Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cultivation Practices of Bottle Gourd


Bottle gourd is an important cucurbit vegetable of Madhya Pradesh.
The bottle gourd is a vigorous, annual, running or climbing vine with large leaves and a lush appearance. It grows fast and may begin to flower only 2 months after seeding. The vine is branched and climbs by means of tendrils along the stem. The foliage is covered with soft hairs and has a foul musky odor when crushed. The leaves of the bottle gourd are up to 15 inches wide, circular in overall shape, with smooth margins, a few broad lobes, or with undulate margins. Leaves have a velvety texture because of the fine hairs, especially on the undersurface. The bottle gourd flowers are borne singly on the axils of the leaves, the males on long peduncles and the females on short peduncles. The flowers are white and attractive, up to 4 inches in diameter, with spreading petals. The ovary is inferior and in the shape of the fruit. Otherwise, the male and female flowers are similar in appearance. The anthers are borne on short filaments grouped at the center of the flower. The stigmas are short, thickened, and branched. The brownish seeds are numerous in a whitish green pulp. Each seed is somewhat rectangular in shape with grooved notches near the attached end.
/january-March and September- October are the ideal seasons. For the rainfed crop, sowing can be started after the receipt of first few showers during May-June .

Bio gaurav,warad,8 no,supriya are high yielding varieties.
Seed rate: 5.0-6.0 kglha Spacing: 2.0 m x 2..0 m Sowing
Pits of 60 cm diameter and 30-45 cm depth are taken. Well rotten FYM and fertilizersare mixed with topsoil in the pit and seeds are sown @ 4-5 per pit. Unhealthy plants are removed after two weeks and only 3 plants are retained per pit.
Apply FYM @ 20-25 tlha as basal dose along with half dose of N (35 kg) and full doses of PzOs (25 kg) and KzO (25 kg). The
remaining dose of N (35 kg) can be applied in several split doses at fortnightly intervals:
During the initial stages of growth, irrigate at 3-4 days interval, and alternate days during flowering/fruiting. Irrigation at 15 mm. CPE (approximately at 3 days interval for sandy loam soils) is more economical than irrigating once in two days especially during summer months for. water economy.
Erect pandals when the plants start vining. Conduct weeding and raking of the soil at the time of fertilizer application. Earthing up is done during rainy season.
Fruit fly (Dacus cucurbitae)
Apply carbaryl 10% DP in pit before sowing of seeds to destroy the pupae. In homestead gardens the fruits may be covered with
polythene, cloth or paper bags to ensure mechanical protection. In large gardens
apply carbaryl 20-25 gm or malathion 30-40ml in 15 litre of water containing sugar or jaggery at 10 gll at fortnightly intervals at flowering and fruit initiation. Spray as coarse droplets on the ventral surface of leaves. Remove and destroy affected and decayed fruits.
Epilachna beetle
Remove and destroy egg masses, grubs and adults occurring on leaves. Spray carbaryl 20 -25 gm per 15 litre of water .
Red pumpkin beetle
Adult beetle eats the leaves, makes hole on foliage and causes damage on roots and leaves. Incorporate carbaryl 10% DP in pits. before sowing the seeds to destroy grubs and pupae.
Plant lice
Apply 1.5% fish oil soap. First dissolve soap in hot water and then make up the volume.
Downy mildew
It is severe during rainy season. This can be checked by spraying mancozeb 50 gm in 15 litre of water(waiting period ofmancozeb is three days).
Powdery mildew
Can be controlle d by spraying combination of Mancozeb and carbendazim 35 gm per 15 litres of water.
Control the vectors by spraying dimethoate 35 ml in 15 litres of water.
Uprooting and destruction of affected plants and collateral hosts should be done.
Harvesting can be done only after 10 days (at least) of insecticide / fungicide
The fruits should be washed thoroughly in water before cooking.

Bottle gourd or Dudhi or lauki has been a part of Indian Ayurvedic medicines. It has several health benefits.

Consumption of bottle gourd juice on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning; is beneficial to reduce weight.
It has a high fibre content and thus useful in regulation of bowel movements.
It prevents excessive loss of sodium from the body.
It also helps in controlling excessive thirst in diarrhea, diabetes, and consumption of food rich in fatty acids and oils.
It helps to reduce acidity of urine and can be used to cure urine infections and acidic urine (burning sensation when you pee.)
If you are on a low calorie diet eating bottle gourd is a must as it is high in fibre and low in calories.
Due to its high fibre content it can be used to prevent gastrointestinal disorders, constipation, piles, ulcers etc.
It acts as a diuretic and calms you down after consumption.
It helps cleanse your system.
It has been used to treat epilepsy and other mental ailments.
It is useful in controlling blood pressure and diabetes.
About 100 ml to 150 ml of juice consumed everyday will make a world of difference.

(Compiled by Harsh Saxena)

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