Tapioca- Planting activities
Tapioca is propagated from cuttings. Around 7000 cuttings will be needed for an acre. The main planting seasons are April-May and September-October.
Select mature healthy stems free from diseases or pests. Discard about 10 cm from the lower mature and about 30 cm from the upper immature end.
Harvested stems are to be stored vertically in shaded and well-aerated places. Spraying Dimethoate 30 EC (1.5 ml/litre of water) on the stem will control scale insects.
Plough the field 2-3 times or dig to a depth 25-30 cm depending upon soil type to establish a deep porous field in which the setts are to be planted.
Lime or dolomite @ 1-3 kg per cent has to be applied in acid soils two weeks ahead of fertilizer application. Organic manure @ 50 kg/cent is recommended at planting time.
Pit followed by mound is found to be the best method of planting.
Stems should be cut into setts of 15-20 cm length using a sharp knife. Plant the cuttings vertically after smoothening the lower cut end, at a depth not exceeding 4-6 cm.
Adopt square method of planting at a spacing of 90 cm x 90 cm @ one cutting per pit. It is preferable to adopt 75 cm x 75 cm spacing for non-branching varieties like M-4.
Gap filling should be done within 15 days after planting preferably with longer setts of 40 cm length. Optimum plant population is 3200 plants per acre with 90 cm x 90 cm spacing.
The basal dose of fertilizers has to be applied at the time of planting.