October 30, 2019

Lemongrass crop: cultivation, harvest and usage

The crop grows well in both tropical and subtropical climates at an elevation up to 900 m. However, ideal conditions for growing lemon grass are warm and humid climate with sufficient sunshine. The favourable rainfall for dryland cultivation of lemon grass should range from 700 to 3 000 mm, uniformly distributed throughout the year.

A temperature ranging from 20 °C-30 °C and good sunshine throughout the year is conducive to high crop yield. Lemon grass can also be grown in semi-arid regions receiving low to moderate rainfall.

Lemon grass can grow well over medium fertile soils and moderate irrigation. Well drained sandy loam is most suitable for the growth of the plant . It can be grown on a variety of soils ranging from loam to poor laterite. Calcareous and water logged soils should be avoided as they are unsuitable for cultivation.

The plant is hardy and resistant to draught. Maximum plant height was recorded during rainy season and least during second harvest non- rainy season. The yield of oil fluctuates greatly with the season, the condition of the plant material, its moisture content and the age of planting.

In sandy loam and red soils, it requires good manuring. Calcareous and water-logged soils are unsuitable for its cultivation.

The first harvest can be obtained after 3-6 months after planting. Subsequently, harvest can be obtained after every three months. Yield is low in the first year and the higher yield can be obtained in 3-4 years. Harvesting should be done only in sunny days and grass is cut 10cm above the ground.

Lemon grass oil is used as a source of citral. The oil is also used for deodorants, waxes, polishes, detergents, and insecticides where its low cost is attractive. In Peru it is used for preparing soft drinks and is used as an aromatic, pleasant tasting herbal tea all around its distribution area. The infusion or decoction of its aerial parts has widespread use for medicine. Lemongrass is recommended to treat digestive disorders, inflammation, diabetes, nervous disorders, and fever as well as other health problems.
Lemongrass crop: cultivation, harvest and usage
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