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Growing Ridge Gourd.
Growing Ridge Gourd.

Growing Ridge Gourd, Cultivation Practices Details

Introduction:

The following information is about “Growing Ridge Gourd and Cultivation Practices”.

The ridge gourd belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. The Cucurbitaceae family consists many other species like snake gourd and pumpkin. The Cucurbitaceae family contains 118 genus and 825 species. The scientific name of ridge gourd is Luffa. These ridge gourds belong to the tropical and subtropical regions. This vegetable is cultivated as a fruit, but consumed as a vegetable. This should be harvested at a young stage so that it would be edible as a vegetable. This vegetable is native to the Central and Eastern Countries of Asia. This can be popularly seen in Vietnam, China and India.

It is very fibrous, when it is fully ripened. With this ridge gourd in India many dishes can be prepared. This is an essential herb in Ayurveda treatment of skin diseases also. The plant texture is hard, but the cultivation process is very easy. These can also be cultivated in indoor places with colder climates. All over the world India ranks 1st in cultivating all varieties of vegetables and China is in 2nd place for cultivating vegetables. It is cultivated in the summer and rainy seasons. It is a creeper crop and has a habit of climbing and trailing.

Characteristics of Growing Ridge Gourd:

  • The ridge gourd is a fast growing plant.
  • It is a climbing vine. It requires some support for spreading.
  • They require good sunlight.
  • These plants flourish in humid climatic conditions.
  • The female flowers are yellow in colour; the leaves are lobed and are dark green in colour with elongated, straight and slightly curved pods.
  • The edible pod length is 10-18 cm when immature.

Properties of Growing Ridge Gourd:

  • The ridge gourd has very little fat and calorie content
  • It is devoid of cholesterol.
  • It contains sodium and potassium.
  • Ridge gourd contains Zinc, Thiamine, Selenium, Riboflavin, Phosphorous, Niacin, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Folate and Calcium
  • It contains Vitamins like Vitamin A, VitaminB-12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E.

Cultivars/Varieties of Growing Ridge Gourd:

Arka Sumeet:

  • This variety is lush green in colour.
  • They are cylindrical in shape.
  • The length of ridge gourd is 55 cm; the circumference of the ridge gourd is 2.5 cm.
  • The average weight of the ridge gourd is 380 grams.
  • These can be harvested in 50-55 days from planting.

Arka Sujat:

  • These are also lush green.
  • They are cylindrical in shape.
  • The length of the ridge gourd is medium.
  • The average weight of the ridge gourd is 350 grams.
  • The average yield of this ridge gourd crop is 63 tonnes per hectare.
  • They can be harvested in 100 days.

Pusa Nasdar:

  • These are also lush green.
  • They are cylindrical in shape.
  • Every plant of ridge gourd contains 15-20 fruits.
  • The average yield of ridge gourd is 15-16 tonnes per hectare.

Swama Manjari:

  • They are cylindrical in shape.
  • The ridge gourds are elongated; they are medium in size and with soft flesh.
  • They are first harvested in 65-70 days.
  • The average yield of this variety is 18-20 tonnes per hectare.
  • They can be harvested in 140-150 days.

Swama Uphar:

  • They are cylindrical in shape.
  • They are elongated; they are medium in size and with soft flesh.
  • The average weight of this variety is 380 grams.
  • The length of the ridge gourd is 55 cm; the circumference of this variety is 2.5 cm.
  • They can be harvested in 50-55 days.

Punjab Sadabhar:

  • They are cylindrical in shape.
  • They are elongated; they are medium in size and with soft flesh.
  • The average weight of this variety is 300 grams.
  • The ridge gourd is long, 3-5 cm thick and slightly curved.
  • The average yields of this variety 10 tonnes per hectare.

Konkan Harita:

  • They are cylindrical in shape.
  • They are elongated; they are medium in size and with soft flesh.
  • They are 30-45 cm long, tapering at the ends.
  • The average yield of this variety 10-12 fruits per plant.

Soil and Climate Requirements for Growing Ridge Gourd:

Ridge Gourd Growing Conditions.
Ridge Gourd Growing Conditions.

While cultivating the ridge gourd we need plenty of moisture in the soil. They yield great in warm climates. For cultivation the soil, which is best preferred is well drained sandy loam soil with high organic matter. The pH value of the organic soil should be around 6.5-7.5. Water logging can result in poor growth as it can cause root diseases. If the ridge gourds are growing in cold climates damping off can be a problem with young seedlings. If we allow them to grow on the ground, fruit losses may occur due to rotting.

The temperature required for the ridge gourd cultivation is 25˚- 30˚C. This temperature is required for the seed germination.  The Luffa acutangula, one variety of ridge gourds is fast growing among all other varieties. Female flowers need high temperature and long days for development rather than short days and low temperatures. These ridge gourds can be cultivated at altitudes up to 500 mm Above Mean Sea Level. For ridge gourd cultivation rainy season is not suitable.

Land Preparation and Planting for Growing Ridge Gourd:

Select an area with efficient and abundant sunlight for the plants. The trellis should be erected in that area. Before erecting the trellis, it should be treated with a pesticide and the soil should be supplied with Farmyard manure. The seeds should also be treated with chemical pesticides. The extra vegetation should be cleaned and land should be marked 2 x 2 feet for sowing. The pit should be dug with 1 feet depth. The soil from the tip should be kept separately. The pit should be refilled with composed mixture and the separately kept soil. The spacing between each seed must be 5 inches apart. The spacing between seedlings should be 3 inches apart. The planting is done in summer season.  If the seeds are sown in January then they are harvested in April. The winter crop seeds are sown in the month of the June and harvested in July. The row spacing is 1.5 to 2.5 cm.

Propagation Method for Growing Ridge Gourd:

Ridge Gourd Seeds.
Ridge Gourd Seeds.

The propagation of ridge gourd is done by seeds. The seeds are planted directly or the seedling can be transplanted from the nursery to the main field. Paper tea cups or polythene bag or a container can be used in nurseries for growing the seedlings. The seeds can get germinated in a natural way by wrapping the seeds in banana stem with moist soil. Seed rate per hectare is 3.5- 5 kg.

Manure and Fertilization Method in Growing Ridge Gourd:

The land is prepared by applying 10-15 tonnes of well rotten Farm Yard Manure (FYM) per hectare.  The seeds are sown by applying 25:30:30 kg of Nitrogen: Phosphorous: Potassium per hectare of land. After 30 days of sowing seeds, nitrogen should be applied to the land @ 15-25 kg per hectare of land.

Irrigation Methods in Growing Ridge Gourd:

The water supply to the soil depends on the season and soil moisture. For ridge gourd farming drip irrigation methods are more beneficial. Although the seeds are sown in summer season, irrigation must be given with 1 day intervals. The subsequent irrigation is given at an interval of 4-6 days in the rainy season. If the rains are continuous then irrigation is not at all required.

Flowering and Pollination in Growing Ridge Gourd:

The varieties of ridge gourds have different flowers of male and female origin. The female flower is attached with small fruit which is pollinated from the mature fruit. Bees and some other insects help in the process of pollination. Pollination can also happen manually by hand while harvesting.

Intercultural Methods in Growing Ridge Gourd:

Intercultural Operations of Ridge Gourd Plants.
Intercultural Operations of Ridge Gourd Plants.

The intercultural methods which can be practiced for the ridge gourd are pruning and training. The trellises are very important for better yield.

  • Above the trellis after the 12th node the plant should be allowed to grow without any laterals and tendrils.
  • The main stem should be pruned.
  • The stem of the plant can be lightly tied to the trellis using a natural fibre string.
  • Laterals should be allowed to grow below the trellis.
  • Each and every trellis should be counted till 12th node and the rest should be pruned.

Weed Control Measures in Growing Ridge Gourd: The weeds among the crops are difficult to kill because it may also harm the neighboring crops, but weed control is a very important agricultural practice. Mulching and hand hoeing can help control the weeds. Herbicides are a chemical solution for the control of weeds. Weeds are plants which exhibit one or more of the following characteristics like little or no recognized value as energy, medicine, nutritional or material. The weed plants compete for space, water, nutrients and light with the main crops. Glyphosate based compounds help control the weeds.

Pest and Disease Control Measures In Growing Ridge Gourd:

The ridge gourd is affected by the pest like beetles, fruit flies and caterpillars.

  • These pests can be controlled by spraying Dichlorvos 6.5 ml per 1 litre of water or Trichlorofon 1.0 ml per 1 litre of water.

The diseases occurring in the ridge gourd are Powdery mildew and Downy mildew.

  • Spraying Dinocap 1 ml per 1 litre of water can control powdery mildew.
  • For the control of Downy mildew Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2 g per 1 litre of water is sprayed twice with a gap of 10 days.

Harvesting Techniques in Growing Ridge Gourd:

When they grow to one third or half of the length, then they can be harvested. The seeds are soft when the gourd is completely mature. If they are overly mature then the seeds start becoming hard and their flesh turns coarse. The fruits which are tender and cylindrical in shape are more preferred in the market. The seeds are sown 55-60 days after the harvest.  The harvesting can be done in 4-5 days interval. The pollinated gourds yield more than the other gourds.

Post Harvesting Techniques in Growing Ridge Gourd:

Storage:

The gourds can be stored for 2-4 days without any damage. They should be stored under shade. Fresh water should be sprinkled timely while storing them. The gourds can be stored under suitable temperatures in cold storage. They can be stored for 20-25 days in the cold storage room.

Packing:

These ridge gourds can be packed in bamboo baskets or in wooden boxes with good aeration. While packing those produce, leaves or newspapers can be spread on the products. While sending them to markets they can be packed in gunny bags.

Grading:

They are graded by size, colour and tenderness. The overly mature ridge gourds are fibrous and they are unfit for consumption.

Yield In Growing Ridge Gourd:

The yield of the cultivated crop completely depends on the soil, climate, irrigation, manure and management practices. The average yield from ridge gourd farms is 14-15 tonnes per hectare.

Read: GROWING BITTER GOURD.

Read: GROWING CELERY IN CONTAINERS.

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