In recent years, the protected cultivation has emerged as one of the technologies to overcome climatic diversity and has potential to increase productivity and quality of vegetables.
Simultaneously, protected cultivation is also being promoted extensively by various Government Schemes in India and plenty of success has been achieved in this regard. High cost of seeds and non-availability of seeds of farmers’ choice are some of the limiting factors for economic cultivation of vegetable crops under protected cultivation.
De-shooting/ de-suckering of laterals or suckers is a common cultural practice in crops like cucumber, tomato etc. Thus, vegetative propagation presents lots of potential not only fulfilling the demand of farmers but also ensures true to type planting material at low cost.
This is generally achieved through timely and continuous pruning of side shoots or laterals (cucumber) and suckers (tomato) throughout the growing season. Main purpose of training and pruning is to allow maximum interception of light for proper growth and development of plants. So, these laterals/suckers can be utilized as planting material in those areas where relay cropping is possible or farmers have a number of commercial units.
This technology is highly important for those areas which have the advantage of taking relay cropping or where staggered planting under commercial units provides high returns to the farmers. Sometimes, unavailability of seeds of hybrids at peak time poses a lot of problems and farmers are left with no choice. Vegetative propagation through cutting not only provides true to type plants but also ensures the timely availability of the same for cultivation.