Scent Leaf Cultivation Guide: total information about scent leaf
Scent Leaf is a nice smelly green leaf vegetable,herb and spice that is grown mainly in the tropical and sub – tropical regions of the world, it is a herb that is used as a natural cure to many kinds of ailments and diseases and it is grown in a loamy soil with soil pH of 5 to 7. It can attain a growth of 4 to 6 feet in height. In this article, I am going to explain and teach totally on the information about scent leaf and it’s farming/cultivation process.
To cultivate scent leaf, get a land and 8 or more inches stems of scent leaf, dig holes of 6 inches deep in the ground, stand the stems of the scent leaf in the holes, then cover the holes with sand.
Scent leaf is a very great vegetable and herb, but to my amazement, although it is known by many, but only few number of people do take it serious when it comes to farming despite it’s huge huge health and economic potential.
That is why I took out time to write this content just to teach people how to grow or farm scent leaf and also it’s importance and economic potential of it.
Please make sure to read this article carefully so that you will understand every step I teach.
In order to start scent leaf cultivation easily, here are my step to step guide.
Get a good Land
Land is by far the most important factor in every agricultural activity.
Therefore, before a scent leaf farming could take place, land must be made available!.
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Although the land will differ in size, depending on your budget and goal of cultivating this vegetable/herb, but like I said above, you need a good land, and a good land should be a loamy soil as this plant tends to do well on this type of soil, a fertile soil of up to 5 to 7 pH, a land free of wind and waterlog, a land with adequate sunshine and good amount of rainfall.
If your land qualify for all these I mentioned, then you are good to go! the next thing is to prepare it for the farming.
Preparation of Land: To prepare the land, get a cutlass and rake or use tractor, depending on the size of the farm.
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Just clear off the bush if there is any and the trees in the farm, so as to make way for the penetration of good amount of sunlight, after this, rake the farm in case of any un-needed material in the ground such as rubber or nylon which might harm the scent leaf plants.
The best time do this is few weeks before the start of rainy season or before you plant, as it is very good if you are using organic manure like compost or animal dungs, just spray them on the land and leave it there.
This will make the compost to decay and be absorbed by the soil to give more nutrients to it, so as animal dungs too.
Planting Scent Leaf
Once you are through with the land preparation and have given the organic manure few weeks to decay ( if you are using organic manure, if not, use Fertilizer) then proceed to either make farm beds or just make small holes of about 6 inches or a little bit more and with a gap of 1 foot on the land.
If you ain’t using organic manure to fertilize the crops, then it is not proper to prepare the land ahead of the planting time, as you will have to prepare the land and plant at once!.
After making the farm beds or digging the holes, then get the stems of scent leaf and proceed to plant them.
The scent leaf stems should be about 8 inches tall and above with the leaves still fresh as that is the only way to know the Stems are still fresh and good for farming or another alternative is to get the scent leaf plants with their roots intact, although it is very scarce to get anyway!.
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Now plant the stems by placing them in those holes you made, facing the place where the leaves are up on the surface and covering the holes with sand.
This is still applicable also when planting with the roots or on the farm bed.
The best time to plant this crop is during the rainy season.
After planting, water them immediately and continue to do it on a daily basis till the crops grow roots and start growing, then reduce the rate you water them before, this is possible if there is no adequate rainfall.
If all goes well, on an average, this plants takes a minimum of about 2 weeks to grow roots and start growing when planted with stem and it can only take a few days to start growing when planted with it’s roots.
In this case, to grow scent leaf, the best method is to get the whole plant with it’s roots and plant, when the farm start booming, you can then cut some stems off and replant.
Care of Scent Leaf Farm/Plants
When the plants have been planted and have started growing, the next step is to totally take care of them to enable them do well and yield good and fresh leaves.
To take care of this plant, here are the things to do:
Watering/Irrigation: As I have explained before in this article, water is one of the most important factors that enable this crop to do well, just like any other vegetable, water is very important to scent leaf, that is why it is recommended to be planted during the rainy season, so as to have enough water to sustain itself, although this is a biennial crop, but once it surpasses the early stage, it could take care of itself all year long, including the dry season.
To water the crops, get a watering bucket or any type of irrigation that is compatible to you. Water at least once a day when they are still tender or in the dry season and once in every 2 days When they have grown.
Avoid over watering, 1 glass-full cup of water per plant in a day or 2 days, depending on the climate condition, for those in the hot zone regions of the world, more water is needed.
Fertilizer/Manure: Manure is another great and very important thing if you want to succeed in this type of farming.
This plant, just like other vegetables and herbs needs large amount of manure or Fertilizer to survive and grow good quality leaves.
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From the start or beginning of farming scent leaf, manure is the first thing to add, like I explained above earlier, during the preparation stage, the green leaves in the farm should be left to decay and turn to good manure or animal dungs should be sprayed to make good manure too, if not go and get fertilizer!.
Fertilizer is not added immediately the crops are planted, they are applied when they might have started growing, at least a month old or a little bit more.
To apply fertilizer, measure it by half a tea spoon per plant, spray them around the bottom of the plants and cover slightly with sand, the rain or irrigation water will mix it with the soil.
Also if you don’t want to use Fertilizer, organic manure is still great, even when the plants have grown up. Just take either compost or animal dungs and spread around each of the plants and leave them there for the rain to do it’s work.
In over all, fertilizing them can be done twice per year, depending on the soil.
Weeding: Weed act as a hindrance to this plant, this is because it is greatly affected negatively by weed at the early stage, although weeds do not pose any significant threat to this plant when they have grown up and are taller, but nevertheless, they need to be removed immediately they sprout out, wether in the early stage of the scent leaf plant or it’s grown up stage.
Not only about strangulating the plants by competing with them in terms of sucking off the soil nutrients,water and overshadowing them from the sun which the plants will need to grow up with, but also weeds do breed diseases and pests.
In a short while of planting the scent leaf, about 3 weeks to a month, weeds do tend to grow out from the ground and in many different angles, this is a very big threat to the scent leaf plants and thus needs to be removed at once, to do this, get a weeding hoe and use it to uproot them or you can simply get a herbicide and spray it on them and they will die!.
Pruning: Pruning is another great way to take care of scent leaf plants, but it is very sad that many farmers tend to ignore it.
Pruning can help plants which scent leaf is involved to do exceptionally well, this is because when the drying or dying branches are removed, it will give the plant the chance to re-grow healthy branches etc.
Mulching: Mulch simply means to cover the bottom of the plants in order to save both the water, the soil nutrients in the soil and also to limit the amount of weed that might grow around the plants.
As you can see from the above explanation, the act of mulching is very important to this plant as it will both protect them and reduce your level of watering and also protect the soil particles from being washed away by erosion.
To mulch, get bunch of green leaves and cover the bottom ( root) of the plants with them, that’s it!.
You can do this once the scent leaf plants have started growing, but once they mature, mulching is not that necessary again.
Scent Leaf Diseases and Pests
Scent Leaf is a very special vegetable/herb, unlike other vegetables, it is not affected by pests or diseases, in fact, the smell it emits is an insect repellant, and it is used in many places as a home alternative for insect repellant.
Only one disease is know to affect this plant, but the effect is very minimum, in fact the effect is not fatal at all, this disease will give the leaves small black spots, although it does not chance anything or damage the plants, but it looks ugly and unhealthy.
This disease is noticed mainly when there are weeds around the scent leaf plants, so to cure it, weeds should not be given the slightest chance to grow among your scent leaf plants or in your farm.
Harvest of Scent Leaf Plants
Scent Leaf, just like fluted pumpkin is a kind of vegetable that does not have a particular or stipulated time to harvest, the harvest is a continuous process because the leaves will keep re growing once they are harvested till the plant itself is very old and die off!.
Once the plants start growing leaves and the leaves gets wider and big, then they are due for harvest, although you could choose to harvest them when immediately the leaves grow, but if you want to sell them, harvesting later when the leaves have grown large enough and have turned dark green us best as it will be big and will fetch you some reasonable amount of money that harvesting when they are still small.
To harvest, take a small kitchen knife or small scissors to the farm, cut some branches on each plant, avoid cutting all the branches as they will be used by the plants to sustain themselves and re-grow new branches and leaves.
Note at least up to 4 or 5 branches that have good number of leaves should be left on each plant, so that they could use the remaining leaves to sustain themselves and re-grow new branches, as I have explained above.
The harvest of this vegetable should be done early in the morning or late in the evening and avoid harvesting in the hot afternoon as the leaves are very perishable, they will wither and start drying immediately they are exposed to the sun, although you can harvest anything, even in hot afternoon only if you are consuming them immediately.
Storage of Scent Leaf
Once the leaves of the plant is harvested, the next question is how do I store them?.
Like I have explained above, the leave of this plant is very perishable, so it requires a good storage system, so as to keep it in good quality before being sold off or consumed.
No body will buy a rotten or fried vegetable, so storage is very important for it.
There are only 2 methods of storing scent leaf, they are:
Refrigeration: The use of refrigerator to freeze scent leaf is though very effective, but for a very short while, it could be used to store this vegetable for only a few days before being consumed, if allowed to stay longer might begin to rot and decay.
To store with a refrigerator, it is very simple, put them into a nylon bag and place them inside the refrigerator.
Drying: Another method of storing scent leaf us by drying! This method is very effective and can last for a very long time, probably months and even up to a year.
To do this, after harvesting, keep them under the hot sun to dry and after drying totally, get a dry container or nylon and put them in it, then store in a well ventilated room with a normal temperature, but avoid storing in a damp or cold room.
With this method, although dry, but the scent will be retained 100%.
Importance/Uses of Scent Leaf plant
There are many importance or uses of this plant and it’s leaf, it varies from place place to place, so here are some of the importance:
It is used for cooking, scent leaf is a vegetable, so it is used for cooking and can be used to cook many food such as stew, rice, beans, yam, Plantain, soup, cocoyam, sauce etc, infact the number of delicacies it could be prepared with is quite large and huge and it gives a very nice and delicious smell to food, so it is also a spice.
It is used as a natural cure in many nations and tribes, for instance, it is used to cure stomach ache, dirty stomach, clean the intestines, cure and quicken wound recovery, reduce blood sugar level etc.
It’s smell is used as a natural mosquito repellant by burning it.
Apart from it’s natural cure, the leaf is said to contain large number of nutrients like vitamins, sodium, calcium etc.
With the above direction and explanations about scent leaf and it’s uses or importance, I hope you have learned alot from this, if you did, kindly share this content on social media, you might help someone that’s looking for this kind of article.
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