Nursery. Seedlings can be raised using wet nursery or dry nursery. Dry nursery is recommended on hills.
Wet nursery: Prepare the seed bed 35 – 40 days prior to the scheduled transplanting time. Plough the field twice in the dry condition and puddle later in standing water (2 – 3 cm) two to three times within 5 days. Level the field perfectly and prepare seedbeds of 3.0m width and of convenient length leaving 30 cm channels in between beds.
Total seedbed area is normally 10% of the main field to be transplanted. For every 1000 m2 area of the seedbed, apply nitrogen (5 to 10 kg N), Phosphorous (5 kg P2O5) and potash (5 kg K2O) fertilizers.
Apply double dose of phosphorus fertilizer, in areas exposed to cool temperatures in the hills and during rabi. Select seeds for sowing using the common salt solution (1.65 kg common salt in 10 L water). Put seeds in salt solution and discard all floating seeds.
Wash the seeds settled at the bottom thoroughly with water and dry seeds in the sun if sowing is to be done at a later date. For raising seedlings sufficient to transplant one hectare, use 50 to 60 kg selected seeds and sow in 1000 m2 seedbed area.
Adopt seed dressing with a systemic fungicide available in your area. Soak seeds for 24 hours in water. Put the soaked seeds in jute (gunny) bags and incubate for 48 hours beneath straw and keep the straw moist using water.
Broadcast germinated seeds uniformly over the prepared seedbed. In pest endemic areas, apply 1.0kg a.i./ha carbofuran granules for the control of gall midge and stem borer. Alternatively, spray 0.5 kg a.i./ha monocrotophos or carbary1 @ 0.75 a.i./ha 10 days after sowing for the control of stem borer.
Maintain water depth at 2 – 3 cm. Top – dress seedbed with 3 – 6 kg N/1000m2 nursery area. Hand-weed once, if required, 15 days after seedling emergence. The seedlings would be ready for transplanting in 25 – 30