A step by step guide for Bottle gourd farming, Planting
Introduction of Bottle gourd:
Bottle gourd is a very important vegetable crop in India and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. The vegetable in green stage and leaves with stem are used as a vegetable. The hard shell of the Bottle Gourd is used for a different purpose.
Local names of Bottle gourd in India:
Sorakaya/Anapakaya (Telugu), Sorekai/Chorakkai (Tamil), Chorakaa (Malayalam), Sorekai(Kannada), Ghia/Lauki (Hindi), Lau (Bengali), Dudhi (Gujarati), Pandharabhopla/Dudya Bhopal (Marathi), and Zeeth (Kashmiri).
Commercial Varieties of Bottle gourd:
Below are some of the commercial varieties of bottle gourd cultivated in India.
- Pusa Navven.
- Arka Bahar.
- Summer prolific Round.
- Summer prolific long.
- Pusa Manjiri.
- Pusa Meghdoot.
Climate required for Bottle gourd:
Bottle gourd requires a hot and moist climate for its cultivation. This vegetable cannot withstand frost.
Soil and its Preparation for Bottle gourd plantation:
Bottle gourd can be grown in a wide range of soils. But it thrives well in sandy loam soils. The land or main field should be prepared thoroughly by six to seven ploughings and pH range in soil should be from 6.5 to 7.5 in bottle gourd cultivation. This vegetable requires good drainage. Adding organic matter or Farm Yield Manure (FMY) will make the soil rich so that better yield with quality vegetable can be expected.
When to sow Bottle gourd
The Bottle gourd seed is sown from June to July for monsoon or rainy crops in the plains and April in the hills. January to end of February for summer crops. The layout is basin and ring used.
The seed rate of Bottle gourd:
Normally, the seed rate for bottle gourd farming is 3.5 kg to 6 kg/ ha.
Bottle gourd seed Treatment procedure:
Bottle gourd seeds should be treated with Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 grams or Trichoderma viride 4 grams or Carbendazim 2 grams/kg of seeds before sowing.
Methods of sowing and spacing of Bottle gourd plants:
The vegetable seed is sown by dibbling method at a spacing of 2 m to 3 X 1.0 m to 1.5 m. Generally, two to three seeds are sown in a pit at 2.5 cm to 3.0 cm depth.
Intercultural operation of Bottle gourd crop:
Two to three hoeing is given to control the weeds during the early stage of bottle gourd growth. The monsoon or rainy season crop is normally stalked, often trained on a bower made of bamboos and sticks.
Manure and fertilizers of Bottle gourd plants:
Apply 10 kg of Farm Yard Manure (20 ton/ha), 100 grams of NPK 6:12:12 mixture/pit as basal and 10 grams of N / pit 30 days after sowing. Application of Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria 2 kg/ha and Pseudomonas 3 kg/ha along with Farmyard Manure 50 kg and neem cake of 100 kg before the last plowing is required.
Water requirement of Bottle gourd plants:
Drip irrigation is most advantageous in the bottle gourd cultivation. The summer crop requires frequent watering at an interval of 3 to 4 days. The winter crop is irrigated as and when needed. Usually, the rainy season crop does not require irrigation. You can go for Drip Irrigation as it has many advantages.
How and When to Harvest Bottle gourds:
The vegetables should be harvested when they are still green. Delay in harvesting causes the bottle gourd to become rotten or dried. Healthy Bottle gourd can be kept on the plant until it dries for preparing the seedling for the next crop.
The yield of Bottle gourd:
The average yield of 100 to 120 quintal/hectare can be expected.
Some facts about growing Bottle gourds:
- Bottle gourds are easy to grow in containers, pots, balconies and on the terrace. If you have enough space in the backyard, you grow very well on the ground.
- As bottle gourd vines have creeping nature, you can have some support in you want them to grow vertically.
- The germination of bottle gourd seed depends on the soil moisture, temperature.
- The best fertilizer of bottle gourd is an NPK with a ratio of 4:8:5.
- You can use any compost to enrich the soil for better yield of the gourds.
- The reason for bottle gourd leaves are turning yellow, it might be due to nutrient deficiency or overwatering.
- The reason for dying of bottle gourd plant is due to insufficient water or any pests and disease attack.
Marketing of Bottle gourd:
The freshly harvested bottle gourds can be transported via truck to the local vegetable market.
Bottom Line of growing Bottle gourds”
It is an easy growing and low investment vegetable with high yields in a short period of time.
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