Seed related techniques such as right time of sowing seeds, seed selection and appropriate seed treatment methods are described by Dr Ranganathan, Professor of Agriculture, Gandhi Gram Rural University, Dindigul district.
Month of Aadi (July-August) is the best season for agriculture and the climatic condition during the month is conducive for crops. Astronomically the sun will begin to travel from north to south and it is termed ‘Dhakshnayana time’. The power of the sun rays during the period is suitable for agriculture.
Generally, based on the nature of soil, it is called ‘Mundhu mann’ and ‘Pindhu mann’ (soil prior and after respectively). Red soils are ‘Mundhu mann’ and Black soils are ‘Pindhu mann’. Traditionally, this denotes that red soils can be sown during Aadi and black soils can be sown during Purattasi (Sep-Oct). With regard to Aadi season, rainfed crops like groundnut, and pulses such as tur, green and black grams, cereals like millets, corn and maize can be grown. All types of vegetables and creepers and climbers like bitter gourd, ridge gourd, snake gourd, pumpkin, bottle gourd can be planted.
Quality seed selection techniques
Seeds of cereals can be immersed in 1% saline solution, 1 kg of salt in 100 litres of water. While quality and robust seeds settle down the bottom, useless ones will float, which can be removed. Then the good seeds can be washed and sown. With regard to seeds of vegetables, they are very small in size. Hence it is better to but the seeds with a certificate of quality to ensure good quality. Most of the farmers, at present, do not buy seeds and raise seedlings. They procure seedlings from nurseries who sell those seedlings.
Generally, it is recommended to treat the seeds before sowing. By treating the seeds, diseases in root rot can be avoided. To treat the seeds of cereals, to one litre of rice gruel add 20 grams of Azospirillum. Soak the seeds for sometime and then shadow dry the seeds before sowing. For the seeds of groundnut, black and green grams, soak the seeds in lukewarm rice gruel with Azospirillum (20 gram in one litre of gruel) and then sow them. Besides, seeds can be treated with Panchkaavya and Bijamirtham as well. The seedlings of vegetables can be soaked in Panchkaavya and Bijamirtham, up till the roots and then can be planted.
Points to consider
When the seeds are sown, underground crops can be sown during descending days and crops that grow over the ground during ascending days.
After sowing, maintain the crop numbers meticulously, removing excess crops.
Generally, second day after raining, the land will be coarse with adequate moisture content. Those who opt for rainfed crops should plough the land and sow the seeds.
Those who opt minor rainfed crops can sow pulses such as tur, beans and flat bean along the bunds.
Those who grow vegetables like brinjal can grow cotton crops sporadically so that the seed worms that affect brinjal will get diverted to cotton, thereby brinjal plants get protected.
In the fields where vegetables are grown, crops like marigold, sun flower and castor can be grown to avoid pestilence.
(This article written in Tamil by R Kumaresan for Pasumai Vikatan in July 2016 has been reproduced in English by V Amalan Stamley)