It is very necessary to manage the nursery for the better production of the crop. For the nursery, the best performing and most popular variety must be selected. Select the area near to irrigation facility, drainage facility and free from shade.
Seed Bed Preparation
A nursery area of 300-400 m2 is enough to produce seedlings for transplanting 1 acre of land. To prepare seed bed one must plough the field properly after the harvest of Rabi crop. Then add 2 quintals FYM/Compost per 300-400 m2 nursery fields at least 25-30 days prior to sowing and puddle the field using paddy puddler. Make 1-2 raised bed/s of 15 cm height and a length of about 1m with 30 cm drainage channel between the beds.
Certified seeds of high yielding varieties or hybrids should be purchased from a reliable source. The seeds must be clean, pure and healthy if one is using own seeds.
Prior to sowing, soak the seeds in water inside bucket and then discard the floating seeds In case of own seeds, soak 1.5-2 kg seeds in 1kg salt per 10 liters of water. Use sprouted seeds for sowing. For this the seeds are soaked into treated water i.e. Bavistin 2g/kg seed or Saaf 3g/kg of seed and then incubated in gunny bags in a well ventilated place. The sprout length should not be more than 7-8 mm.
Seed Rate and Sowing
Seed rate of 10-16 kg for HYV and 5-6 kg for hybrids is optimum. Broadcast the sprouted seeds uniformly for better anchorage into the raised beds.
Seedling age for transplanting
For long duration varieties, use 30-35 days old seedlings, for medium duration varieties use 25-30 days old seedlings and for short duration varieties using of 20-25 days old seedlings. When conditions are favorable, use younger seedlings and use older seedlings to cope with submergence and salt stress.
Apply 4 kg DAP, 2.4 kg MOP and 1 kg Zinc Sulphate as basal dose. Then apply 2.8 kg Urea after 13-15 days of sowing. If Iron deficiency is observed, apply 0.5% Ferrous sulphate.
Apply soft (Pretilachlor 30 EC+ Safener) 60 g in the nursery area by mixing with 5-6 kg of sand at 1-3 days after sowing in standing water.
To save the young seedlings from the intense sun, avoid water stagnation during the day. Thus, apply irrigation particularly during evening hours.