Integrated management of rhizome rot of small cardamom using Trichoderma sp.
Rhizome rot caused by Pythium vexans, Rhizoctonia solani and Fusarium oxysporum is a major disease of small cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum Maton) in India, causing about 30 percent crop loss. A field trial for the integrated management of rhizome rot disease was conducted in disease prone field at Indian Cardamom Research Institute's Regional Research Station, Thadiyankudisai, Tamil Nadu for two consecutive years during 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. There were five treatments laid out in completely randomized block design with five replications following standard agronomical practices. The treatments include (i) Copper oxychloride 0.2% (Soil drenching) (ii) Akomin 0.3% (foliar spray) (iii) Trichoderma harzianum multiplied in coffee husk media @ 1 kg/plant (basal application) (iv) Akomin 0.3%+Trichoderma and (v) control without any treatments. Two rounds of treatments were given during September and November months. Observations were taken on disease incidence and the population levels of Trichoderma were recorded for two years and the results were analysed statistically. The results indicated that Trichoderma harzianum either alone or in combination with Akomin promises to be an effective antagonist to manage the rhizome rot disease of cardamom in the field. The population of Trichoderma antagonist was found to increase by the end of the second year.