Beetroot can be grown in Kerala by sowing seeds suitable for climate
Thrissur: The centre for high-tech horticulture and precision farming under the Kerala Agricultural University in Mannuthy has proved that beetroot can be successfully cultivated in Kerala if seeds suitable for the climate are chosen.
Eleven varieties of beetroot seeds collected from private agencies were sowed. Apart from choosing the seed, the time of starting the cultivation also is important, said Dr C Narayanankutty, nodal officer in the centre for high-tech horticulture and precision farming.
Beetroot is a winter vegetable that can be harvested within 70-75 days of planting. Night temperature is more important for this crop. So, it is ideal to start farming in the beginning of December. Also, harvest should be completed by the middle of February.
Beetroot cultivation started at the centre for high-tech horticulture and precision farming in December. When the harvest started the other day beetroots weighing upto one kilogram were collected from a single plant.
Experiments with 12 varieties of carrot and 7 varieties of Palak spinach also were successful. These three crops are propagated using seeds. However, production of seeds is not possible in the climate of Kerala.
The research centre intends to develop seeds that are suitable for the climate here and share the knowledge with farmers. They are also producing seeds and saplings of vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and tomato.