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Aloe Vera Cultivation
Aloe is grown in warm tropical areas and cannot survive freezing temperatures.
Aloe Vera can be cultivated on any soil for ‘dry land management’, sandy loamy soil
is the best suited for it.
Aloe Vera is generally propagated by root suckers by carefully digging out without
damaging the parent plant and planting it in the main field. It can also be
propagated through rhizome cuttings by digging out the rhizomes after the harvest
of the crop and making them into 5-6 cm length cuttings with a minimum of 2-3 nodes
on them. Then they are rooted in specially prepared sand beds or containers.
The plant is ready for transplanting after the appearance of the first sprouts. The process of cultivating Aloe Vera involves the following process:
1. The ground is to be carefully prepared to keep free from weeds and the soil is ideally kept ideally slightly acidic. The soil should be supplied supplement in the form of ammonium nitrate every year.
2. The plants are set spaced out by 31 inches in rows and between the rows. At that rate, about 5,000 plants are set per acre. An 8-12 inch aloe pop would take about 18-24 months to fully mature.
3. The plants in a year’s time would bear flowers that are bright yellow in color. The leaves are 1 to 2 feet long and are cut without causing damage to the plant, so that it lasts for several years.
4. The crop can be harvested 4 times a year. At the rate of 3 leaves cut from each plant, about 12 leaves are the harvest per plant per year. On an average, the yield per acre annually is about 60,000 kg.
5. The leaves cut off close to the plant are placed immediately, with the cut end downwards, in a V- shaped wooden through of about 4 feet long and 12 to 18 inches deep.
6. The wooden through is set on a sharp incline so that the juice, which trickles from the leaves very rapidly, flows down its sides, and finally escapes by a hole at its lower end into a vessel placed beneath.
7. It takes about a quarter of an hour to cut leaves enough to fill a through. The troughs are so distributed as to be easily accessible to the cutters.
8. The leaves are neither infused nor boiled, nor is any use afterwards made of them except for manure. When the removed to a cask or reserved for evaporation. This may be done at once, or it may be delayed for weeks or even months.
9. The evaporation is generally conducted in a copper vessel; at the bottom of this is a large ladle, into which the impurities sink, and are from time to time removed as the boiling goes on.
10. As soon as the inspissation has reached the proper point, which is determined solely by the experienced eye of the workman, the thickened juice is poured into large gourds or into boxes, and allowed to harden.