Rayo, Palungo & Cress: Learn uses, varieties, cultivation, seedlings raising harvest & plant protection

Rayo Cultivation

Introduction:

Leafy vegetables are the basic requisite of our daily diet. They are the rich source of Vitamin A which is extremely necessary for maintaining proper functioning of eyes. It is considered that Rayo is king of green leafy vegetables. It is most prevalent & nutritious vegetable cultivated in Nepal. It is better source of vitamin A, B, C & E along with mineral like iron, calcium & protein in abundant quantity. It is cultivated from Terai to High Hills. Most commonly, the cultivated & consumed leafy vegetable is Rayo.

Cultivation technique:

Climate:

Rayo requires cool climate which makes it possible to cultivate in winter season in Terai & mid hills of Nepal. In high hills, except the period of snow & extreme cold, it can be cultivated in other seasons.

Soil:

It can be cultivated in wide range of soils however, soil with moisture for long time, rich in organic matter with pH 5.5-7.0 sandy loam soil is best for this crop.

Field Preparation:

Plough the field for 2-3 times to prepare field. Planking of soil is to be done for well drainage system & uniform wetting of soil.

Manuring:

1500 – 2000 kg of well decomposed FYM or compost manure, & recommended inorganic fertilizer as 4 kg DAP, 6 kg potash, & 6 kg urea per ropani is applied during field preparation. Apply 3/3 kg of urea one at 30 days after transplanting, second at 45 to 60 days & third at 60 to 75 days after transplantation as rayo requires high amount of nitrogen. Rayo transplanted in FYM filled soil with light soil above the FYM layer is quite tasty without use of chemical fertilizer.

Calculate the required amount of fertilizer for your crop here.

Planting time & Methods:

Seed sowing, seedlings transplanting & harvesting time in different geographical regions are as below:

Geographical regions Sowing time Transplanting Harvesting
High Hills Falgun – Chaitra Chaitra – Jestha Baisakh – Kartik
Mid Hills Bhadra – Kartik Asoj – Mangsir Kartik – Falgun
Terai & Lower Hills Ashoj – Kartik Kartik – Mangsir Kartik – Falgun

Varieties:

The recommended & commonly cultivated varieties of Rayo in Nepal are listed below:

  • Khumal broad leaf
  • Marpha broad leaf
  • Khumal red leaf
  • Manakamana
  • Tankhuwa

Seedlings raising technique:

Plough the field for 2-3 times to prepare field. Planking of soil is to be done for well drainage system & uniform wetting of soil. Beds with 2-3 m length, 1 m width & 20-25 cm raised height are made. Such beds are supplied with well decomposed FYM & surface is prepared. Sow the seeds at 5-7 cm apart between seeds & rows at depth of 1-2 cm. Cover such small furrow with sand & soil mixed mixture & mulch the beds with light hay or straw. To keep soil moist, irrigate the field from time to time & remove the mulching after seeds germinate. Seedlings with 15 to 1-month age are ready to transplant in the main field.

Seed rate & spacing:

The required seed rate for rayo is 30 grams per ropani.Spacing: Row to row: 30 cm, Plant to plant: 30 cm

Irrigation & Interculture:

After transplanting seedlings, irrigate the main field lightly until seedlings are well established there. Light weeding & hoeing after weed attack should be carried out to prevent yield loss from weed.

Harvesting:

After 20 – 25 days of transplantation of rayo seedlings, it is ready to harvest for consumption purpose. Harvest leaves making less injury to plant & lower destruction to root system.

Yield:

The average yield of rayo in Nepal ranges between 1500 – 2000 kg green leaves per ropani.

Crop protection:

Viral disease attacking plant are extremely harmful. So diseased plants should be removed uprooting them from field. White rust of crucifer is also more severe in Rayo. For preventing this disease, make field clean, remove crop debris & weed control is very essential. Diseased & older leaves must be removed. Bordeaux mixture will be better to spray for this disease.The insect pest attacking in rayo are aphids & caterpillars. For controlling aphids, spray metasystox insecticide @ 1ml/liter water whereas for caterpillar, spray malathion @ 1 ml/liter water. Do not harvest the leaves for 7-10 days of spraying insecticides.

Insects pest:

Aphids:

  1. Spray the crop with Malathion @ 0.1%.

Leaf eating caterpillar 

  1. Spray the crop with Malathion @ 0.1%.

Diseases:

Mosaic of broad leaf mustard:

  1. use disease free seeds.
  2. Use insecticide against aphids to minimize the spread of the diseases. However, this is advisable only for seed production.

Alternaria leaf spot of broad leaf mustard & spinach:

  1. Long crop rotation
  2. Spraying of crop with fungicides (Dithane Z-78 0.25% or Blitox-50 @ 0.3%) is recommended.

Leaf spot disease:

  1. Spray Blitox @ 0.2% or Bordeaux mixture @ 1% at 15 days interval.

Downy mildew:

  1. Follow crop rotation.
  2. Remove crop debris of previous crops.

White rust:

  1. Adopt proper crop rotation.
  2. Spraying of crop with fungicides (Dithane Z-78 0.25% or Blitox-50 @ 0.3%) is recommended.

Similar cultivation technique for palungo saag & Chamsur (Cress)

Varieties of Palungo:

  • Local palungo – Patan palungo
  • Japanese palungo
  • All green
  • Baitidi local

Varieties of Cress:

  • Local variety
  • Nepali variety

 

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