In modern hi-tech method gerberas are grown in polyhouses. The quality of flowers produced is superior, because inside climate or micro-climate such as temperature, humidity, light, ventilation etc is controlled.
With changing life styles and increased urban affluence, floriculture has assumed a definite commercial status in recent times and during the past 2-3 decades particularly. Appreciation of the potential of commercial floriculture has resulted in the blossoming of this field into a viable agri-business option.
Availability of natural resources like diverse agro-climatic conditions permit production of a wide range of temperate and tropical flowers, almost all through the year in some part of the country or other. Improved communication facilities have increased their availability in every part of the country. The commercial activity of production and marketing of floriculture products is also a source of gainful and quality employment to scores of people.
Cultivation practices of gerbera
Soil/media : Optimum soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5 to get maximum efficiency in absorption of nutrients. The soil should be highly porous and well drained to have better root growth and better penetration of roots.
Bed preparation : In general, gerberas are grown on raised of size 2 ft. width, 1.5 ft. height and desirable length beds to assist in easier movement and better drainage. Pathways of 1 ft. in maintained after every bed. The beds for planting should be highly porous, well drained and airy. Organic manure is recommended to improve soil texture and to provide nutrition gradually.
Add single super phosphate (0:20:0) @ 2.5 kg per 100 sq.ft. for better root establishment and MgS04 @ 0.5 kg per 100 sq.ft. to take care of deficiency of Mg.
Disinfection of soil
Before plantation of Gerbera plants, disinfection of soil is absolutely necessary for getting rid of the fungus Phytophthora which is a menace to gerbera culture. It is done by
i) Covering the soil with plastic for 6-8 weeks
ii) Chemical – Using methyl bromide @ 7.5 – 16 lit. per 100 sq.m. or by formalin 450 ml per sq.m. and covering with plastic sheet for two weeks. After sterilizing and subsequent washing out of the soil, it is advised to wait for 2 weeks before plantation.
Height of the polyhouse – 3.5 -4m i.e. 11-13 feet; sufficient ventilation space is required on top and sides; approximately 400 w/m2 light intensity is required on the plant level and is provided with 50-70 per cent shade net; the ideal temperature for gerbera flower initiation is 23°C and for leaf unfolding is 25- 27°C; the optimum humidity should be 80-85 per cent, which will maintain the health of the plants.
While planting gerbera plants, the crowns of plants should be 1-2 cm above soil level. Plant the seedlings without distributing the root-ball.
Generally, two rows should be planted on one bed at 37.5 cm distance between the rows and 30 cm distance between the plants in one row
i) Water quality should be as follows: a) PH: 6.5-7.0 b) EC-0.5- 1 ms/cm.
ii) Immediately after plantation, irrigate the plant with overhead micro-sprinklers for four weeks to enable uniform root development.
iii) The water requirement of gerbera plant can be approximately 700 m/lit. per plant per day. In hot summer foggers can be utilized to maintain the humidity of the air.
iv) Unit the first flowers are produced, irrigation can be done with overhead micro-sprinklers. Thereafter irrigation is through drippers.
v) The relative humidity of air should not exceed 90-92 per cent, as it will lead to deformity of flowers.
i) After plantation, apply N:P:K 20:20:20 @ 1.5 gms/lit. every 2 days for first three months during the vegetative phase to have better foliage,
ii) Once flowering commences, start N:P:K 15:8:35 @ 1.5 gms/lit. for more flowers and better flower quality on day-to-day basis.
iii) Micronutrients should be given weekly or fortnightly as per the deficiency symptoms.
Leaf servicing and loosening of soil were performed to maintain the health of plants.
Spraying of pesticide or fungicide as and when required.
i) Gerbera is a 30 months crop. The first flowers are produced 7-8 weeks after plantation. The average yield is 200 flowers per sq.meter (6-7 plants).
ii) The flowers are harvested when 2-3 whorls of stamens have entirely been developed.
iii) Pluck the flowers in the morning or late in the evening or during the day when temperature is low.
iv) Cut the heel of the stem by giving an angular cut.
v) Immediately put the flowers in water after harvesting for four hours.
Packaging and marketing
After harvesting, flowers were sorted according to stem length, size of bud into different grades and colour of flowers. Each flower is covered with plastic bag so that there should be damage to stamens, to avoid the damage to” stem during transportation flowers are packed into 10 flowers per bunch and tied by rubber band and packed in CFB boxes. Packing is done separately for different grades.
After grading and packing flower are sent to different markets by bus, tempo, trains etc. The care, loading charges and packing charges are borne by the producer.
Method of sale
All gerbera flower growers can sell their majority of produce directly to commission agents cum flower wholesalers at nearest markets. Some of the farmers sell their produce to local market, but quantity disposed by them is comparatively very low.
Source : AIS Research Team
For further information contact www.vcs.in
Planting Time : Planting can be done round the year but preferably during September-October. The plants should be left undisturbed for 2 years for flower production (no separation of clumps). Treating plants with GA3 (100 ppm) results in early flowering having long stems.
Temperature : The temperature during day time should be 16-200C and 120C during nights.
Cultivars : Jaffa, Sangria, Rosula, Oprab, Romona, Salina, Tecora and Starlight.
Harvesting : The harvesting stage is critical as the flowers should not be cut before the outer row of flowers show pollen, or the flowers will wilt and close at night.
Storage : Optimum storage temperature (wet) for gerbera is 40C. The flowers could be stored efficiently up to 4 weeks.
Yield : Most modern cultivars of gerbera yield 250-300 good quality flowers/m2/year.
Marketing : These flowers are produced for export purpose and also for domestic market. Since cutflowers are of specific type and produced in polyhouses they are fresh and tender and since they are produced for specific purpose, great care is needed in their marketing viz. packing, handling, storage and transport. There should be minimum handling and transport should be quick with cooling and refrigeration facility.
Economics of Gebera in 1000 sq.m polyhouse (1/4 acre)
1. Poly House Construction @Rs.450/sq mt Rs.4,50,000/
2. Irrigation expenses Rs.2,00,000/-
3. Sprayer Rs.30,000/-
Total one time investment Rs.6,80,000/- (A)
1. Planting materials 7000plants @Rs. 30/plant Rs.2,10,000/-
2. Bed Preperation Rs.37,500/-
3. Fertilisers and pesticides Rs.75,000/-
4. Labour Rs..1,00,000/-
5. Packing & forwarding @ 10paise per flower Rs.21,000/-
Total expenses first year Rs.4,43,500.00(B)
IIISecond year to fourth Expenses
Rs. 2,33.500.00 x 3 Rs.7,00,500.00(C)
IV.Average Yield 30 flowers/plant /year 2,10,000
V. Average rate per flower @ Rs. 3.50 Rs.7,35,000.00
VII. Total income for 4 years Rs.29,40,000.00(D)
VIII. Total Expenses A+B+C Rs. 11,24,000.00(E)
IX. Gross profit at the end of 4th year Rs.18,16,000.00
Second year the farmer gets bback his investment From 3rd year he gets in ¼ acre every year around Rs. 5 Lkahs. Fifth year you have plant the new plants again.
Poly house can be intact for 20 years and above
Source : Agriculture & Industry Survey [/hidepost]