Gap filling

Successful initial establishment is an essential step in raising a good plantation of cardamom. On an average 5 per cent gaps are estimated in any cardamom plantation resulting in reduction of total production at the same rate. Use of healthy and disease-free seedlings or clumps for planting can reduce mortality of plants during establishment. It is quite possible that there can be a failure of monsoon during planting time. If the subsequent supporting rains are not received, the seedlings have to be irrigated at least once in a week. It is advisable to use healthy, sufficiently grown up seedlings or preferably clonal materials, for gap filling. The best time for gap filling is May—June, with commencement of monsoon. However, if proper care is given, it is possible to carry out gap filling in August—September also. Success of gap filling depends on aftercare till plants establish to the level of other plants. After planting, young plants should be kept on a regular schedule of cultural operations consisting of mulching, weed control, trashing, raking/digging, irrigation, shade regulation, manuring, filling up of gaps and plant protection measures for keeping the plants in a healthy and vigorous condition.

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