Farm Operations for December

::Ornamentals::

Annuals: The borders and beds intended to be used for summer flowering annuals should be cleaned and prepared for the purpose. As soon as the summer flower seedlings e.g. cosmos, gaillaridia, comphetrena, cochia, zinnia, etc. are ready, they may be transplanted in the above noted well prepared beds. Transplanting work may preferably be carried out in the evening followed by water.

Seed should be collected from the already selected winter flowering annuals. After proper drying and cleaning, the same may be stored for the next season.

Permanent plants

Pruning and training of permanent trees, shrubs and creepers, if found, may be carried out wherever required, liberal quantity of manure may be spread around the plants and mixed well in the soil. Keep irrigating these plants regularly. Do not allow the weeds to grow around them.

Cannas will be at their best and should now be selected for propagation purpose. If the cuttings of shrubs are not sown so far, the same be sown early this month.

Chrysanthemum: In the case of large-flowered chrysanthemum, encourage the growth in beds by regular watering. In pots, limit the watering to check the growth. In the case of small-flowered chrysanthemum. branching may be encouraged by pinching back to 10 cm from the ground.

Roses: Major flowering of the rose will be over in this month. Keep removing the faded flowers and suckers from the root stock. Timely watering, weeding and hoeing will keep the plants in good conditions.

Lawns: For having lush green lawns, their timely watering and frequent mowing is very important. Irrigation of lawns through sprinklers is the best for getting excellent results. If the growth of the grass is poor, a light dose of nitrogenous fertiliser may be given.

Pot plants: Foliage plants in pots will have resumed activity. The delicate ones should be moved away from the positions exposed to the direct sun.

Bulbous plants: The bulbs of "nargis" and "gladiolie" which have become dormant and their leaves are dried up, the same may be taken out from the soil, cleaned, treated with some fungicide, dry them and then store in some cool dry place. The bulbs of calediums and "football lilly" may be planted, if not planted last month.

Horticultural operations

  It is the month marked with a lot of change in weather. The temperature rises rapidly and humidity gets low. The growers are advised to adopt the measures to save their valuable fruit trees from drought, windstorm and sun injury. Whitewash the trunk, provide shelter to young trees and give frequent irrigation.

The heavy bearing cultivars of peaches like Shan-e-Punjab and of plum like Kala Amritsari and Sutlej Purple normally need thinning in early days of the month to minimise the danger of limbbreakage and to improve the marketable size and quality of the fruits.

Apply second dose of inorganic fertilisers to the fruit trees of citrus, pear litchi, plum, grapes etc.

The stock sprouts emerging from the newly planted fruits below the bud union should be removed/pinched off regularly.

In young orchards sathi moong can be sown in the last week of April.

To check pathological fruit drop in citrus give one spray of 2: 2:250 Bordeaux mixture during the month.

To check zinc deficiency in citrus, spray the affected trees with 0.3% zinc sulphate solution, without addition of lime, to spring flush in April.

In order to get only winter seasons guava crop, spray urea 10% during April-May when maximum flowers have opened. also withhold irrigation during this period.

Spray 625 ml of Nuvacron 36 SL (monocrotophos) or 670 ml of Rogor 30 EC (dimethoate) in 500 litres of water on citrus crop to control citrus psylla.

To check insect-pests and diseases in grapes, spray 500 ml Nuvacron, Bavistan 400 litres of water for controlling anthracnose and belytan 40 g in 100 litres of water for the control of powdery mildew and Bavistin @ 400 g/400 litres of water for controlling anthracnose.

In ber, spray 250 ml of Rogor or 100 ml dimecron in 250 litres of water for the control of lac insect.

To check peach leaf curl causing aphids early in the month. Spray 500 ml rogor in 500 litres of water.

Fodders

  For early kharif fodders, sowing of bajra, maize, cowpea, etc may be carried out after harvesting of rabi crops. Cowpea is a very quick growing leguminous fodder which can be sown in mixture with maize or bajra.

Berseem crop for seed production should be frequently irrigated. Kashni and other weeds should be rogued out of the crop meant for seed production.

Gram catterpillar attacks the berseem crop for seed. Spray 500 ml of Thiodon 35 EC in 100 litres of water/acre at the irrigation of flowers. Repeat after 10 days, if necessary.

Stop irrigation to lucerne after full blossoming to arrest further vegetative growth for better seed production.

Cultivate perennial fodder on some area. For this purpose, guinea grass and napier bajra can be sown in April.

Culled from Progressive Farming
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