Ashwagandha farming Guide With All Details of Growing Ashwagandha

Hello friends, welcome to the new blog on rabi crops, we are going to share all the important details of Ashwagandha farming.

we will also share our own experience of Ashwagandha cultivation. This is the beginner guide for the farmers who will start growing Ashwagandha.

After reading this blog farmers will be confident, to start Ashwagandha farming we will read the introduction of Ashwagandha, Use of Ashwagandha, climatic requirements, soil requirements, varieties and Ashwagandha seed propagation, fertilizer, weed control, irrigation, insects, disease, harvesting and post-harvesting.

Ashwagandha farming Guide in Short

Botanical name:-  Withania somnifera.
Family:-  Solanaceae. 
Common Name:-  Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry and winter cherry.
Use:- To make herbal medicine. 
Climatic Requirement:- 20 to 35 degrees Celsius. 
Soil Requirement:- Rich in organic Matter, PH 5.5 to 8.5. 
Propagation:- Broadcasting, line sowing or nursery raising. 
Weed Management:- Weeding at the proper interval of 20 to 25 days, use the cultural method. 
Nutrient Management:- 10 to 12 tons FYM, 20-25 kg Nitrogen, 15-20 kg Phosphorous. 
varieties:-  Raj Vijay 100, Jawahar Asgand-134, Jawahar Asgand-20, Nagori. 
Irrigation:- one to two life-saving irrigation is required. 
Pest and disease:- Not any serious pest and disease. 
Harvesting and yield:- 3 to 6 quintals dry root per hectare, seeds up to 60 to 75 kg.

Read All The Details Of Ashwagandha Farming  

Ashwagandha Farming

Introduction To Ashwagandha Farming

We are commonly known Ashwagandha as Indian ginseng. The botanical name of Ashwagandha is Withania somnifera.

It comes from the family Solanaceae, commonly known as Indian ginseng, Poison gooseberry and Winter cherry.

Ashwagandha farming is very popular in India, Africa and many countries in the Middle East. It is also very popular in China, Nepal, Yamen also in Sri Lanka. Ashwagandha comes under Kharif Crops lists as we cultivate it as a Kharif crop.

The word Ashwagandha comes from two Sanskrit words Ashwa+Gandha where Ashwa means horse and Gandha means smell and combining these two words means smells like a horse. In some books, it also states it means power like a horse.

The word Withania somnifera comes from a Latin word in which Withania is the small genus of Old World tropical shrubs and Somnifera means something that encourages sleep.

Ashwagandha is very popular in the Indian traditional medicine system and also in china medicine system. Ayurveda and Unani are two traditional systems of medicines that make Ashwagandha very popular.

Use of Ashwagandha

Different plant parts like seeds, stem and roots of Ashwagandha are used to make a different type of traditional crop. Demand for these medicines is very high, so farmers do Ashwagandha farming as cash crops to earn money by selling raw materials for medicine.

In Ayurveda, they know Ashwagandha as medicine that restores breath in the body. We know medicines of Ashwagandha for its stress-relieving properties and doctors also use Ashwagandha peels or powders to treat a problem in learning ability, memory-related problems, attention-related problems, Ashwagandha also used as anti-depression, used to control anxiety and in many other types of medicine, we use Ashwagandha.

Climatic & Soil Requirement For Ashwagandha

As we have previously discussed, Ashwagandha is a Kharif crop. The best altitude range for growing Ashwagandha is 600 to 1200 metres for best growth and development.

We suggest farmers to cultivate Ashwagandha where rainfall is between 58 to 76 cm, the best temperature for the Ashwagandha cultivation is 20 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius, one or two rains in the winter enhance the proper development of the roots.

If farmers have the option to select between the tropical and sub-tropical regions where to do Ashwagandha farming, then choose the option of the sub-tropical region because temperature and environmental conditions of the Ashwagandha cultivation are best in a sub-tropical region.

Ashwagandha needs a completely dry season during its vegetative growth. Rain or low temperature during the growing period of Ashwagandha is dangerous for the yield and growth of the Ashwagandha plant. It requires a completely dry season for proper growth and development.

For climatic requirements, Ashwagandha is a very tolerant crop. It can easily tolerate the low temperature from 8 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius.

Soil requirements For Ashwagandha Cultivation

Before sowing Ashwagandha we should keep some important points in our mind. The first point it is a medicinal plant, so the field where we are growing Ashwagandha should be free from pesticides.

The second point is the place where we are doing Ashwagandha farming should not be close to any chemical factory or any factory which releases chemicals in air or water because it will contaminate our field.

We will suggest farmers do soil testing before sowing Ashwagandha, with this farmers will know whether their soil is suitable for Ashwagandha cultivation, and we should do soil testing on all different parameters like the physical condition of the soil, chemical availability in soil, etc.

 We will suggest farmers cultivate Ashwagandha in loose and well-drained soil, loose sandy and loamy soil are best for the Ashwagandha plant.

PH requirement for Ashwagandha is 5.5 to 8.5. We can easily cultivate Ashwagandha in heavy soils like red and black soil, but the only condition we have to follow is drainage facility in these soils should be good because the growth and yield of the Ashwagandha will get affected in water logging conditions.

We can easily cultivate Ashwagandha in the wasteland or land with less productivity because it has a deep root system and is very tolerant to different environmental conditions.

Propagation Method For Growing Ashwagandha

Two different methods we can propagate Ashwagandha:

  1. Broadcasting or line showing For Growing Ashwagandha
  2. Nursery raising For Growing Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha seeds don’t have a dormancy period, so we propagate seed directly into the field that we have collected after the previous harvesting period.

We will suggest farmers use clean seed, we should check twice seed before sowing, all weed components should be clean, seeds with any damage should be removed.

Only high-quality seeds on the parameters of weight and size are selected for the sowing in the field. If farmers are buying seeds from the market, we suggest they check it is original or not, proper labelling of the packet is done or not.

Nursery raising technique For Growing Ashwagandha

We will suggest farmers to grow Ashwagandha in the raised bed nurseries, do proper seed treatment of Ashwagandha seeds before sowing.

For Ashwagandha seed treatment you can use any fungicide, for example, you can use Thiram at a rate of 03 gram per kg seed. It will protect the Ashwagandha seeds from seed-borne disease. We have to maintain proper moisture in the nursery bed for the good germination of Ashwagandha seeds. After 20 to 25 days of raising the nursery, the plant will be ready for transplanting.

We should maintain space between the plant 60 *60 cm, row to row distance should maintain according to the field condition. 4.5 kg to 5 kg Ashwagandha seeds is enough for the transplanting method.

Line showing of Ashwagandha seeds

We should clean the field where we are going to do Ashwagandha cultivation. Ashwagandha seeds should be free from all different types of pests and weeds.

We will suggest farmers apply farmyard manure before sowing the Ashwagandha seeds. Hundred to two hundred kg of farmyard manure per hectare is enough. For line sowing, 5 to 6 kg Ashwagandha seeds are enough.

Broadcasting Of Ashwagandha seeds

Before broadcasting Ashwagandha seeds, the field should be clean from weeds and pests, for broadcasting more seeds is required as a comparison to the line sowing method and transplanting.

We require 10 to 12 kg seed of Ashwagandha seeds for line broadcasting. After 20 to 25 days of broadcasting, we will suggest farmers do thinning it will control the plant population.

We will suggest farmers not to keep plant population over 35 to 60 plants per square metre. Per hectare, the plant population should not be over 3 to 6 lakh per hectares.

Weed Management In Ashwagandha Farming

Weed management is very important in Growing Ashwagandha for the growth and development of the Ashwagandha plant. Weeds will do competition with plants for nutrients, sunlight and also space. We all know that the growth of the weeds is fast as compared to any other major crop.

In Ashwagandha farming, we will suggest farmer to do a wedding at the proper interval of 20 to 28 days. We should do the first wedding after 20 days of sowing and the second wedding after 21 to 25 days of the first wedding.

We will not suggest farmers use any chemical weedicide in Ashwagandha cultivation, only do hand weeding or use a small machine to do the weeding. 

Nutrient Management For Growing Ashwagandha

As we have previously said, Ashwagandha is a medicinal plant and we should keep our field free from all different pesticides, chemical fertilizers and chemical weedicides. So we will suggest not to use any chemical fertilizer in our field.

We should use organic fertilizer in the Ashwagandha farming fertilizers like farmyard manure, Vermicompost, green manures and different bio-fertilizer is applied.

In the condition of pest control, farmers can use Neem oil or cow urine to control the pests.

If farmers want to increase their production, they can use a small amount of chemical fertilizer. A small amount of nitrogen and phosphorous is very enough for the higher production.

The quantity of organic fertilizer that we should use in growing Ashwagandha is, 10 to 12 tons of farmyard manure per hectares, we should use half dose 15 days before sowing and the remaining half after the sowing.

We can apply farmyard manure between the rows. 1 to 1.5 tons of Vermicompost is required per hectare, apply 75% 10 days before sowing and remaining amount after first weeding.

Quantity of chemical fertilizers that farmers can use in less quantity and increase the production of Ashwagandha, we will suggest farmers to use 20 to 25 kg nitrogen per hectares.

It will help Ashwagandha for vegetative growth apply 70% of nitrogen as basal dose and remaining 30% after second weeding, 15 to 20 kg phosphorus per hectare is enough for the Ashwagandha plants apply all amounts as the basal dose in the Ashwagandha field.

Ashwagandha Farming Guide

varieties For Growing Ashwagandha

Hare, we are going to list some important varieties for growing Ashwagandha

Raj Vijay Ashwagandha-100 variety:- It is a very common variety that gives Dry root yield of  6.5  to 7.5 quintals per hectare.

College of Horticulture developed it in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, India.

The name of the college is Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya. 

Jawahar Asgand-134 variety:- It is a common variety that gives Dry root yield of  6 to 8.5 quintals per hectare.

The farmer grows this variety for high yield, College of horticulture developed it, in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh India.

The name of the college is Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya. 

Jawahar Asgand-20 variety:- It is a common variety that gives Dry root yield of  5 to 7.5 quintals per hectare.

The farmer grows this variety for high yield, College of horticulture developed it in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, India.

The name of the college is Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya. 

Nagori:-  It is a local variety, used to consume by villagers on snowy days. 

Jawahar variety of Ashwagandha seeds is very common. College of horticulture developed all three important varieties of Jawahar Ashwagandha seeds, it is in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, India and the full name of the college is Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya. 

Irrigation For Ashwagandha farming

Farmers are growing Ashwagandha in two different conditions 

  1. Rainfed condition {where irrigation facility is not available}
  2. Irrigated condition {where irrigation facility is available} 

In rainfed conditions, farmers should depend on rainfall. In this condition also growing Ashwagandha is not tough because the water requirement for the Ashwagandha plant is very less and one or two irrigations is enough for the plant’s growth and development.

Excess rainfall or waterlogged condition is not good for growing Ashwagandha. In waterlogged conditions, the roots of the Ashwagandha plants will not get oxygen and we will see the root rot condition in the root zone of the plant, and in result the plant can die.

In irrigated condition, we will suggest farmers to check the irrigation water. It should be free from all types of impurities.

They should not mix any chemical fertilizer or pesticides in the water source during irrigation for growing Ashwagandha. Water requirement in Ashwagandha cultivation is very less.

We will suggest farmers to give irrigation only when it is required according to soil conditions and environmental conditions.

We will recommend to give two irrigations- 1st irrigation after 15 to 18 days of Ashwagandha seeds sowing, Second irrigation 20 to 25 days after the first irrigation.

Pests and Diseases Management For Growing Ashwagandha

We will suggest farmers that for growing Ashwagandha select place where the pest population is very less, and the fields which are close to the Ashwagandha farm should not be infected with any diseases because it can easily spread to Ashwagandha farm.

For the controlling of pests while growing Ashwagandha, we will suggest farmers to use cultural and mechanical methods, use trap crops around the field like marigold to control pests, follow proper crop rotation it will control pests, timely irrigation and less use of chemical fertilizer also control the population of the pests.

Ashwagandha Farming

We can also follow some mechanical methods to control the pest while growing Ashwagandha like farmers can use light traps, sticky traps or they can also use some natural predators of the pest to control them.

Till now we have not seen so serious pests in the Ashwagandha farming, some pests like Mites, Aphids can be found in specific area depending on the area and environmental condition, to control these 2 to 3 sprays of Rogor insecticide is enough.

Diseases Management

Mainly two diseases that can damage Ashwagandha farming: the first disease is seed-rot and the second disease is Blight. The insect and nematodes cause both diseases. We can control it by spraying neem oil.

Harvesting of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha crop will take 150 to 180 days to mature. Before starting Harvesting, we will suggest farmers to clean all the tools and equipments because it will protect Ashwagandha tuber from getting infected.

There is a very common query of the farmer on how to understand the maturity of the Ashwagandha. There is a very simple way to know the maturity of the Ashwagandha plant that leaves of the plant will start drying and fruits will change colour from green to yellow or red.

We will suggest farmers maintain moisture in the field during uprooting the tubers of Ashwagandha, uprooting process of taproot should be done carefully without damaging the lateral roots.

After uprooting, we will suggest farmers cut the tubers into small pieces. We should maintain the 7 to 9 cm size of each piece while cutting, pluck the fruits of Ashwagandha separately from that we will get seeds for growing Ashwagandha.

Early morning is the best time to harvest the Ashwagandha because there will be dew on the field and it will be easy for the farmers to take out the tuber.

If we are getting 600 to 800 kg of Ashwagandha after harvesting, then the weight of that Ashwagandha after cutting and drying its weight will be 300 to 400 kg only.

Post-harvesting of Ashwagandha

Farmers should protect the tubers from any type of infection, damage or degradation during the harvesting, post-harvesting process gives the final product, so it is very important.

We divide the roots of Ashwagandha into four grades according to their size, diameter and color

  • Grade A:- In this, only high-class roots are selected, size of roots should be between 6 to 7 cm, diameter between 1 to 1.5 cm, shape will be solid and color will be pure white.
  • Grade B:- In this category, roots size should be between 5 to 6cm and diameter 0.5 to 1cm shape will be less solid, color will be bright white.
  • Grade C:- In this grade, we mainly keep side branches. The size of the root will be between 3 to 4cm and the diameter will be less than 1cm, color will be dull as compared to grade B and grade A.
  • Grade D:- Size of the root will be very small, color is also yellowish 

We will suggest farmers to take seeds from the plant which comes under the Grade A category of grading because these plants are healthy.

Yield

Ashwagandha yield is approx 3 to 6 quintals dry root per hectare, farmers will get Ashwagandha seeds up to 60 to 75 kg per hectare.

During Ashwagandha farming if crop will get the proper environmental condition and favorable temperature the production of roots will increase till 6 to 7 quintal per hectare.

Ashwagandha products

  • Ashvagandha – Tablets
  • Ashwagandha Peanut butter
  • Ashwagandha Roots
  • Ashwagandha Skin cream
  • Ashwagandha Oil
  • Ashwagandha Doodh

Source Most of the things that we have added to our website are self-experience by doing or by seeing, but some blogs and educational site helps us a lot to increase our knowledge. One of them is NABARD, the other is mine gov thanks to both of them.