Introduction: – Scientifically or botanically named as Memordica Charantia L. is popularly used for cooking and comes under the vegetable category. Bitter Gourd, also known as Bitter Melon is grown throughout India. It is tender, bitter in taste and has beneficial medicinal value. Consuming regularly, Bitter gourd results in a healthy lifestyle as it consists of a lot of health benefits. This farming makes and proves to be one of the profit-making farming for the farmers.
Its health benefits constitute the below-mentioned recoveries: –
- Respiratory Disorders
The fresh pods of Bitter Gourd prove to be an excellent remedy for overcoming all problems related to respiratory deficient problems like Asthma, cold, cough, etc. Bitter Gourd leaves paste when mixed with the paste of tulsi leaves and taken along with honey in the early morning is the best solution.
- Liver problems
It is researched and proved that drinking glass full of bitter gourd juice helps a lot in healing problems related to the liver.
- Immunity Systems
Bitter melon leaves when boiled even its fruit as well and then consumed on a daily basis helps to fight against any infections thereby building immunity.
If Bitter Melon is consumed regularly then no skin infections or acne, pimples will occur at all and you are left with clean, glowing skin. It purifies the blood and helps in getting rid of any skin infections even fungal infections. It’s prescribed to have bitter melon juice along with lemon regularly in order to experience better results.
Bitter Gourd juice also helps in overcoming type 2Diabetes.
Due to the fiber content in Bitter Gourd, it helps in easy digestion thereby reducing the effect of indigestion and constipation problems.
- Kidney and Bladder
Bitter melon also helps a lot in fighting against kidney and bladder related any issues.
- Heart Disease
Bitter gourd is well known for reducing the bad cholesterol levels that cause which helps in decreasing the chances of heart attacks. Adding to it, it also lowers the blood sugar levels which is responsible for maintaining a good and healthy heart.
Its daily use prevents the cancer cells multiplication.
- Weight Loss
Bitter melon acts as an antioxidant that improves the metabolism and digestive systems thereby helping in quickly losing weight.
- Energizes Naturally
If consumed regularly, Bitter Gourd proves to be the best juice for improving stamina and energy levels even held responsible for maintaining the sleeping patterns.
- Purifies Blood
The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties present in the Bitter gourd helps in treating the skin problems, blood disorders, clearing the toxins from the blood and purifies the blood hence improving the blood circulation throughout the body thereby decreasing the issues caused due to the improper blood circulation in the body such as itching, acne, rashes, blood boils etc.
- Skin Benefits
Skin is the outer appearance of our body which everybody needs to maintain and have perfection in it. Though it is an outer face but connected to internally what we put inside. If we really need a healthy and damage free skin, we should make Bitter Gourd a part of our daily diet which helps in not only getting a perfect skin but also fights in preventing any skin problems, skin infections, anti-aging and also have healing qualities.
- Hair Benefits
It proves to be a better home remedy for hair. It helps a lot in fighting against hair related problems like dandruff, shining hair, split ends, Dry and Itchy scalp, rough and tangled hair, premature greying of hair, oily hair and hair loss.
Bitter Gourd, known in various languages: –
Bitter Gourd Varieties Cultivated in India: -Its various varieties that are cultivated in India includes Co 1, MDU 1, COBgoH 1 (Hybrid), Arka Harit, Priya and Preethi.
Climatic Conditions for Bitter Gourd Farming: -Being warmly seasoned plant, Bitter Gourd supports hot and humid climate.
Soil Requirement for Bitter Gourd Farming: –
Bitter Gourd requires well-drained, fertile soil having pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.7 which is enriched with Organic matter like compost or dried manure. Even it has the ability to tolerate any soil that provides a good drainage system. The area should be frost-free. Also, it prefers the climate with daytime temperature ranging between 24 C and 35 C. Before planting soil must be prepared well using organic matter. It will germinate sooner where the seeds are soaked in water. The soil temperature ranges from 20 C to 25 C for germination.
Bitter Gourd proliferation is done through direct seeding and transplantation.
Land preparation for Bitter Gourd Farming: –
The farm should be ploughed thoroughly to have fine tilth and dig pits of 30 cm X 30 cm X 30 cm size keeping spacing of 2 X 1.5 m to form basins.
Sowing and Seed Rate in Bitter Gourd Farming: –
In Bitter Gourd Farming, the time for sowing of seeds starts from January to March in case of summer season crop, for rainy season crop it is from June to July in plains and March to June in the hills. The rate of seed is 4 to 5 kg/ha.
The process of Sowing in Bitter Gourd Farming: –
The method used for sowing of seeds in Bitter Gourd farming is a dibbling method which is done at a spacing of 120×90 cm. 3 to 4 seeds can be sown in a pit at a depth of 2.5 to 3.0 cm. For better germination, the seeds are soaked in water for an overnight before of sowing. The seeds are soaked in a solution of 25 to 50 ppm GA and 25 ppm boron for 24 hours. The seeds are dibbled at the spacing of 1mx1m in case of the flatbed layout.
Pollination in Bitter Gourd Farming: –
Within six months of the time period, while the vines are blooming, Bitter Gourd requires insects such as honey bees for carrying out the process of pollination for setting the fruits. You can run this process manually as well if there is no availability of insects in your area. It can be easily done by taking out the male flowers and transferring pollens to female flowers by face-to-face making contact with the center part of the flower. This process should be conducted when the flowering is active during daytime. The female flowers consist of the fat section between the flower and the vine system and if the pollination process is a success, the fat portion will shape up itself to a full-size fruit.
Irrigation in Bitter Gourd Farming: –
Irrigation of basins should be done before the dibbling of the seeds are done and after that, the irrigation should be done on a weekly basis. Drip system should be installed with main and sub main pipes and the inline lateral tubes should be placed at an interval of 1.5m. The drippers in the lateral tubes should be placed at an interval of 60 cm and 50 cm of spacing holding capacities of 4 LPH and 3.5 LPH respectively.
Weed Control in Bitter Gourd Farming: -In order to control weeds Hoeing should be processed thrice after the cultivation is done. To reach the pandal, stakes should be provided. From the 15th days of sowing, 100 ppm of Ethrel (a mixture of 1 ml dissolved in 10 lit of water) is sprayed four times at weekly intervals.
Pests and Diseases in Bitter Gourd Farming: –
There are several insects, pests and diseases to which Bitter Gourd vines are susceptible. They are briefly described below –
Dicofol consisting of 18.5% of SC at the rate of 2.5 ml per liter of water is mixed and sprayed in order to destroy it.
To sufficient quantity of stickers such as Teepol, Triton X100, apsa, etc. along with Imidachloprid at the rate of 0.5ml per liter is sprayed to have better adhesion and coverage.
- Beetles, Fruit Flies and Caterpillars
Spraying of Malathion 50 EC 1ml/lit or Dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/lit or Methyl demeton 25 EC 1ml/lit can easily control the plant from these insects.
- Powdery mildew
Spraying of Dinocap 1 ml/lit or Carbendazim 0.5g/lit helps in controlling powdery mildew.
- Downy mildew
Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil of quantity 2g/lit can be sprayed twice at an interval of 10 days in order to control Downy mildew.
Manure and Fertilizers used in Bitter Gourd: –
10 kg of FYM per pit, 100 g of NPK in a ratio of 6:12:12/pit is used as basal and 10 g of N/pit is applied after the sowing of 30 days. Also a mixture of Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria of 2kg/ha and Pseudomonas at the rate of 2.5 kg/ha along with FYM 50 kg and neem cake at the rate of 100 kg before last ploughing.
Harvesting and Yield of Bitter Gourd: –
Harvesting is carried every alternate day when the fruits are young and tender. During picking it should be taken care that the vine is not damaged. Also, you should be careful that the fruits shouldn’t be allowed to mature on the vines. 3 to 4 days in the cool condition the Bitter Gourd fruits can be stored after harvesting. Bitter Gourd yield comes to 60 to 100 quintal/ha.
Seed Production in Bitter Gourd Farming: –
In order to produce seeds of Gourd, some vines should be left in the field. Even after the harvesting, the seeds continue to mature inside the Bitter Gourd. The seeds valid for 2 to 3 years.
When the fruits are fully matured, it breaks and releases brown or white seeds that can be collected easily.