PECULIARITIES OF CULTIVATION OF THE AMARANTH AND THE FIGHT AGAINST DISEASE: FOREIGN EXPERIENCE

Автор - | 05.03.2019

Today we will talk about how amaranth is grown abroad and fight against certain types of pests, certain diseases.

To do this, we will operate with data presented in two editions – the book by T. Seymour, dedicated to plants, as well as the book by M Lauks “Amaranth”, published by the organization Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

Under the name amaranth, about 70 species of annual or short-lived perennial plants in the genus Amaranthus are combined, including the red and yellow pigment Amaranthus retroflexus (horned root).

Amaranths are branching broad-leaved plants with ovoid or rhombic leaves that can be smooth or covered with tiny hairs.

The leaves have certain veins, can be green or red and have long petioles. On plants – single flowers on terminal spikes, which are usually either red or purple.

Amaranths can reach heights of up to 2.5 meters and are usually grown as annuals.

Note. Also referred to as Chinese spinach. It is distributed throughout the world, and therefore the exact place of origin has not yet been determined.

Amaranth species
Amaranth leaves and stems are usually eaten after cooking as well as spinach. There are four main types that are grown as vegetables:

  • A. cruentus;
  • blitum;
  • dubius;
  • tricolor.

Some species, such as A caudentis, A. cruentis and A. hypochondriacus, are grown in specific regions – like Mexico, Nepal and India. They are used for the production of cereals, flour, oil.

General recommendations for combating diseases
The appearance of diaper rash and rot
The most common types of manifestations of diseases such as:

  • Rhizoctonia spp. – root rot;
  • Pythium spp. – pith root rot.

Symptoms of these diseases are as follows:

  • poor germination;
  • falling seedlings;
  • brown-black lesions appear all over the trunk close to the soil line;
  • seedling does not appear from the soil.

The reason is a fungus.

Comments

The occurrence of diseases is characteristic of high humidity levels. To avoid it, you should not plant the seed too thick – because with such a nozzle problems with normal air circulation are possible.

Wet Rot or Choanephora rot
Symptoms of the disease:

  • soaked with water damage on the stems;
  • damages have a hairy appearance due to the presence of fungal spores;
  • may manifest as loss of leaves.

The reason is a fungus.

Comments

The fungus mainly attacks plants that have been damaged by insects or mechanical means. Also, the fungus can spread through the air and through infected seeds. The appearance of the disease is most often recorded in places with a humid and warm climate.

To avoid disease, you should:

  • choose plant varieties that are resistant to disease;
  • use only certified seeds;
  • do not sow plants too tightly;

Copper fungicides should be selected to treat the disease.

Anthracnose or Colletotrichum gloeosporioides
Symptoms of the disease:

  • necrotic lesions on the leaves;
  • dying off of leaves and branches.

The reason is a fungus.

Comments

To avoid disease, you should:

  • avoid damage to leaves and stems – pathogenic spores penetrate inside the plant through such damage;
  • choose disease-resistant varieties for planting;

Weevil or Hypolixus haerens
Symptoms of the disease:

  • fading plants;
  • bending and collapse of the stems.

The reason is an insect.

Comments

Adult weevils feed on foliage, and the larvae infect the stems. Damage also contributes to the colonization of fungi and other pathogenic spores on the plant.

For the treatment of the disease should use special drugs that will destroy insects.

Basic requirements for growing amaranth
Amaranth will grow better on good soil in full sunlight. Most plant species will grow in soils with a neutral pH, while some of them are adapted for growth in acidic soils. Plants tolerate drought and high air temperature, but are not resistant to frost.

Amaranth sowing
Amaranth is grown from seeds. It is noteworthy that the seeds can be planted in a greenhouse, then transplanted sprouts in open ground. Planting can begin about 6-8 weeks before the predicted last frost, but the seeds should not be sown outdoors until the danger of frost has passed.

Seeds should be sown at a depth of 1-2 cm in rows at a distance of 50 cm from each other.

General rules of care
It is easy to care for amaranth, it does not require special maintenance. While the seedlings are young, it is important to remove any weeds from all sides in order to prevent competition.

Applying a layer of mulch will help prevent weeds and maintain soil moisture. If in the summer there is the possibility of irrigating crops, be sure to use it. This has a positive impact on the harvest.

Harvest

Grain amaranth varieties are ready for harvest in about three months. Flowers can simply be cut out of the plant with scissors and set in a warm, dry place where they will dry out completely.

When the flowers are completely dry, the seeds can be easily removed. For example, simply putting them in a small bag and “beating” on top, and then sifting through a fine sieve.

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