A day-long training programme on new methods of rearing vegetable nurseries was organised at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at Vamban village near here on Thursday. The programme aimed at exposing vegetable growers to the advantages of a method ‘pro-tray nursery production technique' which has several advantages over the conventional ‘flat-bed' strategy.

K. Dhanalakshmi, assistant professor in horticulture, said the major advantage of the pro-tray nurseries, raised in trays using coir pith as the bio-manure, was that the roots of the nurseries totally escaped the biological ‘shock' on being transplanted from the trays to the fields. “In the conventional method, the roots of the nurseries, on being plucked and transplanted, undergo a shock and it takes more time for re-establishing the roots,” she said. The ‘transplantation shock' is so severe that every nursery withered away completely, before recovering its growth. On the other hand, the new method eliminated the shock and obviously, the roots got established immediately after being transplanted. Growth of the species was also immediate, she explained.

She said that all plants would develop uniform growth throughout the season. The yield would also be higher than the conventional method. A question hour session was held during which S.K. Natarajan, assistant professor of agronomy, clarified farmers' doubts. The pro-tray method avoided delay both in raising and transplanting the nurseries.

Every crop required a specific number of trays for raising the nurseries. For example, for vegetables like brinjal and chillies, number of trays per hectare was about 70; for tomato, it would be about 80 trays a hectare. Mr. Natarajan said the KVK would organise a training on ‘sustainable sugarcane initiative' for sugarcane cultivators from 10 a.m. on Friday.