Do you know turmeric grown hydroponically can produce 100 acres yield in just 1 acre by growing vertically?
Many of us choose leafy greens in vertical farms because of easiness but if you live in tropical countries you have the benefit to grow turmeric hydroponically which is one of the best value-added crops.
Do you know? An Indian turmeric company that adopts Israeli technology and produces 800-1000metric tons in just 1acre!
But Still, many of us wonder if it’s also possible to grow super value-added crops vertically under a controlled environment. Hydroponic Turmeric and ginger is a game-changer for commercial growers and it is getting a lot of attention these days because of their value-added benefits!
Hydroponically grown Turmeric contains more than 5% curcumin whereas 2-3 % in the traditional growing method and contains 5% essential oils, these components are mainly responsible for the spicy taste and intense colour which makes great value addition!
Remember for commercial growers choosing the correct variety for growing turmeric is the most important decision because each variety has its own pros and cons like duration of maturity, curcumin content etc.
NOTE- You can also become a turmeric home grower by adopting methods given in this article, it is not only for commercial growers.
Why we should grow Turmeric Hydroponically-
- The usual traditional way produces about 1.2-1.5 kg turmeric or also known as rhizome per plant but hydroponically it produces 1.6-2kg per plant!
- Turmeric Requires a soft medium like cocopeat to grow.
- Can be grown in a controlled environment with zero pesticides usage.
- Takes lesser time to mature and harvest than the conventional method.
Characteristic of the Turmeric plant-
- Do you know the self-life of turmeric is 3 years!
- You can grow Turmeric in humid & diverse tropical conditions.
- It is a heat-loving perennial herb.
- The plant is 60–90 cm tall, with 7–12 elliptical leaves size 30–40 cm.
- It is suited in soilless media in a warm, humid controlled environment.
- Turmeric is more suitable for hydroponics because in the soil it is more susceptible to soilborne pathogens which affect the yield!
- The rhizomes grow horizontally.
- Both the leaves and rhizomes have their own applications.
How to grow turmeric hydroponically-
Note-Here Seed refers to the Mother Rhizome of the turmeric plant.
- It’s very easy to propagate you have to choose a seed i.e Mother rhizome with lots of little bumps on it & 2 or more eyes on it which you can buy from the market.
- Rhizomes are often at a dormant stage when buying from the market so it needs to be sprouted by soaking in water for 24hrs and maintaining warm conditions.
- Mother Rhizome should be cut and each should weigh 5-7 grams (5-15cm) long pieces.
- Mother rhizomes required for 1 acre depends on your growing method for grow bags approx 200kg and for vertical farming, it varies 1-5tons depending on your transplanting wastage.
- While planting eyes or buds of the rhizome should face up.
- You can construct layers of the metallic trough (for vertical farming) or grow bags(for home growers) filled with cocopeat+ 20% perlite or clay balls with 2ft wide 1ft height with any length you need according to your easiness and vertical spacing between troughs can be 1ft.
- The vertical structure should be strong and rigid to hold the weight of growing turmeric.
- For home growers watering twice a week according to your climate is enough and for commercial growers installing drip irrigation would be helpful, although cocopeat requires less water.
- If you are a home grower you can mix balanced NPK 1 teaspoon in 5L of R.O Water + micronutrients feed them alternate weekly basis & MAP 1 Teaspoon in 5L of R.O water and feed every week according to your moisture level or you can follow this article for more fertilizer recommendations and for commercial growers you can follow the nutrients table given below.
- If you want clear labelled images about sprouting turmeric you can follow this article.
Best Conditions to Grow Turmeric Hydroponically-
Amount of Light Required to grow turmeric hydroponically-
- Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR spectrum) of 400-700nm. LED Grow lights according to your easiness which we use for herbs or you can have a better idea by following this link.
- To induce rhizome production and prevent dormancy you can adjust light duration up to 11hrs.
Temperature Required to grow turmeric hydroponically-
- As turmeric is a Heat-loving plant you can maintain temperatures of between 80-90 °F(26-32 °C).
- While lower temperatures slow the growth.
- In countries like India May to June is the best time to sow & transplant turmeric.
Humidity Required to grow turmeric hydroponically-
- Turmeric performs well in a humid environment of 70-90%.
- You have to ensure high levels of humidity are maintained at all times to have good production.
- Low humidity will cause the lower/older leaves to develop slight tip burn.
EC&PH Required to grow turmeric hydroponically-
- You should maintain the EC range is 2.2-2.6.
- The pH range should also be kept at 5.7-5.8 for nutrient availability and uptake efficiency.
- It’s always better to use R.O Water in hydroponics for better nutrients mixability.
Nutrients required to grow turmeric hydroponically-
|NAME OF ELEMENT||PPM(Mg/L)|
|NITROGEN||170 to 180|
|PHOSPHORUS||110 to 120|
|POTASSIUM||200 to 240|
|NAME OF ELEMENT||PPM(Mg/L)|
- You should maintain a planting space of 30-35 cm for a better room for the growth of rhizomes.
- If you want to plant more you can plant in 2 rows Zig-Zag format.
How much time Hydroponic Turmeric takes to reach maturity-
- This is greatly determined by the variety you have grown but minimum it takes 7 months & maximum of 9 months.
- But growing hydroponically really takes lesser time.
- You will notice turmeric plants will develop foliage yellowing and dieback once the rhizomes are fully mature.
- You should allow it to dry down for a few days after maturity is seen.
- For better profit and yields you should High-yielding hybrid varieties.
- Freshly harvested turmeric contains 75% moisture so your actual yield will be 25%!
If you want to store them longer, they require air drying to cure the outside layers of the rhizome and then they should be covered and stored in refrigeration!
Pest Control for Hydroponic Turmeric
- You can follow Integrated pest management.
- Common pests that may be active during rhizome propagation are fungus gnats.
- Mature plants may be vulnerable to shoot borers, mites, thrips, and whiteflies attacks can be controlled by applying 0.5-1.0% neem oil (organic) every 14 days.
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