India: Marigold flowers bloom in greenhouse at college farm

The students of Sri Krishnadevaraya College of Horticulture Sciences, using the crop rotation method, have grown a crop of marigold flowers with good results. On the same farm under a shade net, the students had previously grown crops like tomato and cucumber, but there were several incidences of disease as well as soil-borne pathogens, especially nematodes affecting the crop.

To tackle this problem, the college dean suggested adopting the crop rotation technique with marigold and selected a new variety known as Arka Agni from the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research in Bangalore.   

In the exercise carried out as part of the Experimental Learning Programme (ELP), the students were asked to attain the experience of crop cultivation first-hand through land preparation, sowing, watering, and up to the marketing stage. 

Assistant Professor Floriculture Jeevan pointed out that marigold was an excellent crop for rotation under framed structures like polyhouse and shade net houses. Marigold plants naturally synthesize a compound called alpha-terthienyl in roots which helps in suppressing the root-knot nematode along with disease-promoting soil-borne organisms such as bacteria, insects, and viruses, Mr. Jeevan explained.

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