • Brinjal fruits are harvested for market before their stalks change from green to brown in colour 
  • For seed extraction in brinjal, medium sized fully ripened fruits which are bright yellow in colour are harvested. Then they are cut into 4-6 pieces and softened by soaking in water overnight. Next day, the seeds are removed and washed well with water. After washing add little quantity of wood ash. Dry it in the shade and preserve in a cloth/mud pot. 
  • Well matured and ripen brinjal fruits are cut with some portion of the stem. And cut the brinjal into 4 parts and tie it with the thread and hang it (8 to10 feet) above the chullah (chimney). Smoke from the chullah will help the seeds to dry naturally. Extracted seeds are mixed with wood ash and shade dried for 2-3 days and stored up to six months. 
  • Take ½ kg cakes of each(peanut, sesame, castor, neem etc) are soaked overnight in enough water to submerge them. (This quantity is sufficient for an area of 50 sq. meters). The soaked cake should be broadcasted and mixed well with the soil in the early morning. It gives a good yield and reduces the population of all major brinjal pests like root aphids, fruit and shoot borer, Epolaehna beetle and other major pests. 
  • 1 Kg of fresh custard apple leaves and 1 kg of neem cake soaked in 2.5 litres of cow’s urine overnight, then filtered. The filtered solution is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:3 and sprayed on foliage. It gives the effect of controlling the pests of the Brown hairy caterpillar. 
  • Take 1 kg of fresh custard apple leaves and ½ kg of Neem cake are soaked in 3 litres of cow’s urine overnight. The filtrate is diluted with 8 litres of water and sprayed. It effects against Epilachna beetle and controls Grub and adult.
I) Best Practices in Tomato. 
  • Application of tank/pond silt @ 25 t/ ha to irrigated tomato saves cost on plant protection and supplies micronutrients that build resistance to pests. 
  • Five ml of neem oil, in one litre of water, with one drop of soapnut liquid (which acts as an emulsifier), are mixed thoroughly and sprayed on the plants to control pests attack and also control flower droppings in tomato. 
  • Dissolve 500 gm wood ash and 500 gm cow dung in 10 litres of water and spray it to reduce flower dropping in tomato. 
  • Grow marigold as border crop in tomato fields to prevent fruit borer and leaf miner attack. 
  • Agriculture and weed waste materials are burnt near the fields along the wind direction, immediately after Sunset, to control many pests, an old practice by the farmers. 
  • To control most of the pests in tomato, 1½ kg. of pungam (Pongamia pinnata) leaves, 1½ kg of Nochi (Vitex negundo) leaves and one kg of neem leaves are cooked in a container for two hours from which decoction is prepared and dissolved in 20 litres of water and sprayed during evening hours for three or four times at monthly intervals. 
  • One kg of Asafoetida tied in a cloth is kept in irrigation channel to control fruit borer. It will be sufficient for one acre. 
  • Two kg of neem kernels is powdered and soaked in five litres of water for 10 days after which it is filtered, mixed with 50 litres of water and sprayed for one acre of tomato crop to control fruit borer, leaf miner and thrips. 
  • 250 gms of dried tobacco leaves are boiled in 4 litres of water for 30 minutes, allowed to cool, and filtered. The filtrate is diluted with an equal part of water and 30 gms of soapnut is added and sprayed. It effects on diamondback moth and all diamondback die within one day. It effects against aphids also. 
  • Dust wood ash on the crop in the morning hours to control aphids, thrips etc. 
J) Best Practices in Chillies
  • Application of 250 kg of Neem cake per acre results in higher yield. 
  • Growing castor as a border crop acts as a trap for tobacco cutworms. 
  • Pruning vegetative branches in chilli enhance plant life and yield and induce fruiting branches. 
  • Application of 100 kg of Groundnut cake per acre reduces the flower dropping. 
  • Asafoetida @ 1kg/ac powdered, tied in a cloth and placed in the irrigation channel will act as a pest repellant. 
  • Grow coriander as an intercrop or border crop to act as a repellent in controlling all sucking pests. 
  • Spray the leaf extract of Prosopis juliflora (5kg in 50 litres of water), two months after planting to control leaf spot, powdery mildew and fruit rot in chillies. 
  • Four Kg of Neem seeds powdered, placed in muslin cloth and tied are soaked in 10 litres of water for 24 hours; the content is filtered and 50 gm of soapnut powder is added to the filtered extract and diluted with 90 litres of water; and sprayed in the evening times to control many pests of chillies. 
  • Leaf extract of “Bilwapatra” (Aegle marmelos) is sprayed to control fruit rot in chillies. 
  • Red earth treatment to Chili – Retention of red colour – Acts as an insulator against temperature and sunlight. 
  • For thrips 5 litres cow urine+1/2 kg asafetida with 100 litres water mix well and spray for 1 Acre. 
Soap/bar/liquids are used to mix oil with water. You can replace with soapnut solution or egg etc. These act as emulsifiers 

Do we broadcast the pre-soaked caked on the soil? 
Cake dissolve in water completely Make solution to drench on soil or give spray 

What is the difference between neem cake and neem powder 
Pulp remained after oil extracted from Neem kernel. Neem powder is Neem leaf powder. Neem cake is not a fertiliser, some people mix it with soil or spray neem solution on the soil. It is for the purpose of Pesticide activity. 

Raising beds east West..seed sowing north-south? What it means?
*Redline east-west direction bed 
*Sowing in NS direction 

Seed savers register with CWF group. 
Small-scale saver like individuals 
For companies, large scale:

My Special thanks to Rohini Reddy Garu.


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