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Package of Practices for Cultivation of Mentha




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    Local Name            :         Pudina 
    Botanical Name      :         Mentha arvensis, Mentha citrita 
    Family                    :         Labiatae

    Cultivation of Mentha:

    Soils:

    Deep soils, loam to sandy loam well drained, well aerated and loose textured soil. Clay soils are not suitable.

    Climate:

    Temperate climatic condition, Tropical climate is not suitable, plentiful rainfall during growth and good sunshine during harvest is best suitable during crop growth.

    Tillage:

    Bring the soil to fine tilth by ploughing and 2 cross harrowing. FYM 50 cart loads of compost per hectare while preparing the land.

    Propagation: Suckers, (runners or Rhizomes).

    Planting Season: Jan, Feb in Tarsi areas or before the start of rainy season

    Planting:

    Approximately 500 kg suckers are required to plant one ha area. Suckers should be set in furrows 5-1 cm deep with a spacing of 60-75. Plant the suckers end to end. Cut the suckers into 10-12 cm length before sowing. Plants should be spaced 30 cm apart in rows 60 cm apart.

    Inter-culture:

    In order to keep the top soil loose for better penetration of water, air, sun light and weed free Mentha needs frequent inter culturing weeding and hoeing.

    Irrigation:

    Mentha crop requires considerable moisture well distributed through out the entire growing season. As roots do not penetrate deep in the soil, light and frequent irrigations are recommended. During summer irrigate the crop weekly.

    Fertilizers:

    50 kg N + 75 kg P205 + 37 kg K20 per hectare is given as basal dose and 75 kg of N per hectare as top dressing in three equal doses should be applied.

    Harvesting:

    Normally 2-3 times in a year (120 days) 
    1. First crop should be harvested before the onset on monsoon (May-June).
    2. Second harvesting well after monsoon is oyer (September – October). 
    3. Third harvesting (November – December)

    Yield:

    Approximately 150 kg of Oil per hectare during the first year and subsequently 200 – 250 kg per hectare can be obtained under good management.

    Spent Grass:

    The material left after distillation of oil is called spent grass. It can be used for mulching or as manure in Citronella fields. It can also be used for making paper and paper boards.

    Packing of Oil: Citronella oil must be packed in air tight containers of glass, tin or aluminum.

    Storage of Oil: Containers are stored in a cool place away from light. Oil changes its colour from yellow to green if exposed to light.

    Important Constituents of Oil:

    Citronellal                               : 30 – 35%
    Geraniol                                  : 12 – 18% 
    Geranyl acetate                       : 3 – 8%

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