Introduction: -Bottle Gourd is said to be an important and famous vegetable crop grown in India. It is related to Cucurbitaceae family. It’s also known as white pumpkin. This is used mostly for cooking purpose especially the leaves with stem and internal part of it. It is soft, tender and in taste, it is bitter and slightly astringent. The hard shell of Bottle Gourd is used for some other purpose. It is mostly grown in tropical areas. This crop proves to be an easy growing crop with low investment resulting in getting high yields within a short period of time. Bottle Gourd has also got its medicinal qualities and is responsible for curing diseases like Jaundice, Diabetes, Obesity, Constipation, Acidity, Stops premature aging, Swelling, Insect bites andAnemia. Apart from all these diseases it also helps in curing Depression, Insomnia, Improve memory, Asthma, Fever, Colic pain, Ulcer, etc.
Bottle Gourd consists of Vitamin C, Thiamin, Niacin (Vitamin B-5), Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) and smallamounts of Folates. The mineral content in Bottle Gourd is Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Sodium, Manganese and Magnesium.
The local names given to Bottle Gourd in different languages are: –
Varieties of Bottle Gourd: –
Commercially, the Bottle Gourd varieties cultivated in India are
- Summer prolific Round
- Summer prolific long
Climatic Conditions Required for Bottle Gourd: –
BottleGourd doesn’t support in Frost climate. It supports tropical climate which consists of hot and moist climate. This favors well cultivation of it.
Preparation of Soil and its type used in Bottle Gourd Farming: –
Bottle Gourd supports a wide range of soil, but it applies well in sandy, loam-soils. 6 to 7 ploughings should be done to the farmland and should be prepared thoroughly. The pH range should be from 6.5 to 7.5 for soil. Bottle Gourd requires good drainage. Soil can be made rich by the addition of Organic matter or Farm Yield Manure (FMY) resulting in better yield with quality vegetable.
Sowing of Bottle Gourd: –
In case of monsoon or rainy crops, the seeds are sown from June to July applicable for growing crops in the plains. For sowing seeds in the hills, April month is perfect. For the summer crops, the perfect time for sowing is January to end of February. As a layout basin and ring are used.
Seed Rate and Treatment, done in Bottle Gourd Farming: –
Approximately the seed rate of Bottle Gourd is 3.5 kg to 6 kg/ha. The treatment with Pseudomonas fluorescence having a quantity of 10 grams or Trichoderma Viride of 4 grams or Carbendazim of 2 grams/kg is given to the Bottle Gourd seeds before sowing is done.
Sowing and Spacing, done in Bottle Gourd Farming: –
For the sowing of Bottle Gourd seeds dibbling method is used keeping spacing of 2m to 3m x 1.0m to 1.5m. In a pit keeping the depth of 2.5 to 3.0 cm usually, 2 to 3 seeds are sown.
Intercultural Operations used In Bottle Gourd Farming: –
During the growth of Bottle Gourd at its early stage 2 or 3 Hoeing is done in order to control the weeds. The crops grown in monsoon or rainy season are stalked and trained on a bower which is made of bamboos and sticks.
Manure and Fertilizers used in Bottle Gourd Farming: –
10 kg of Farm Yard Manure (20 ton/ha), 100 grams of NPK in the ratio of 6:12:12 mixture/pit used as a basal and 10 grams of N/pit must be applied after 30 days of sowing. Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria of quantity 2kg/ha and Pseudomonas of 3 kg/ha along with Farmyard manure of quantity of 50 kg and neem cake of 100 kg are applied and used before last ploughing.
Irrigation in Bottle Gourd Farming: –
In order to make Bottle Gourd Farming most successful, Drip Irrigation must be applied. Frequent watering keeping interval of 3 to 4 days is required and must be done for the summer crop whereas for winter crop irrigation is done as per requirement. Generally rainy season crop doesn’t involve irrigation.
Harvesting and Yield of Bottle Gourd: –
The Bottle Gourd harvesting or cultivation takes place at its premature age only when the fruits are still green. Delay in picking causes the fruits to get dry and rot. But the good one can be left on the plant itself to get dry and hence prepare the seedling for the next crop. Trucks prove to be the easy way of transportation in order to bring vegetables to the local market.
The average yield of Bottle Gourd Farming comes to 100 to 120 quintal/ha as per expectation.