Lemon grass planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of Lemongrass is Cymbopogon flexuosus;  it's an aromatic plant and belongs to the Graminae group of plants

Varieties: OD-19, OD-408, RRL-39, Pragathi, Praman, CKP-25, Krishna and Cauvery.

Soil and climate: Sandy loam with abundant organic matter and pH of 6.0. It comes up well under tropical and sub-tropical conditions with a high rainfall (200 - 250 cm) and humidity.

Seeds and planting: 55,600 slips/ha at a spacing of 60 x 30 cm in ridges. Can also be propagated through seeds at 4 kg/ha. Seedlings are to be raised and transplanted during June - July.

Manuring: Apply FYM or compost at 20 - 25 t/ha as basal. Apply 50 kg N/ha annually, half at planting and half one month after planting. From the second year onwards, first dose of fertilizer should be applied after cutting and again one month after the first dose.

Irrigation: Life irrigation on third day and further irrigation at 7 - 15 days interval.

Aftercultivation: Hand hoeing and weeding as and when required.

Plant protection against Pests and diseases
In general, pests and diseases may not affect the plant. If there is any sucking pest spray methyl demeton 25 EC or dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/lit. For caterpillars, spray phosalone 35 EC or monocrotophos 36 EC 2 ml/lit.

Harvest: Harvest the leaves first at 90 days after planting and thereafter 75 - 90 days interval.
Cut the bush by leaving 10 - 15 cm above the ground level. Oil is extracted either by water or steam distillation method. Oil recovery 0.2 - 0.3 %.

Herbage : 20 - 30 t/ha.
First year : 25 kg/ha.
Second year onwards : 80 - 100 kg/ha.

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