Yield of small cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum M) variety PV1 as influenced by levels of nutrients and neem cake under rain fed condition in southern western Ghats, India

Murugan, M.; Backiyarani, S.; Josephrajkumar, A.; Hiremath, M.B.; Shetty, P.K.

Caspian Journal of Environmental Sciences 5(1): 19-25


ISSN/ISBN: 1735-3033
Accession: 017718293

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This paper seeks to understand the influence of different levels of fertilizer nutrients on annual yield of cardamom in Cardamom Hill Reserves (CHR) under rain fed situation. Field experiment conducted at CRS, Pampadumpara during 1994-2002 on nutrient levels with sources revealed that increasing the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium had increased the yields of cardamom up to 125:125:200 kg ha-1. Application of fertilizer nutrients at the present level of recommendation (75:75:150 kg NPK ha-1 yr-1) in the form of urea, single super phosphate and muriate of potash along with 0.5 kg neem cake per plant had not increased the yield significantly over the control. Application of fertilizer nutrients at the rate of 125:125:200 kg ha-1 yr-1 in two splits (just before and after summer monsoon) increased the yield significantly under Pampadumpara rainfall climatology. Among N, P and K, it appears that K is the most important as indicated by a larger absolute value than that of N and P. Therefore application of fertilizer K is a must to increase the cardamom yield in CHR system. However, rainfall during summer months and number of rainy days had pronounced effect on the production of cardamom. Among rainy seasons (SWM, NEM and SR), SR played significant role in increasing the cardamom yield. Higher than the average SR (366 mm) followed by SWM (1162 mm) found to influence the yield significantly. The reason for the higher yield by summer rainfall could be due to increased growing season soil moisture which is essential for the growth and panicle initiation and subsequent development of flowers and capsule setting. The recent all India droughts have very little influence on the rainfall climatology of cardamom hill reserves during the period of South West monsoon and therefore the yield was not affected by all India droughts but the summer months' rainfall and its distribution.