Calender of operations as applicable to the regions of kerala and Tamilnadu

1 2 3
June Filling up of pits if summer showers have been delayed , planting shadetrees if shade is not adequateb

First Round weeding and trashing continuedthrips control manuring.


July Planting seedings uprooted from thsecondary nursery and stocking them. Mulching the base, First round seeding. Filling-up of gaps
August Weeding, Planting shade trees Second round weeding. Thrips control- starting
September No work First round harvesting. Second roundShade regulation.
October Second round seeding

Second round harvest. Thirps control. Fork digging continued.

Forming basins around one year old plants to prevent soil wash. Manuring.

November No work Third round harvest
December No work Fourth round harvesting. Thirps Control. Third round weeding.
January Third round weeding Fifth round harvesting
February Clearing forest undergrowth

Thrips control. Clearing drainage channels. Last round harvesting. Destruction of Katte affected plants.

March Line marking and pegging for digging pits. Thrips control. Storing of firewood for cardamom curing.
April Taking pits Thrips control


Filling up pits with the fertile surface soil after a few summer showers

First round weeding. Thrips control. Manuring after rains.

Area and Production in India(2000-01)

State        Area    Prodouction  Yield
Kerala        99504   7580     103
Karnataka        62532         2100          45
Tamil Nadu      12254  800    90 
Total  174290 10480         ----- 

     Yield *Cumulative Av.80 kgs./acre *Country Av.60kgs/acre                                                                   

 *Estimated By SpicesBoard 

 *Modified by Swami Vivekananda Commercial Network       

(Area in acres,Prod. in Metric tonnes ,Yield in Kg/acre) 

cultivation is confined mainly to the Western Ghats of Kerala, Karnataka, and TamilNadu. Production in 1999 - 2000 was 9330 tones as compared to about 7170 tonnes in 1998/99. India has been an exporter of cardamom, but today less than four percent of its total output is exported as compared to Gautemala's 100 percent. The competition from Gautemala in recent years poses a major threat to Indian cardamom in the internatinal market. "Our average yeild is 60 kgs/acre. It iw very low compared to that of Gautemala which averages more than 147 kgs/acre. Our job is to establish standardised agricultural practises as well as to introduce cultivar varieties which will be able to give a productivity of 200-250 a hectare. Cardamom fetches a higher price in the domestic marke. By increasing the yield, we hope to lower the price and increase the consumption of cardamom in the domestic market, while at the same time increase our competitiveness in the export market. Only by offering cardamom of higher quality at competitive prices wil we be able to compete effectively with Gautemala. Basic research efforts made so far has resulted inthe release of five varieties of cardamom. A few more varieties are inthe final stages of release. Even though these selections have yield potential of above 1500 kg /ha. The productivity is found to be in the vicinity of 275-375 kg/ha.(1ha=2.41acre)

The sailent findings of research carried out on cardamom at the Regional Research Station,  Mudigere during the last three decades ( 1958 to 1988) are summarised as under:

A. Crop Improvement

1. A Malabar prostrate clonal selection with an average dry capsule yield of 250 to 300 kg per hectare has been released as "Mudigere-1' for cultivation in the state during 1984.

2. Clonal selections CL - 683 , CL-679 , and CL-726 found superior in yield than Mudigere -1 are under farm table.

3. P-6 having recorded higher dry matter accumulation and leaf area index consistently over years, is found promising as a drought tolerant clone.

4. Studies on variability have indicated that nearly 44% of clumps in a population are normally poor yielders (less than 100 g of green capsules clump) contributing to only 14.5 % of the total yield. Hence, systematic replantanting of such plants with high yielding clones would help in increasing the productivity of the plantation.

5. Similarly, as nearly 5% of the plants only in a population are found to be very high yielders ( 500 to 900 g of green capsules / clump contributing to 15% of the total yield), selection of such clones for mass - multiplication and planting is desirable.

6. Among the several clones studied , clone Mudigere -1 exhibited relatively low genetic variability hence seeding progenies of this clone could still be used when clonal material is not available for large scale planting.

B. Crop Management

1. Viability of cardamom seeds being very low, sowing soon after the harvest (during September - October) was found to be the best.

2.Scarification of seeds fro ten minutes with 25 percent nitric acid followed by Bavistin + Captan seed treatment ( 4 g / kg of seed ) was found to increase germination and protect seeding from " seed rot" and ' damping off' diseases.

3.In the event of sowing seeds very late in the season (Nov-Dec) covering the nursery beds with polythene sheets soon after sowing was found to enhance seed germination by nearly 30 percent.

4.of the various mulches tried for covering seed beds, paddy straw was found to be the best and most economical.

5.Studies to find out the optimum age of seeding for planting have indicated the superiority of two - year old seedlings in getting early and high yields.

6. In view of the change in rainfall pattern in recent years, planting of cardamom even early in the season ( June- July) was found suitable and desirable in the season for early establishment and growth ) as against earlier recommendation of plating only after middle of August.

7. A spacing of 1.8 m x 1.8 m ( 3025 plants / ha) was found to be optimum for cardamom.

8. Studies with high density planting with a spacing of 1.8 x 0.9 m (6170 plants / ha ) indicated early and high yields in the initial 3 to 4 years. However, removal of alternate plants after 5 to 6 years was found inevitable for facilitating easy cultural operations.

9. Deficiency symptoms of N , P, K, Ca and Mg have been developed and were found to be expressed when their contents in leaf were 0.84, 0.32, 2.16, 0.65 and 0.11 percent respectively.

10.Nutrient uptake studies in cardamom have indicated the uptake of N, P, K , Ca and Mg to be in the ration of 6:12:3:0:8 respectively.

11.For rapid multiplication of suckers, application of 32.5 g of N, 25 g of P2 O5 and 50 g of K2O plant was found desirable.

12.. A fertilizer dose of 37.5:37.5:75 kg of NPK/ha for one year old crop during September and 75:75:150 kg of NPK/ha from second year onwards in two - split doses( during May and September) were found to be optimum.

13.Soils of the region being acidic in nature , application of time was found to be beneficial .

11.Comprehensive Studies on shade in relation to cardamom productivity have revealed that one third of the sunlight in the form of filtered light was found to be optimum for growth and production of cardamom.

12.The combined effect of irrigation at 75% available soil moisture and higher light intensity ( 65 to 70%) resulted in substantial increase in yield.

13.Among the Several mulches tried, in the main field , leaf mulch was found to be the best for growth and conserving soil moisture.

14. Application of Ethrel at 250 ppm under higher light intensity ( 15 k.lux) gave highest number (50) of suckers as against 25 suckers in control ( without growth regulator) with normal light intensity ( 5 k.lux).

15. Spraying 25 ppm 2,4 - D twice at monthly intervals soon after fruit set ( June- July ) was found to minimize fruit drop in cardamom

C.Crop Protection

1. Thrashing the clumps off old peels, leaves and suckers during May-June, spraying with Nuvacron ( June - July ) 35 % E.C., 1.25 ml/litre up to 1.5. m plant height followed with another spray with zolone 25% E.C., 2 ml/ litre 30 to 40 days later and removal of borer affected suckers leaving 2" from the ground, were found effective in suppressing both thrips and borers - the major pests of cardamom.

2. Studies have indicated that an increase in yield up to nine per cent could be obtained by keeping two to three bee boxes/ ha of cardamom.

3.Root grubs ( Basilepta sp. ) infestation in nursery could be affectively checked by incorporating 3% G Furadan @ 6 to 8 kg / acre.

4. Damage by rodents and birds could be considerably minimized by adopting trapping, clean culture, timely harvests and by baiting with Bromodiolone (0.005%) or Rodafarin Cake.

5.Dithane M- 45 ( 0.25%) + Ridomil (0.1 % ) were found to be the most effective fungicides for controlling damping off and leaf spot diseases in cardamom nursery

6 . Clump rot disease could be effectively checked by drenching the affected and neighboring clumps with 1% Bordeaux mixture once before the onset of monsoon( June) and again after the end of monsoon( August).

7. Katte disease spread was found to be effectively checked by removing affected clumps, old and decayed suckers and plant parts by regular surveys and by avoiding planting of clones from affected gardens.

8. Studies have indicated that aphids could acquire and transmit virus from the infected leaves only when moisture level was up 45.

9. To avoid further spread of the disease, eradication of katte affected plants have to be done before thrashing     operation( May).