In India, the holy herb Tulsi (Basils) is used to ward off evil spirits and cure various ailments. However, the herb contains a bright yellow volatile oil which is useful against insects, bugs, and bacterial infections.
The herb also helps in digestion, and blood purification, and can help in weight loss. Thus, the herb is widely used in Ayurveda medicine. Today, the herb is grown commercially on farms across the country.
Holy Basil (Tulsi) is an herb belonging to the Lamiaceae Family. It’s also commonly referred to as the Queen of Herbs.
Basil is an erect, herbaceous annual, or sometimes grown as an annual in some regions. You can find more than 50 species of basil throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, and Central America. It’s also commonly known as sweet basil, tarragon, French parsley, Italian parsley, and lemon balm.
It has long, slender leaves, which are green when new but turn brownish-yellow as they mature. They reach heights of between 1–2 m (3.5–7 ft).
India, France, Egypt (Cairo), Hungary, Indonesia, Morocco (Marrakesh), The United States (California), Greece, and Israel are among the main tulsi-producing countries.
Economic Importance of Tulsi
Tulsi has some active chemical compounds called oleanolic acid, Ursolic acid, Rosmarinic acid, Eugenol, Carvacrol, Linalool, and β-Caryophylline (about 8%).
Basil is grown primarily for its leaves, which are used in cooking, but it can be used as an ornamental garden plant. It is sometimes grown as a houseplant.
Before starting a Tulsi cultivation business you must first identify the market, specifically its requirements. You must also determine the exact location where you intend to sell the product once it has been harvested. Also, you should clearly understand where you want to go with your business.
Medicinal Values of Basil
- First of all, basils are very high in antioxidants, particularly when they’re extracted or made into oils.
- Furthermore, it helps improve memory.
- It could help cure fever, cough, and flu.
- Basil is an important herb for making herbal medicine. Additionally, it has been shown to help lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Also, it reduces bad (bad) LDL (“bad” because it clogs arteries), increases good (good) HDL (“good” because it helps clear artery walls), and
- Basil juice is good at treating night-blindness and sore eyes.
- It has been proven that eating fresh herbs like mint, oregano, and cilantro can help to prevent certain types of
Things to Consider in Commercial Basil Farming Business
When growing your own herbs, you need to conduct market analysis and get tie-up agreements with companies who are willing to buy your herbs.
Secondly, decide which varieties of herbs you want to grow based on the climate conditions of your region. For example, if you live in an arid region, then choose basil, mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, chives, marjoram, fennel, parsley, dill, tarragon, cilantro, lemon balm, lavender, and so on. If you live in a humid
First, test the soils of the proposed land and prepare for nutrient management accordingly. Then, you need to install an appropriate water supply and pest control system for your basil farms.
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Best Varieties for Basil Farming
Broadly, you’ll find two kinds of organic farms in Asia. They’re purple tulsi or Krishna tulsi and green tulsi or Sri tulsi. You may also discover cinnamon tulsi and lemongrass tulsi. In reality, lemons tulsi includes citral, an aroma chemical found in citrus fruits and smells really lemony.
Location & Agroclimatic Condition for Basil Farming
Basil is well suited to both tropical and subtropical climates. Long days with high temperatures are ideal for growing basil plants and producing oils.
Germinating seeds need warm, moist soil at an optimal temperature of 20° C (68 F) during the day and 7–27° C (45–85 F) at night. Seeds develop better when they receive plenty of light and grow well under bright sunlight.
Basil cannot endure drought conditions because the plant tissues are too delicate. Total annual rainfall of 700mm is the absolute minimum requirement for dry land cultivation.
So, you should add enough water every year through overhead sprinklers or drip irrigation systems to keep your plants growing consistently. Drip irrigation works best for small-scale farms.
Suitable Soil for Basil Farming
Basil needs rich, well-drained soil with a pH between 4,3 and 8,2 and an optimal pH of 6,4 for best results.
Basil needs plenty of water. To keep its leaves green and vibrant, mulch it well.
If you want to start a soil testing service business, read this guide first.
8 Basic Cultivation Steps for Basil (Tulsi) Farming
1. Field Preparation
You must first conduct a thorough analysis of the land before planting seeds. To begin with, you must analyze the soils’ nutrient contents and their organic levels. An analysis will help you determine if there are any minerals or nutrients lacking in the land.
You need to correct the pH level of the soil according to the analysis and the kind of soil. Furthermore, you must plan the usage of fertilizers according to whether you want the crops to be grown inorganically or organically.
Recommended read: Is soil testing important in agriculture?
In general, basils propagate in two main methods. One is seed production and the other is vegetative reproduction. Seedlings may be obtained either directly from seed or from cuttings taken from plants.
Basil can be grown from seed sown outdoors in spring or indoors in late winter. Seeds should be planted in flats and kept moist until germination occurs. When seedlings emerge they should be transplanted
Expect a germinating rate of between 80 and 95 percent. However, don’t sow the seed if the germinating percentage is below 70 percent. When the seedlings grow to be 15 centimeters tall within four to six months, you can then move them into the main field.
Planting distances vary depending on whether you’re using planters or containers. For example, if you’re using planters, planting distances range from 15 to 30 centimeters (6 inches) per row and 50 centimeters (20 inches) wide. If you’re using containers, planting distances range from 10 to 20 centimeters (4 to 8 inches).
Large commercial growers usually use either a mechanical planter or an automatic seeder. The seeder type used will be determined by the crop’s final size and shape.
Soil types vary from region to region; therefore, fertilizers must be applied according to the soil recommendations. For example, if you’re growing herbs in clay soils, you need to add phosphorus. If you’re growing herbs in sandy soils, you need to use nitrogen.
Basil responds well to light fertility. Generally, the amount of fertilizer applied is determined by the results of the test performed on the soils. For basil-grown essential oils, you need to use fertilizers sparingly because they decrease the scent of the essential oils.
Basil needs regular watering during the growing season in addition to being watered through an automatic system. Drought stress can lead to leaf scorch and wilting. Irrigate your basil thoroughly once every two weeks.
6. Weed Control
Weed management is important because competing with weeds reduces the quality of basil leaves and cultivation techniques such as high population, shallow cultivation, decreased row spacing, and mulch help keep weed populations down. Mechanical cultivation and hand weeded are some of the weed management techniques you can use.
7. Plant Protection
Tulsi isn’t prone to major pest/disease issues except for some minor ones like leaf rollers. Whenever you notice something, you can control this with either 0.2 percent malathion or 0.5 percent methyl parathion.
There are medicinal herbs like Tulsi which need organic cultivation without the help of chemicals. These methods involve applying natural pest management techniques like using Neem-formulated sprays.
You can control plant disease by using fungicides, pesticides, or herbicides. Similarly, you can prevent weed seeds from germinating by applying herbicides.
8. Harvesting & Yield
Basil is usually harvested when it has begun to flower. You can grow basil again after harvesting it, but you won’t get another harvest until the following year. Up to four harvests are possible within one growing year.
In order to make your lawn greener, you should cut grass only once every three weeks. To do so, you can use a rotary mowing machine. You can also use a weed whacker if you wish.
However, these machines require frequent maintenance, especially if they are used in areas where there is a lot of dust. In addition, weeds grow back quickly after being cut down. Therefore, you may end up spending too much time maintaining your lawn.
On average, Tulsi gives about 10,000 kilograms of fresh herbage per hectare per annum. The herb has between 0.1 and 0.2 percent oils and up to 20 kilos of essential oils per hectare. Irrigated tulsi gives a higher herbage yield (up to 20 tonnes and essential oils (up to 40 kilograms per hectare).
Cultivating basil has given a boost to even small farmers. If the climate conditions of your location fit well, you can start cultivating tulsi commercially for profit.
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