Production techniques for other important medicinal plants

Botanical Name -Thymus Vulgaries
Family -Lamiaceae

It is a popular vegetable crop in India which is grown in rainy season. It is also known as “HalwaKaddu” or “Kaddu” in hindi and it belongs to cucurbitaceae family. India is the second largest producer of pumpkin. It is used for cooking purpose and is used to make sweets. It is good source of Vitamin A and potassium. Pumpkin helps to boost eye vision, lowers blood pressure and has antioxidant properties. Its leaves, young stems, fruit juice and flowers contain medicinal properties.


Time of sowing:
February-March and June-July is an optimum time for seed sowing.

Seed rate:
Seed rate of 1kg seed is sufficient for one acre land.

Seed treatment:
Treatment with Benlate or Bavistin @2.5 gm/kg of seed is used to cure from soil borne diseases.

Well prepared land is required for pumpkin farming. To bring the soil to fine tilth, ploughings with local tractor is required.

Sow two seeds on per hill and use spacing of 60cm. For hybrid varieties, sow seeds on both side of bed and use spacing of 45cm.

Sowing depth:
Seeds are sown 1 inch deep in the soil.

Method of sowing:
•    Direct sowing

Fertilizer Requirment (kg/acre)



Nutrient Requirement (kg/acre)


Application of well rotten FYM@8-10tonnes/acre is used before preparation of beds. Fertilizer dose of Nitrogen @40kg/acre in the form of urea @90kg/acre, Phosphorus @20kg/acre in the form of SSP@125kg/acre and Potassium @20kg/acre in the form of MOP@35kg/acre is added. Nitrogen dose is applied in 2 equal splits. First half dose is applied before sowing and then remaining dose of nitrogen is applied as top dressing within one month.

To control the weeds, frequent weeding or earthing up operation is required. Weeding is done with the help of hoe or by hands. First weeding is done after 2-3 weeks of seed sowing. In total 3-4 weedings are required to make the field weed free.

Proper irrigation at proper intervals of time is required. Immediate irrigation is required after seed sowing. Depending upon the season, subsequent irrigations at the interval of 6-7 days is required. In total 8-10 irrigation are required.

Hoe and weed thrice. Spray Ethrel 250 ppm (2.5 ml per 10 l of water) four times at weekly intervals commencing from 10 to 15 days after sowing.
In hi-tech horticulture, use 12 days old healthy seedlings obtained from shade net houses for planting. Raise the seedlings in protrays having 98 cells. Use well decomposed cocopeat as medium. Sow one seed per cell. Water regularly twice a day.
Apply a dose of 60:30:30 kg NPK/ha throughout the cropping period through split application. Apply 75% of the phosphorus as superphosphate as basal dose.

1)Aphids and Thrips: They suck the sap from the leaves resulting in yellowing and drooping of leaves. Thrips results in curling of leaves, leaves become cup shaped or curved upward.
If infestation is observed in field, to control spray the crop with Thiamethoxam@5gm/15Ltr of water.

2)Pumpkin flies: They cause sunken brown color spots on fruits and white maggot gets develop on the fruit.
Foliar application of Neem oil @3.0% is given to cure the crop from fruit fly pest.

Treat the seed with P. fluorescens @ 50g/kg seed followed by soil application @ 100g/pit with neemcake @ 50g/pit or FYM @ 50kg/pit to control root knot nematode.

1)Powdery mildew: Patchy, white powdery growth appears on upper surface of leaves also on main stem of infected plant. It parasitizes the plant using it as a food source. In severe infestation it causes defoliation and premature fruit ripening.
If infestation is observed take spray of water soluble Sulphur@20gm/10Ltr of water 2-3 times with interval of 10 days.

2)Downy mildew: Caused by Pseudopernospora cubensis. Symptoms are mottling and purplish color spots are seen on lower surface of the leaves.
If infestation is observed, 400gm Dithane M-45 or Dithane Z-78 is used to get rid of this disease.

3)Anthracnose: Anthracnose affected foliage appears scorched appearance. 
As a preventive measure, treat seed with Carbendazim@2gm/kg of seed. If infestation is observed in field, take spray of Mancozeb@2gm or Carbendazim@3gm/liter of water.

4)Wilt: Root rotting is a result of this disease. 

If infestation is observed then drenching with M-45@400gm mixed 100ltr of water is done.

Harvest when the fruits turn from green to yellow and easy detachment of stalks from the stem. Yield in 18-20 t/ha in 140 days (Varieties) and 30-40t/ha in hybrid.