Green gram, scientifically known as Vigna radiata, is a versatile and nutritious legume that has gained popularity worldwide. With its numerous health benefits and remarkable growth cycle, green gram has become a staple in many cuisines.
In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating growth stages of green gram, starting from germination to its maturation. So, let’s embark on an extraordinary journey through the life of green gram!
Germination: The Miracle of Life
Germination marks the beginning of the green gram’s life cycle. Under suitable environmental conditions, such as adequate moisture and optimal temperature, the dormant green gram seed springs to life.
The germination process involves the absorption of water, causing the seed to swell and break open, revealing the embryonic plant within.
During germination, the seed’s coat, or testa, splits open, and a tiny root called the radicle emerges. This primary root anchors the plant into the soil and begins absorbing water and nutrients.
Simultaneously, a shoot emerges from the seed, growing upward toward the sunlight. This shoot, known as the plumule, will eventually develop into the green gram’s leaves and stems.
Vegetative Stage: Establishing Roots and Leaves
After germination, the green gram enters the vegetative stage, where the plant focuses on developing a strong root system and producing leaves. The radicle elongates and branches out, creating a network of roots that enhance water and nutrient absorption from the soil.
As the root system strengthens, the green gram plant invests its energy into foliage production. The plumule grows into a pair of cotyledon leaves, which provide nutrients to the young plant until true leaves form.
The cotyledon leaves are followed by the emergence of primary leaves, which have a distinct shape and size depending on the green gram variety. These leaves continue to grow and expand, capturing sunlight and facilitating photosynthesis.
Reproductive Stage: Blossoming and Seed Formation
Once the green gram plant has established a robust root system and an abundance of leaves, it enters the reproductive stage. During this phase, the plant develops flowers and undergoes pollination, leading to seed formation.
Green gram flowers typically have a whitish or yellow color and appear in clusters. These flowers are self-pollinating, meaning they possess both male and female reproductive parts.
The male part, known as the stamen, produces pollen, while the female part, called the pistil, contains the ovary. The pollen grains are transferred to the pistil either by wind, insects, or self-pollination, allowing fertilization to occur.
Following successful pollination, the ovary develops into a pod. The pod gradually elongates and swells, enclosing the developing seeds within. Green gram pods come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the variety.
Maturation: Ripening and Harvesting
As the seeds continue to develop inside the pod, the green gram plant enters the maturation stage. The pod changes its color from green to yellow or brown, indicating the nearing of harvest time. At this point, the seeds inside the pod reach their full size and maturity.
To harvest green gram, the mature pods are typically picked manually or by using machinery. Once harvested, the pods are left to dry and desiccate, which aids in easy removal of the seeds. The dried pods are then threshed, and the seeds are separated from the pod and other plant debris.
There are two types of green gram available:
The vegetative form and the reproductive form. The vegetative form is made from whole grains that are harvested while they’re still green, ground up, mixed with water, and then steamed. The reproductive form is created by removing the husk of a grain (without exposing it to oxygen) before mixing it with water and steaming it.
green gram growth stages
Green Gram (Phaseolus vulgaris) is a small bean that can be used for a variety of purposes. Green gram is a hardy and easy-to-grow crop. It grows well in both tropical and temperate climates which start as bush beans on short poles or as climbing vines.
Green gram has been found to withstand temperatures as low as -1 degree Celsius and grow best at higher temperatures of 15-20 degrees Celsius. The pods of green gram, white in color, grow to 3mm in length and are cylindrical with flat sides.
Green gram comes in two varieties one being the medium size variety and the other being the small size variety. The main difference between these two varieties is their nutritional values, which differ slightly. The vegetative form that is used as a green vegetable is harvested before maturity allows to be stored for up to a year at room temperature.
Climate for green gram Farming
Green Gram can be grown throughout India, although in the cold regions it is grown as a seasonal crop. It does not do well in tropical regions because of high humidity and temperature. For green gram plants to grow well, a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius is optimum with an abundance of sunlight being ideal for optimum growth.
Planting method of green gram
Green gram plants are beginning to grow in most parts of India and can be grown out of the garden or on your farm. They can either be started from seeds or by taking sprouts. Sprouting green gram requires that you soak the seeds overnight, then soak them again for an hour to two hours and then place them in sunlight.
Green gram is commonly known as karela in India. You can get green gram seeds and transform them into green gram plants by planting them in a field, container, or bed.
Select the good land
The place selected should be free from the effect of frost, excessive heat, and floods. The land should not be sandy or stony and should have well-drained soil.
Preparation of the land
Green gram requires fertile and well-drained soil that is rich in nitrogen. Prepare the ground by adding organic matter to it such as manure or green manure in the form of leaves, grasses, and/or composts to it. If you are starting from seeds, sow the land to several small beans with a spacing of 20-30 centimeters between each.
Planting the seeds
Plant the seeds either in a seedbed or in rows directly on top of the soil. The planting depth should be 1.5 – 2 meters depending on the size of your containers and the area that you are farming. Sprinkle seed evenly over the bed or field.
Sow 1-2 seeds per hole, 1.5-2 feet deep, about 6 inches apart. Firm the soil gently with your hands to secure the seed in the hole and keep it from moving as it begins to grow.
Choose A Variety Of green gram and Germination
Covering the seeds
Cover the seeds with soil by raking them lightly with a hoe to ensure that they are not exposed to air and that they get sufficient water to germinate. Covering them with soil also helps to avoid wind and temperature extremes.
Watering the seeds
After planting, water the seeds regularly and continue for a week so that germination takes place and the seedlings become established. Watering should be continued until the seedlings have grown up to 5-6 inches tall. “After that, you can either continue watering them or not. “When the seedlings develop sufficient roots, you can check on their growth by measuring their height or simply by looking at them.
Green gram seed is not difficult to germinate. Planting green gram seeds require some effort, for the seeds will not germinate unless a few conditions are met, and no amount of soaking is enough to make them sprout. Green gram sprouts after soaking overnight. To get green gram to sprout from its seed, remove it from the water and allow it to dry for 2-3 days.
After planting, the green gram should be watered and given a little fertilizer to give it a boost. Allow the seeds to remain in their soil for 7-14 days, after which they will begin sprouting. To get the green gram to sprout, you will want to cover them up and allow them to germinate in a warm place.
When the seeds have 2 or 3 leaves each with a 3-5mm high stem, they are ready for transplanting. You will transplant them into larger containers or directly into your greenhouse. The seedlings are usually transplanted when they have 3 leaves and a height of about 5 cm.
Green gram should be watered until the seedlings develop for a week after which, watering can either continue or can be stopped depending on the weather conditions. If there is a lot of rain, water should continue to be given to them, but if there is no rain and the ground is moist, watering can be stopped.
“The focus should then be on keeping the soil moist and allowing the plants to develop vigorously.”After this, they can be placed in containers with greater spacing between each plant to allow optimal growth. As mentioned before, green gram grows best in temperate climates and hotter temperatures, but it can be grown in other areas such as banks of rivers and irrigation tanks with appropriate irrigation equipment. It is similar to a bush bean.
However, in tropical climates with high temperatures, planting green gram is a little harder and should be planned for the end of the rainy season, when temperatures are cooler. Green gram is grown as a seasonal crop by shifting the seedlings from one place to another depending on temperature.
Fertilizing and Diseases control:
“Green gram does well in organic and inorganic fertilizers. A variety of fertilizers can be added to the soil for better growth. “Green gram is a heavy feeder, so fertilizing the plants is recommended. Any person with a garden can use the fertilizer according to their preference.
Green gram does well in manure, composts, and green manures. Green gram and Bajra are good companions. Add any one of these green manure seeds with your seeds or directly sow on the field after harvesting or before planting the next season. Good manure should be available in plenty throughout the growth period.
Green grams are prone to damage from the attack of pests and insect predators. The major pests that attack green gram are:
Aphids, spider mites, beet armyworms, cutworms, etc. “The insects and pests that attack green gram plants are quite common and are not difficult to deal with.”
“Like all plants, green gram is prone to fungal infections. The major diseases of a green gram are rust and downy mildew. “To prevent the spread of disease and infection, “rotate your crop by planting a different variety each season. This helps minimize disease problems. In addition, take necessary precautions to prevent infected seeds from spreading to other parts of your farm and garden.”
From the humble germination stage to the fruitful maturation phase, the growth cycle of green gram is a remarkable journey. Understanding the different growth stages helps us appreciate the intricate processes that contribute to the development of this nutritious legume.
Whether you’re a farmer, a food enthusiast, or simply someone curious about plant life, exploring the growth stages and germination process of green gram provides valuable insights into the wonder of nature’s cycles.
So, next time you savor a dish made with green gram, take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey this tiny legume has undergone to reach your plate.
Green gram can be grown on a farm and transported to cities in markets. Green gram is cultivated as an important commercial crop in India, other South Asian countries, Africa, Australia, and Nigeria.