Sunday, April 2, 2017 2:14 pm
The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan, has produced a practical guide for the production and harvesting of Corchorus olitorius vegetable, also known as“ Ewedu’’ in South West Nigeria.
The production and harvesting details were made public in the institute’s Production Guide made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ibadan.
The guide stated that corchorus olitorius grows in grassland, fallow or abandoned fields, often close to marshes, rivers or lakes, and at up to between 1,250 metres and 1,750 metres altitude.
The vegetable, it said, performs best during the rainy season in the Savanna and Sahel vegetation zone.
According to the guide, it is cultivated where annual rainfall averages between 600 millimetres and 2000 millimetre and an optimal temperature range from 25C to 32C.
The land to be used should be cleared, stump, ploughed and harrowed at least four weeks before planting, especially on a virgin land.
“For a good seed yield of 25 grammes per plant, a spacing of 50 centimetres within the row is recommended.
“It is advantageous that the soil is weed free; if weeding is not done in time, the weeds will serve as alternate hosts of plant diseases thereby affecting the yield,’’ the guide stated in part.
The guide further indicated that the pest and diseases (Sclerotium rolfsii) attacking the vegetable should be controlled with cultivation on well-drained beds and wide spacing.
The control, it said, should be done by crop rotation, avoiding other crops susceptible to root-knot nematodes for at least one year and ensuring high organic matter incorporation into the soil.
“Corchorus olitorius can be harvested within four and six weeks after planting by cutting the shoots at 20cm or 30cm long.
“This stimulates the development of side shoots and subsequently, every two to three weeks, it may be harvested again seven more times.
“Yield of 20kg to 25kg per 10-metre square bed may be expected from three to nine cuttings of Amugbadu (a special variety of Corchorus) between three to four months,’’ the guided further stated. (NAN)