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Crops in Permaculture: Urad Dal | Black Gram

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

In our effort to be completely self sufficient for food, we have made a major thrust to be able to grow all dals for our personal consumption, and to sell the surplus. We have done some experiments in the past years as well, but the crops have been inconsistent, and not of very good quality.

This year, we decided to plant urad dal in about 4 kanals of space (roughly 2000 square yards) in two different plots of land. Dividing the total area into separate disjointed plots is a good idea we we discovered during the course of this crop cycle.

We planted the crop in June/ July at two different times in two different fields. very heavy rains in July led to stagnant water in one of the fields, and we had rot set in in that crop. Now, the Urad crop is very sensitive to water. Lack of adequate water can result in a poor quality stony crop. However, excess standing water can also be harmful. It can lead to rot and wilting of leaves like we witnessed below. White fly appears on the plant, and spread this disease further. We didn't know what to do with this crop or how to salvage it, so this entire field of urad went waste.

Urad Dal diseased

Luckily, we had another field, which we had planted a bit later. And here we ensure that excess water was drained out, and the sol kept moist but never flooded. The field below looked healthy and lush green. The plants were growing well and looked healthy.

Urad Dal field

We kept using jeevamrut from time to time, like once a month or so. By September the plant was flowering well.

Urad Dal Flower

Finally in November, we harvested the crop. Just in time to make the delicious Maa ki Dal in time for the winter season.

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