Chilli farming is possible in large parts of our country. Chilli farming is done in states including but not limited to Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Maharashtra. Bird’s eye chilli, regionally known as Kanthari and Bajji Mulaku are some of the hottest varieties in these crops. In addition to Jwala, Panthu C-1, K-2 and Bhagyalakshmi, a group of crops released by the Kerala Agricultural University (Jwalasakhi, Jwalamukhi, Ujwala, Manjari, Anugraha) are also suitable for farming in Kerala. Of these, Manjari, Ujwala and Anugraha are bacterial wilt resistant while Ujwala is resistant to mosaic and leaf roller attack. These varieties developed by Dr. T R Gopalakrishnan, College of Holticulture, KAU, Vellanikkara are suitable for Kerala soil.
It is best to plant these crops in August-September and December-January, depending on the rain. Chilli is a crop that can be planted in a flower pot, in an open area, on the terrace or in a small plastic bag. Once the seeds are sown and they start sprouting, they should be transplanted. Around 1 kg of seed is required for a hectare of land. The seedlings should be transplanted when they are about 45 days old. The seeds should be sown in trenches that have a width of about 90 cm – 100 cm and appropriate length. The trench should first be prepared by mixing botanical fertilizers and once the seeds are sown, should be covered with leafs. They should be watered properly. Be sure to lightly water them every morning. Once the seed start sprouting, remove the leaf cover. Reduce the rate of watering a week before transplanting the seedlings. But the day before transplantation make sure they get adequate water supply.
The seedlings should be transplanted into shallow trenches that have been ploughed properly. The trenches should be apart by 50 cm and each plant should be spaced by 45 cm. Add bio compost to the soil and plough properly prior to transplantation. Once the transplantation is done, provide adequate water and shade.
70:40:25 is the ratio of Nitrogen: Phosphorous: Potash that can be added to a hectare of land. A part of this should be added before transplanting and a part of this should be added after. Soil should be added a month and two months after the seedlings are planted.