Advisory ArticleApni Kheti
Cultivation Practices of Ashwagandha: Medicinal Plant (Part-1)
Ashwagandha is also known as a wonder herb as it has various medicinal properties. It is called "Ashwagandha" as it smells like a horse in its origins and vitalizes the body. Its seeds, root and leaves are used to prepare multiple drugs. Drugs prepared from Ashwagandha are used as stress relievers to treat senile dysfunction also used to manage anxiety, depression, phobia, schizophrenia, etc. It is a branching shrub with an average height of 30 cm-120 cm with fleshy, whitish brown roots. Its flowers are greenish in colour with orange-red berries. This is mainly cultivated in several parts of India, such as Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
Ashwagandha provides the best result when cultivated in sandy loam or mild red soil with decent drainage ranging from 7.5 to 8.0. Its growth in soil that maintains moisture and stays waterlogged is impractical. The soil should be loose, deep and well-drained. Black or heavy soils with excellent drainage are also appropriate for its cultivation.
Ashwagandha planting needs well-pulverized and levelled soil. For good tilth, plough field 2-3 times and ploughing or harrowing should be performed before rains and then the manure of the farmyard should be applied. The land is prepared in April-May month.
In the month of June-July, prepare nursery for Ashwagandha cultivation.
Use spacing from 20 to 25 cm line to line length 10 cm plant to plant distance, depending on the development habit and germination proportion.
Usually the seeds should be sown about 1 to 3 cm deep.
Method of transplanting seedlings is used in the main field.
Use seed rates of 4-5 kg per acre for excellent varieties.
To safeguard crops from seed borne disease and pest, treat with Thiram or Dithane M-45 (Indofil M-45) @3gms/kg of seeds before sowing. The seeds are then air-dried after treatment and then used for sowing.
Source: Apni Kheti
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