Bathua Cultivation and Farming Guide – Notes
- Bathua is an invasive but edible weed
- Referred to as Lambs Quarters, Goose Foot, wild spinach and Fat hen
- Each plant has around 75000 seeds
- Fast growing annual
- Popular in cuisine in Rajasthan, Himachal, and Punjab.
- As a weed, Interferes with wheat crops
When it comes to Certain crops, it’s not possible to make a huge profit. Most crops that are easy to grow are often priced quite low. With plants like bathua which is considered easy to cultivate and available widely as a weed, the value of the crop itself is low. Moreover, you don’t have prospects of exports or even value in different states.
Bathua is a crop which is used only in some parts of India. Southern India rarely sees this as a crop, though it’s available in some areas. Commercial cultivation of Bathua in southern India is rare. Not many people prefer this as a food, though it has a wide range of nutritional and health benefits.
With more people moving into healthier food and locally sourced produce, the possibility of commercializing bathua is possible but this would take a long time. with little knowledge about local plants and food, people will be inclined to opt for other vegetables as opposed to food like bath.
For commercial purposes, Bathua is not recommended. An acre is too large to cultivate bathua, especially where the crop is rarely consumed. If you are in Rajasthan or areas where bathua is sold in the market, you could cultivate the crop for commercial purposes but even there, we recommend that you do so with a plan in mind.
Bathua is a great cover crop. If you are into orchards or own one and would like to utilize the space in between, Bathua could be the right crop for you. This will add value to the otherwise unutilized space.
The plant has strong tap roots, the stem has pink or purple stripes and the leaves are alternate and varied.
The plant grows upright first and then spreads out after they reach a height of 50cm approximately. Total height could reach around 1.5 meters but most plants are around a meter in height
The seeds too have nutritional values and are consumed
Plants require full sun and are drought-tolerant. The Bathua plant is a winter plant.
Soil should be well-drained but can grow in any soil type as long as it’s not waterlogged. Add organic matter to dense clay soil to make it loose for better growth.
Bathua is a weed but also attracts pests, which makes it a bait for pests in wheat, sugar beet and soy farms. The plant attracts leaf miners
Varieties includes Bathia 1 Pusa Bathua 2, Kashi Bathua 2, Black seeds and white seeds
Seed rate: 1.5 KG to 2 Kg seeds is required for direct sowing per hectare. for replanting, 450-gram seeds are raised in a nursery for a 1-hectare plant.
Land preparation: 25-30 tonnes of FYM and 20:50:50 of NPK in KG / Hectare are used for basal application. 50-60 kg is split into 3 and applied as a top dressing. Seeds are sown 3 mm deep. Saplings are transplanted after 35 days if raised in the nursery. Plants should be transplanted within 20 cm plant-to-plant distance and 30 cm between rows. plants for seed production should be spaced 60 cm by 445 cm.
Yield & Harvest: The first harvest is 40-45 days after replanting. 4-6 cuttings can be done every 20 days. total of 40 tonnes yield can be expected per hectare. harvesting of seeds happens in 150-180 days. The entire crop is threshed by beating with sticks. A yield of 6 quintal seeds per hectare can be expected