Scientific Name: Corchurus olitorious L.
Common Names/Local Names:
Jute Mallow or Jew’s Mallow; Jute (English) Saluyot (Tagalog); Tugabang (Bisaya)
Jute is an erect, grabrous, annual plant or shrub, growing up to 2 meters high. The leaves are ovate, laceolate, toothed margins. Flowers are solitary with yellow petals on the axils. The fruit is a capsule with many black seeds.
Jute or “Saluyot” is cultivated over a wide range of environments. The plants grow well under hot, wet in the lowland tropics. It is also responds especially to warm, humid weather and is often grown near riverbanks and waste places. Cold weather and severe periods of drought can kill the crop. A loam or silty-loam soil and plenty of organic matter is ideal. It tolerates soil pH of 4.5 to 8.0, but more extreme pH conditions will reduce the availability of iron in the soil.
It is a short day plant, hence, short production suffers because of flowering during the months of November to February.
Jute mallow, jew’s mallow or jute is famous for its sturdy natural fiber but there are cultivars that are cultivated as a leafy vegetable. The leaves are used fresh or dried. They can be stored after drying and used later on during periods of scarcity. The leaves become mucilagious when cooked, a trait of this crop, which highly appreciated.
Propagation is through seeds. However, when germination is low, it can be overcome by soaking the seeds in hot water.
Preparing the field
Jute mallow is a small seeded plant, therefore, thorough land preparation is required to promote good growth and to minimize the cost of weeding. Plow and harrow and rotofill the field. Planting Jute mallow is planted either by direct seeding or transplanting. Direct seeding is used when seed is plenty, labor is limited and during the dry season when flooding is not a problem. Planting is done at the beginning of the rainy season (May-June). When there is uniform distribution of rainfall, like in Southern Mindanao, saluyot can be planted anytime of the year. The seeds are drilled uniformly 4 to 5 inches apart in furrows or at the rate of 5-6 kgs of seeds per hectare. For big scale planting and in open places, seeds are judiciously broadcast and lightly covered with fine soil by passing a wooden harrow.
Jute mallow responds well to added fertilizer, especially nitrogen. A combination of both inorganic and organic fertilizers improves yield and maintains soil fertility. The rate of fertilizer application depends on soil fertility, soil type, fertilizer recovery rate, and soil organic matter. A soil test is highly recommended to determine the available N, P, and K.
Jute mallow is sensitive to drought. Irrigating is critical after sowing or transplanting to ensure a good stand. At AVRDC, fields are furrowirrigated every 10 days during the cool-dry season, and weekly during the hot-dry season. As a rule, plants should be irrigated if wilting occurs in midday. Irrigate thoroughly to develop a deep, healthy root system. Good drainage is essential for plant survival and growth. Provides drainage canals to facilitate quick drainage of excess water after heavy rains. Avoid over-irrigation since this leads to disease development and leaching of soil nutrients. Drip irrigation or microsprinkler irrigation is recommended in areas with limited water supply. If sprinkler irrigation must be used, avoid late evening irrigation to prevent foliar diseases.
Thorough land preparation is essential. Jute mallow, especially when direct-seeded, is slow to establish and vulnerable to competition from weeds. Weed must not be allowed to crowd or overgrow the young plants. When plants are 20 to 25 cm tall, a wooden plow or cultivator is passed between the rows to hill-up, which can help to suppress the growth of weeds.
Pests and Disease Management
The foliage and shoot tips of jute mallow are susceptible to damage by insects and spider mites. nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) cause stunting of plants. Pest damage is usually less severe in plantings that are well fertilized and rotated with other crops. Insect pests may be managed by covering beds with fine-mesh nylon netting. Pesticides are useful for controlling pests when they cause significant damage. Choose a pesticide that targets the pest and avoid pesticides that kill beneficial organisms. Choose pesticides that last only for a short period. To avoid exposing consumers to pesticide residues, follow instructions for time intervals between spraying and harvesting. Only a few diseases affect jute mallow. Damping-off caused by Rhizoctonia, Pythium or Phytophthora spp. occurs in seedbeds. These pathogens are managed through the use of raised beds, welldrained soils, and proper watering. Stem rot (Sclerotium rolfsii) is a common disease during the dry season, causing plants to wilt. Stem rot is managed by deep plowing, using raised beds, rotating crops, and allowing ample time for breakdown of green manure before planting.
Jute mallow is harvested 30-60 days after planting, depending on variety. Some varieties are sensitive to short daylength, causing them to bloom prematurely. These varieties should be harvested 20- 40 days after planting, just before pods develop. Plants may be harvested once or several times. Once-over harvest is adapted for quick growing varieties. Whole plants (20-30 cm tall) are pulled from soil with roots, washed and tied in bundles. With multiple harvests, young leaves and shoots are picked every two to three weeks. New side shoots will develop and harvesting can be repeated three or four times. Frequent harvesting delays flowering and prolongs the harvest period. Jute mallow wilts rapidly after harvest. Harvest during the cooler time of day, such as early morning or late afternoon, and keep the produce cool and shaded.
Jute mallow wilts rapidly, common practice in markets and shops is to sprinkle with water to keep its fresh appearance. If uprooted, the vegetables can be kept fresh for some days by putting it into basin with the roots in the water and sold in bunches or by weight.