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Sericulture Research & Development Council

Silkworm Foodplant Production Technology


  • Clayey loam to loam soils are much preferred.
  • Soil pH 6.5 to 7.0 is very ideal.
  • If soil is acidic (below pH 7.0) lime is added.
  • If soil is alkaline (above pH 7.0) gypsum is added.


  • Preparation of nursery beds 20 to 30°C temperature is suitable for mulberry plant growth.


  • Optimum rainfall required -1000 – 1500 mm.

Nursery raising

  • Season: June-July and November-December in the year.
  • Variety : V1 or S36.

Land Preparation

  • Select elevated, flat,well drained light textured, deep loamy or clay loamy soil.
  • Give deep digging/ploughing two times in both the directions.
  • Give a fine tilt after 10-15 days of digging/ploughing.
  • Prepare the bed size of 300 x 120 cm (Length and width).
  • Provide drain channels of 25-30 cm width and 15-20 cm deep.
  • Apply 20 kg FYM/ bed.

Preparation of cutting

  • Use eight months old twigs as planting material.
  • Prepare cuttings of 15-20 cm length and 1-1.5 cm diameter having 3-4 active buds
  • Store the cuttings wrapped with wet gunny cloth in shade.
  • Sprinkle water if transplantation is extended/postponed.

Planting Techniques

  • Provide 20 cm spacing between rows and 8 cm between cuttings.
  • Make holes with a stock in the soil to insert cuttings.
  • Plant the cutting in slant position.
  • Press the soil firmly around the cuttings.
  • Provide mulching with dried mulberry twigs, thatch etc.
  • Irrigate the nursery once in a week during dry period.


Maintenance of mulberry nursery

  • Irrigate the nursery once in a week during dry period.
  • Keep the nursery bed weed free.

Fertilizer application to nursery

  • After 55-60 days of growth, apply 500 g ammonium sulphate or 250 g urea dissolved in the irrigation water for each bed.


Disease and pest management in the mulberry nursery

  • Spray 0.1% DDVP against Tukra.
  • Spray 0.1% Bavistin against powdery mildew.


  • After three to four months, saplings become ready for transplanting.
  • Irrigate the nursery beds prior to transplanting.
  • Uproot the saplings with a spade or pick-axe.
  • Sprinkle water in case of preservation for shorter duration.
  • Pack the saplings in wet gunny cloth to avoid desiccation of roots if long distance transportation is required.

Plantation in the main field


Season :

June – September (During monsoon).


Land preparation

  • Prepare the land by ploughing and cross ploughing with power tiller or tractor during pre monsoon showers to a depth of 30 cm.


Preparation for paired row plantation

  • Paired rows system of (150 cm + 90 cm) × 60 cm spacing is recommended.
  • In this type of plantation 13,887 plants can be accommodated in one ha of land.
  • This system of spacing facilitates adoption of mechanization for intercultural operations using tractor/power tiller.
  • Transplant the saplings during monsoon and press the soil firmly around the sapling.
  • Mulch the base of the sapling with dry leaves/ thatch/mulberry twigs.
  • Water the sapling immediately after transplanting.


Crop management practices

  • Give a light hoeing after one month of plantation to eliminate weeds and for aeration.
  • Give two more weeding and light digging at an interval of one month.
  • Irrigate the plants as and when necessary.
  • Apply FYM @ 25 MT/ha/year.
  • From 2nd year onwards apply NPK @ 350:140:140/ha/year.
  • Five crops can be taken from V1 or S36 variety/year.