Introduction to Tinda cultivation and frming practices: Tinda is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and it is also called Round Gourd, Indian Apple gourd, Crown gourd, Indian squash, Indian Baby pumpkin Apple gourd. It is one of the unique and important summer annual vegetables.
A step by step guide to Tinda cultivation practices
Tinda is grown in very few countries and thus consumes less area. It is primarily grown in India for several purposes. It is a small gourd that grows on prolific vines that can reach over 1 to 2 meters in height. It is a popular vegetable in South Asia, India, and Pakistan. It is used in a wide variety of culinary applications and has a mild flavor that will take on accompanying flavors in a dish. It is normally used for curries, stews, and stuffing.
Its fruit is almost a gourd family with a diameter of about 5 to 8 cm; its shape is spherical, which is almost green. It is mainly the native of India and it is cultivated widely in India, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Tinda is rich in vitamin A.
Main varieties of Tinda are given below;
The main three variety of Tinda (Apple gourd)
Arka Tinda – This is a high-yielding crop that is ready for 45 to 50 sowing. It is an early variety and the vegetable is round in shape, the skin is light green and there are soft hairs present at the harvest time. After pollination, the tinda fruits can be harvested in 5 days.
Bikanar Green – Its fruit size is large and it is ready after about 60 days of sowing.
Punjab Tinda – It is a medium-sized fruit with a shining appearance. The flesh is white color and seeds are less in number. It normally produces 8 to 10 fruits and can produce a yield of 4.5 tonnes per hectare in 2 months.
Anamalai Tinda – This Tinda was developed in the Southern belt of the country and it has light green and comparatively smaller vegetables.
Mahyco tinda – This tinda variety was developed by a private seed company in Jalna, India.
Swati – It is an F1 Hybrid tinda variety, which has a vine length of 175 to 225 cm and has strong growth. The fruits can be harvested after almost 2 months of sowing and it is a dark green color.
Soil and location for Tinda cultivation
Sandy loam is rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH level of 6.5-7.5. Tinda grows well in fully fertile or sandy soils; its roots are well developed in this soil. Tinda plant is well-suited for the development and good harvest of organic matter, sandy loamy and well-drained soil. For this, select a place where the full sun comes and the minimum temperature of the day is approximately 60F. Select a sunny location for the cultivation of Tinda. You can plant in a large container, at least 40 cm diameter with several draining holes at its bottom.
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Temperature for the cultivation of Tinda
In tropical or sub-tropical climate, it grows well in long, hot weather. If you want to plant, then Tinda seeds can be planted in January or February. In the cold climatic zone, you can start farming it inside the house, and you can put it out after the cold outbreak is over. The ideal temperature for soil for germination of Tinda seed should be 25 – 32C.
Spacing between Tinda seeds
Its bed width is 1.5 meters and seeds are sown at both sides of the bed. The distance between Tinda seeds should be approximately 18inchs. Soak the Tinda seeds in water for about 12 hours before planting; it is necessary for the proper germination process. Place two seeds in a hole and if you plant seeds in line, keep the distance between them from 48 inches to 70 inches.
Beds are formed of width 1.5 m and the Tinda seeds are placed on both sides of the bed and the spacing between them is 45 cm. To ensure proper germination process, the seeds can be soaked in water and it is advisable to sow two seeds at one spot. In case if the seeds are planted in a row, an approximate spacing of 120 to 180 cm must be maintained between them.
Sowing, nursery, and transplanting for Tinda cultivation
After the soil has been efficiently prepared through plowing, ridging or harrowing, the Tinda seeds can be directly sown on the flat land or ridges. For cultivation of tinda, hills or ridges are formed and 3 or 4 seeds are sown per hill at depth of 2 to 3 cm and an appropriate spacing must be ensured. In the case of the hill, planting soil is formed into a 1-inch diameter mound which is 3 to 4 inches tall. Another way to tinda cultivate is through row planting where seeds are planted in a row at the appropriate spacing. After the seedlings are formed, 1 or 2 seedlings per hill can be planted and it normally takes 3 to 4 weeks for the seeds to form seedlings.
Season of sowing – January-February is the best season for sowing Tinda.
Planting methods of Tinda
If you’re planting tinda seeds in rows, you’ll want to space them at least 12 inches apart. Drop 1 or two seeds in each mound of earth, at a depth of about an inch. Once the tinda gourds start growing, you’ll want to thin them out so that they’re spaced about 3 feet apart. Otherwise, they could not get enough light and air.
Vertical Trellis Planting
Tinda gourds can be trained to climb vertically up a trellis, fence, or garden support. Vertical growing not only saves ground space, but it can also provide tinda gourds with more exposure to sunlight and air. For best results, use a strong, sturdy trellis or fence that’s at least 6 feet high. You can use garden ties, twine, or wire to secure the vine than that it’s not too top-heavy.
Propagation of Tinda
Generally, Tinda is planted by seeds; seeds are planted in January and February.
Seed rate and seed treatment of Tinda
Seed rate is the number of seeds necessary to sow a particular area acre or hectare and it depends on many different factors like seed viability, soil conditions, etc. The seed rate for Tinda cultivation is an average of 500 to 700 g of seeds per acre. Treat the Tinda seeds with Trichoderma viride @ 4g or Pseudomonas @ fluorescens 10 g or carbendazim 2g/kg of seed. Thin the seedlings after 15 days to maintain two per pit at 0.9 m spacing
Preparation of field – Plough the field to fine tilth and form long channels at 1.5 meters apart.
Planting process or Tinda cultivation
- Tinda grows best in tropical or sub-tropical climates with long, warm growing seasons where the seeds can be planted in February-April. If you live in a colder climate, you can start the Tinda seeds indoors in peat pots, and then transplant them outdoors after the final frost. The important thing to remember is that the soil temperature needs to be from 86-90F for the seeds to germinate.
- The tinda seeds must be planted in one foot (30 cm) ridges, spaced 4-6 feet (1.25-2 m) apart. Or plant seeds in rows about 12 inches (30 cm) apart.
- Soak it in the water overnight before planting Tinda seed, it will germinate soon. After making small mounds, tinda seeds must be given a space of 4 to 6 feet apart; each mound must be about three feet in height and one foot in diameter. This will not accumulate water around the plant, better drainage is essential for these plants.
- Tinda seeds are a small dark brown color and soak the seeds overnight. Sow 2 to 3 seeds at a depth of about an inch (2-3 cm) keep damp. The seeds will germinate in 2 to 4 weeks depending on the temperature. Thin the seedlings 1 to 2 per hill when they have 3-4 leaves.
- You can soak the Tinda seeds overnight before planting to speed up germination and put a tall trellis in the pot to train the vines to climb vertically up. This vertical growing method saves a lot of space.
- Keep the vines not overly dense to provide Tinda exposure to sunlight and air for the best results.
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Irrigation management for Tinda cultivation
Irrigate the field before dibbling the seeds and then once a week. It is important to provide optimum water conditions during tinda cultivation and thus controlled irrigation is necessary for proper germination and maturation until proper fruits are produced. The furrows are pre-irrigated and the seeds are sown on the top of the furrows and the furrows are irrigated on the second or third day of sowing. Irrigation must be done according to the season as water requirement varies season to season. During summers, irrigation can be done after 4 to 5 days and during monsoon, irrigation mainly depends on the rainfall amount. Generally, for better productivity of the vegetable, light irrigation must be done immediately sowing of the seeds, which can be followed by 9 to 10 irrigations at an interval of 8 to 10 days. Various methods for irrigation such as sprinkler, bubblers, and drip can be used for proper watering. Drip irrigation is important for arid regions and also ensures water saving.
Nutrient management for Tinda cultivation
Proper nutrition to the crop is necessary for the plants to grow properly and give a good yield. Nutrients can be normally added in the form of organic manure and chemical fertilizers. Organic manure is made from natural materials and then improves the soil texture and provides nutrients to the soil. Chemical fertilizers are used as nutrient release by organic manure is less and also takes time.
Proper growth can be facilitated by the addition of about 50 to 60 kg/ha of nitrogen which helps in the stimulation of early growth. We can apply one-third of nitrogen along with a full dose of phosphorus and potassium while sowing the Tinda seeds. The rest of the nitrogen could be applied during the early growth period.
To improve seed germination, 30 to 60 kg/ha of phosphorus and 40 to 60 kg/ha of potassium is used 10 t/ha of FYM can be applied for proper nutrient content after sowing.
Application of fertilizers – Apply Farmyard Manure10 t/ha, N 20 kg/ha as basal and N 20 kg/ha 30 days after sowing. Vegetables are necessary to grow well and proper nutrition for a healthy yield. For Tinda, you can use organic and chemical fertilizers; however, you must use organic manure, because you call it a vegetable. Organic manure is made from natural materials and brings required improvements to your soil. After about 30 days, apply a general-purpose fertilizer when the Tinda plant develops slightly. You can use water-soluble or granulated fertilizer.
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Weed management for Tinda cultivation
Weeds reduce the growth, quality, and yield of the plants and since they invite more insects, rodents, and disease, the chance of the crop to be infected is more. Mulches both organic and inorganic can be used to check weeds, where organic mulches decompose in the soil naturally and inorganic mulches want to be removed timely after proper moisture retention and soil warming. Weeds can be checked by removing through mechanical methods like manual removal or removal by several small tools.
Growing Tinda in containers
- Tinda is easy to plant in the garden; you can plant it in a pot when there is a lack of space. For this, you must use the Seeding Tray or the flat container which is about 12 inches in width.
- Fill the flat container with rich and well-drained soil. You can use your ground soil, but the garden soil is a bit heavy, so mix sand, coco peat and manure in it.
- Now you open the packet of seeds and read the instructions properly. Make a hole in the container with a gap of about 3 centimeters in the container, then place a seed in each hole and cover the seed from the thin soil.
- Let the container soil wet well and humidity is necessary for the plant. Then place the container in the warm light area.
- Keep watching the container continuously, as the soil dries very fast in the container.
- About 11 days later, Tinda will sprout and small plants will be obtained.
- After the harsh cold in February has passed, when plants mature enough, you can transplant it in the ground.
Tinda plant protection
Pests of Tinda
Beetles– Spray Malathion 50 EC 1 ml/l at weekly intervals.
- Collect the affected fruits and destroy them.
- The fly population is low in hot conditions and it is a peak in the rainy season. Thus, adjust the sowing time accordingly and expose the pupae by plowing.
- Use 20 x 15 cm polythene bags, fish meal trap with a wet fish meal of about 5 gm and 1 g of dichlorvos in cotton, 50 traps are required per hectare. Then fish meal and dichlorvos impregnated cotton are to be renewed once in 20 and 7 days respectively.
- Neem oil about 3.0 % as a foliar spray as need-based.
- Do not use copper and sulfur dust, because these are phytotoxic.
Whitefly – Spray Neem Seed Kernal Extract 5 %.
Tinda fruit grows on a vine, which is approximately 5 feet in length. Tinda is harvested when it is mature and in green stage and the diameter must be in the range of 10 to 12 cm, with seeds still soft inside the vegetable. After the Tinda fruit is grown, it can be harvested with 2 weeks but that highly depends on the moisture and temperature conditions. To ensure that the neighboring fruits are not much affected, stalk must be cut short. If fruit harvest is done properly, it is expected that 4 fruits can be harvested from each plant.
The yield of Tinda
In India, the yield is almost 10 tonnes per hectare in 90 days. Incase if you miss this: Growing Hydroponic Fenugreek.