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Gram crop, information, requirements, and detailed process of cultivation

The best time to sow gram seeds in the plain region is October to December in loamy soil. People believe that a proper yield of Gram crops can harvest only in the Rabi crop season. Despite this, it can sow in Kharif season somewhere. 

Sowing in Rabi season, Gram crop can harvest in April to starting the week of May.

Gram crop production 

With more than 90% of the portion of the entire plant, gram is a green plant with a bunch of very small leaves. These green leaves smell a bit minty and fresh. 

These leaves grow until green chickpeas khol doesn't appear.  Later, small gram peas start to fill these hollow khols. This is the first appearance of green gram in gram crop cultivation.

Gram crop cultivation

These green grams are very soft and easy to pinch. Within a month, these green grams peas become darkish brown with the last harvesting of the green portion of a gram. 

By drying these green grams, they become ready to go to the market.

Requirements for Gram crop cultivation 

  • Climate conditions required for Gram cultivation

Because Gram is a Rabi season crop, its cultivation doesn't depend on the hot weather conditions. As usual with other Gram crops, Gram cultivation starts just after the Rainy season. Rain provides enough moisture in the soil to grow Gram plants. 

If Gram cultivation is going in the offseason of Rabi, then first need of enough moisture in the soil. 

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  • Temperature and humidity

At the end of the Rainy season, the temperature starts to reduce by 5 degrees Celcius. Around 25 degrees Celcius temperature for  Gram crop is necessary at the time of sowing. Later it can reduce to 10 degrees Celcius till the mid-period of growing crops. 

At the time of harvesting, the temperature must be around 18 to 23 degrees Celcius again. 

During the sowing of Gram seeds, a average percentage of moisture is required in the air that's why moderate humidity of 40% is enough during sowing of Gram seeds. 

At the time of harvesting, humidity must be around 30% to 35% according to moisture requirement. 

  • Soil type for Gram cultivation

Loamy soil is best for Gram cultivation. It contains all the necessary elements which are very helpful for the better growth of plants. 

This kind of soil can hold moisture for a long time. So the basic requirement of the Gram plant get enough moisture at the time of sowing and throughout the cultivation. 

Soil moisture should be around 50% to 65% throughout the cultivation or a bit more or less during sowing and harvesting respectively. 

Process of gram crop cultivation

Gram seeds sowing

Gram seeds sowing is similar to other Rabi crop seeds sowing cultivation. 

However, the sowing method of every seed is similar to others. Before sowing the Gram seeds, their treatment is necessary or soaking in water for at least 4 to 5 hours. 

Gram seeds varieties in India

There are more than 20 varieties of Gram in India. In general, following are some popular Gram seeds varieties in India-

  • Pusa 256
  • Phule G 5
  • Pusa 267 (Kabuli)
  • H 82-2 (Haryana chana-1)
  • GL 83119 (PBG-1)
  • Pusa 261
  • Pusa 244
  • Pusa 417
  • JG 315
  • RSG 44
  • Pusa 408
  • GNG 146
  • RSG 2
  • Pusa 413
  • Pusa 240

Preparation of land/soil

Plow the soil with ordinary. Mix the organic/vermi compost in the soil and add irrigation water to it to maintain the moisture before sowing the seeds before cultivation. Soil becomes ready for cultivation after irrigation. 

A better way to sow seeds is by making hedges of soil. A single Gram plant covers a 10x10 cm square area till it's harvested. 

  • The Line to line distance of Gram plants

The line-to-line distance must be 8 to 10 cm. These lines of plants become comfortable if they sow in hedges. 

  • Plant to plant distance of Gram plants

The plant-to-plant distance must be the same as 8 to 10 cm. 

Gram soaked seed sprout

Gram seeds keep in freshwater till they get to sprout. This sprout becomes ready after 6 to 8 hours in water or overnight. 

Most people spread the sprouted seeds in the soil and cover them later. But the most reliable method is to pinch them in soil from 1 to 1.5 inches and cover them with well-mixed compost soil.   

Gram crop irrigation

  • First irrigation- on 15th to 20th day of sowing
  • Second irrigation- 40th day of sowing 
  • Later irrigation duration- 65th day of sowing

Later days of Gram crop come in the spring season. In that season there is no general amount of irrigation water is required.  So often in 30 to 35 days period, less volume of water can provide to plants. 

Weeding of spontaneous plants

One of the major advantages of small green Gram plants is that they don't have enough space to let the huge spontaneous plants grow between plants' space. 

Despite if they appear in between plants, it is not easy to separate them if the cultivation area is so big(more than half an acre). 

People use pesticides but they stop the growth of the plant with spontaneous plants.

Because of very small spacing, only man labor can separate them easily and gently. 

First weed- After the first irrigation, spontaneous plants appear in 10 days with Gram plants. Just after this period of irrigation, spontaneous plants start to disturb the Gram plant growth. In this meantime, the first weeding of such spontaneous plants is required and necessary. It is better to clean such plants on the 30th to 32nd day from sowing. 

Second weeding- From the last moisture of first irrigation, spontaneous plants appear continuously because of ideal climate conditions. 

So the second weeding is required on the 45th to the 50th day from sowing.

Third weeding- Next time to clean the unnecessary plants is the 75th day of sowing. This is the last time when you need proper labor work to clean your lands from spontaneous plants. 

From the next time, a continuation of spontaneous plants doesn't get space because of the development and growth of Gram. 

Despite if unnecessary plants still appear, there will be no requirement of labor for weeding on the same scale as you did last three times.  

Weeding in spring season- In spring, most of the plants get appear so that spontaneous plants get one last advantage to grow. They grow faster than ever in spring and disturb the growth of the plant. 

So it is necessary to clean such plants with proper labor work with agentle way of separation. 

Spring season weeding is most necessary among all the weeding of Gram crop cultivation. 

Harvesting of Gram yield

At the end of the Rabi season, the Gram crop becomes ready to harvest from the month of April to starting of May.  Green plants become brown and dry with their solid shells. Every shell contains a small Gram Chickpea. 

These Black gram chickpeas become ready to separate when they are about to fall from the dry plant by their selves.

During harvesting, the dry Gram plants cut from the stem and collect in bunches like other Rabi crops. 

Separation of Black gram from the dry plants

Collected bunches of dry Gram plants contains the actual black gram chickpeas. There are two general methods to separate them from plants-

Smashing method

In this method, 30 to 50 plants keep together or bundled with a thread. This bundle smashes on a solid surface until the Gram chickpeas separate from the plants. 

Pulling method

This method asks too much time in limited resources. One by one every single chickpea separates from the dry plant by pulling from hands. 

It takes almost double the time from the smashing method of separation. 

Filteration of Gram

Just after the separation of Gram from the plants, their filtration is required from the dry leaves and dry portion of the plant. 

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