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Spinach: Crop Stage-wise IPM

Management Activity

Pre sowing*


Common cultural practices:
• Deep summer ploughing
• Timely sowing should be done.
• Field sanitation, rogueing
• Sow the ecological engineering plants
• Sow/plant sorghum/maize/bajra in 4 rows all around spinach field as guard crop
• Destroy the alternate host plants
• Follow crop rotation with non-host spinach crop
• Grow trap crops such as castor for S. litura, marigold for H. armigera. and tomato for leaf miner
Nutrients • Apply manures and fertilizers as per soil test recommendations and agroclimatic zone
• Apply FYM @ 10 t/ acre and incorporate in the soil 2 to 3 weeks before sowing.
Weeds • At the time of field preparation, adopt stale seed bed technique to minimize the weeds menace in field or
• Soil solarization with transparent polyethylene sheet may be adopted
Soil borne pathogens, nematodes, resting
stages of insects and weeds
Cultural control:
• Excessive watering and poorly drained areas of field should be avoided and use raised beds: more than 35 cm height is better for water drainage for the management of damping off.
Biological control:
• Apply neem cake/pongamia cake @ 100 Kg/acre or press mud @ 2 t /acre

Sowing *


Common cultural practices:
• Use resistant/tolerant varieties
• Select healthy, certified, and weed seed free seeds
Nutrients • Apply 8 Kg Nitrogen, 16 Kg Phosphorus and 8 Kg Potash/acre as basal dose.
Weeds • Adopt recommended agronomic practices with respect to timely sowing, seed rate, row spacing, fertilizer application, irrigation management etc. to have healthy crop.
Soil borne disease Cultural control:
• Seeds are soaked in water overnight before sowing
• Line spacing is at 20 cm and thinning within lines at 10-12 cm.
• Irrigation at 4-5 days interval in summer and 8-10 days interval in winter.
Leaf miner and other insect pests Cultural control:
• Avoid excess use of nitrogen.
• Inter-planting with beans to reduce attack.
Biological control:
• Spray NSKE 4%.
*Apply Trichoderma viride/harzianum and Pseudomonas fluorescens as seed treatment and soil application (if
commercial products are used, check for label claim. However, biopesticides produced by farmers for own
consumption in their fields, registration is not required).

Vegetative stage


Common cultural practices:
• Collect and destroy crop debris
• Judicious use of fertilizers
• Provide irrigation at critical stages of the crop
• Avoid water logging
• Avoid any stress to the crop as much as possible
• Enhance parasitic activity by avoiding chemical spray, when 1-2 larval parasitoids are observed
Common mechanical practices:
• Collect and destroy disease infected and insect infested plant parts
• Collection and destruction of eggs and early stage larvae
• Handpick the older larvae during early stages of crop
• Handpick the gregarious caterpillars and the cocoons which are found on stem and destroy them in kerosene mixed water.
• Use yellow sticky traps @ 4-5 trap/acre
• Use light trap @ 1/acre and operate between 6 pm and 10 pm
• Install pheromone traps @ 4-5/acre for monitoring adult moths activity (replace the lures with fresh lures after every 2-3 weeks)
• Erecting of bird perches @ 20/acre for encouraging predatory birds such as king crow, common mynah etc.
• Set up bonfire during evening hours at 7-8 pm
Common biological practices:
• Conserve natural enemies through ecological engineering
• Augmentative release of natural enemies
Nutrients • Apply 12 Kg N/acre as top dressing at 30 days after sowing.
• In case of slow growth of the crop top dressing of the N may be done after each cutting.
• Micronutrient deficiency should be corrected by foliar spray of particular micronutrient.
Weeds • Hand tool weeding/hoeing should be done to keep the field weeds free up to 30 days crop stage.
Leaf miner • See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
Biological control:
• Spray neem oil @ 5 ml/l of water + 0.5 ml/l sticker
Spinach crown mite • See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
Caterpillars, beet army worm • See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
Biological control:
• Release egg parasitoids viz., Trichogramma chilonis and T. pretiosum @ 25,000/acre
• Spraying NSKE 4% against eggs and first instar larva.
Cutworm • See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
Biological control:
• Release of Trichogramma spp. @ 20,000/acre.
Amaranthus weevil • See common cultural practices.
Aphid Cultural control:
• Reflective mulches such as silver colored plastic can deter aphids from feeding on plants.
• For others see common cultural practices.
Mechanical control:
• If aphid population is limited to just a few leaves or shoots then the infestation can be pruned out.
Biological control:
• Release 1st instar larvae of green lacewing bug (Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi) @ 4,000/acre.
• Spraying with tobacco decoction (1 Kg tobacco boiled in 10 l of water for 30 minutes and making up to 30 l + 100 g soap).
Downy mildew Cultural control:
• See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
Anthracnose Cultural control:
• Harvesting and cutting of leaves at regular intervals to reduce spread of diseases.
• Reduce leaf moisture by avoiding sprinkler irrigation.
• See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
Cladosporium and Stemphylium leaf spot Cultural control:
• After harvest of spinach seed crops, incorporate residues into the soil to prevent the sexual/asexual stage of the fungus from forming fruiting bodies on residues that remain on the soil surface.
• Plough (disk) volunteer plants and residue to reduce the disease inoculum.
• See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
Damping off & root rot • See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.

Reproductive stage (for seed production purpose only)

Nutrients • Micronutrient deficiency should be corrected by foliar spray of particular micronutrient.
Weeds • Left over weeds should be removed from the field before shedding of seeds to avoid further spread of weed seeds.
Pests and diseases • Same as in vegetative stage.

Source: NIPHM,  and Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage



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