WE HAD THE FOLLOWING QUERRY FROM SRI K. SWAMINATHAN A PRACTICIONER OF ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING IN THE DELTA AREA OF TAMIL NADU:-
Dear Sir, Thanks. On a carefull reading of your articles on SRI and Zero Budget farming. If you can add how to prepare Seed Bed before transplantation under SRI, mentioning the requirement of seed per bed etc., it will be very useful.
Answer for the above doubt is as follows:-
Before I go ahead with the answer, a small introduction on Sri K. Swaminathan. Sri Swaminathan is an advocate by profession. He hails from the delta area and his family has been actively into the agricultural farming of paddy for well over several decades. He is currently practising Zero Budget Natural farming. Now coming to the answer for the question,
Prepare a raised bed in the field itself. The recommended height of the raised bed should be 6" to 9" lower the better for easy handling. Ensure that the width of the bed is not it excess of 3 feet for easy management. Level the raised bed properly. Apply well decomposed organic compost on top. Don't be too much concerned as to the quantity of compost to be applied. Apply what you feel is required. It is enough that the compost should adequately cover the soil area. In the meantime, collect the paddy soaked paddy seeds in a thin muslin cloth and dip the seeds covered by the muslin cloth into the solution of Bijamurtham for twenty minutes. Remove the cloth covered seeds allow the bijumurtham water to drain off and then spread the dried seeds on the raised bed evenly. Cover the seeds with compost adequately to avoid birds picking up the seeds. Please make a thin coverage with straw to avoid direct contact with rainfall or sun. Keep sprinkling water regularly. On the fifth and 8th day please sprinkle jeevamurtham. You may transplant the saplings any time between 9th and 15th day. The earlier the better.
While transplanting, ensure that you do not pluck the saplings from the bed. Instead, remove the sapling alongwith the soil and plant it on the surface of the soil itself following the SRI technique. Deep transplantation is not recommended.
The requirement of seed per acre for a spacing of 22.5cm X 22.5cm is 3.5kgs.