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Krishi Gyan
16 Feb

Efficient Cultivation of Bottle Gourd

Efficient Cultivation of Bottle Gourd 

Lauki, also known as bottle gourd, is cultivated extensively across India, from the mountainous regions to the southern parts of the country. Bihar leads in its production, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Chhattisgarh. According to the National Horticulture Board's data for the year 2021-22, these five states contribute to 70% of the total bottle gourd production in the country. Cultivating bottle gourd holds immense potential for farmers to reap profits in a short duration.

Cultivation Practices for Bottle Gourd

  • Suitable Climate: Bottle gourd thrives in warm and humid climates. Optimal temperatures for its growth range from 32 to 38 degrees celsius. The development of bottle gourd plants is best under such conditions, while they cannot tolerate excessive cold.
  • Soil Selection: Sandy loam soil enriched with organic matter is ideal for bottle gourd cultivation. The pH level of the soil should ideally be between 6 to 7. The soil should have good water retention capacity. Avoid cultivating bottle gourd in waterlogged areas or stony soils, as they are not suitable for its growth.
  • Land Preparation: Prepare the land by plowing it 2 to 3 times. After plowing, level the field and make it friable. Apply 70 kg of NPK 10:26:26 fertilizer along with 25 kg of urea, 12 kg of sulfur, and 4 kg of 'DeHaat Starter' per acre of land. Ensure proper drainage in the field.
  • Variety Selection: The yield of bottle gourd depends largely on the variety chosen. Select bottle gourd varieties based on your region. For better yields, consider varieties like 'DeHaat DHS 2200', 'DeHaat DHS 2202', and 'DeHaat DHS 2210'. Other options include Iris Hybrid F1 Bottle Gourd, Sarpan F1 Hybrid Bottle Gourd-55, Iris Round Mumtaj F1 Bottle Gourd, Gentex Shubhangi (RST 1103), Team Seeds Laddu F1 Hybrid Bottle Gourd, Iris Jhankar F1 Hybrid Bottle Gourd, Shine Brand Julie F1 Bottle Gourd, and Iris Hajari 04 F1 Hybrid Bottle Gourd
  • Sowing Time: Bottle gourd can be successfully cultivated in both the summer and rainy seasons. For summer harvest, sow the seeds between January and March. For monsoon harvest, sow the seeds in June-July. In hilly regions, sowing should be done between March and April.
  • Quantity and Treatment of Seeds: The quantity of seeds required can vary depending on the variety. Generally, about 300-350 gm of seeds are needed per acre of land. Before sowing, treat per kg of the seeds with 2.5 gm of Carbendazin 12% + Mancozeb 63% WP (DeHaat - Saabu). This treatment can protect the crop from damping off disease.
  • Sowing Method: To achieve better yields, sow bottle gourd seeds in rows. Maintain a distance of 6 ft between all rows, with a spacing of approximately 2.5 ft between plants within rows. Sow the seeds at a depth of 1 to 2 centimeters.
  • Fertilizer Management: Applying fertilizers in gourd cultivation can help obtain high-quality produce. Compared to other vegetable crops, bottle gourd requires a higher amount of urea. 10-15 days after sowing, use 2 ml of DeHaat Akillis GA per liter of water. This helps increase the number of female flowers in the plants. During flowering in plants, spray 5 gm of MKP 00.52.34 (DeHaat Nutri One - Mono Potassium Phosphate) + 1 gm of chelated boron. As the crop develops, apply 2 ml of DeHaat Boost Master mixed per liter of water. To enhance the quality of bottle gourd fruits, spray 1 gm of chelated calcium + 1 gm of boron 20% mixed per liter of water.
  • 2G and 3G Cutting: In the cultivation of bottle gourd, the practice of 2G and 3G cutting leads to an increase in the number of female flowers on the plants. This enhances the possibility of obtaining a greater yield of fruits. In 2G cutting, when the branches of the plant grow to about one meter in length, the upper part is cut to prevent further elongation. This ensures that the branches do not become excessively long. After this process in the plants, the branches of the second generation emerge, and female flowers begin to form near the first leaf. Only male flowers emerge on the branches of the first generation, resulting in no fruit formation. For the branches of the second generation, 3G cutting is performed, resulting in the emergence of branches from the third generation. This leads to the flowering of female flowers near each leaf. For 3G cutting, select plants that are at least 20 to 30 days old.
  • Irrigation Management: Proper irrigation management can lead to increased yields in bottle gourd cultivation. Irrigate bottle gourd according to the moisture content in the soil. Maintain moisture in the field until the seeds germinate. If transplanting seedlings are prepared in the nursery, ensure light irrigation after planting. During the monsoon season, there is no need for excessive irrigation in the crop. Irrigate once a week during the monsoon season. Conversely, irrigate every 3 to 4 days during the summer season. Increased waterlogging in the field can lead to plant wilting. Therefore, ensure proper drainage arrangements in the field.
  • Weed Management: Before sowing, deep plowing should be done in the field to prevent the growth of weeds in bottle-gourd crops. This will destroy the weeds already present in the field. Also, adopt crop rotation. Weeding and tilling should be done 2-3 times in the early stages of crop growth. To control weeds in bottle gourd, use 600 milliliters of Pendimethalin 38.7% CS (BASF- Stomp Xtra, UPL- Dost Super, Tata Rallis Panida Grande, SWAL- Pandora) per acre within 48 hours of sowing.
  • Disease and Pest Management: In bottle gourd crops, diseases such as downy mildew, powdery mildew, fusarium wilt, gummy stem blight, fruit rot, mosaic virus disease, spider mites, whiteflies, etc., are more prevalent. The outbreak of these diseases and pests can cause significant damage to bottle gourd cultivation and affect the quality of the crop. Proper chemicals should be used if symptoms of any disease or pest infestations are observed.
  • Fruit Harvesting: The time taken for the bottle gourd fruits to mature depends on their varieties and the prevailing weather conditions. Approximately 50-65 days after sowing bottle gourd seeds, the first harvest of fruits can be carried out. To maintain freshness in the fruits for a few days after harvesting, carry out harvesting along with its stem.

Share your experience and insights on the types of bottle gourd you cultivate and the yield you obtain. We eagerly await your responses and comments. For agricultural advice and information, reach out to agri-experts by calling DeHaat's toll-free number 1800-1036-110. Don't forget to like and comment on this post. Follow the 'Krishi Gyan' channel for more such informative content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How many days does it take for a bottle gourd plant to bear fruit?

A: When cultivating hybrid varieties of bottle gourd, fruits are ready for the first harvest around 50-65 days after sowing. However, in some varieties, it may take up to 65 days for the fruits to be ready.

Q: How many bottle gourds grow on one plant?

A: On average, you can expect to harvest about 15 bottle gourds from each plant. The yield can be affected by factors such as the variety of bottle gourd, the use of fertilizers, and the outbreaks of diseases and pests.

Q: What can be done to increase the yield of bottle gourds?

A: The yield of bottle gourds depends on several factors. By selecting superior varieties, preparing the field, optimizing fertilizer application, and irrigation, and managing pests and diseases, you can increase the yield of bottle gourds significantly.

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