Bitter Gourd Farming In India – Complete Guidelines
Bitter gourd is an important vegetable crop that has a bitter taste. This vegetable is considered a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables are used after cooking, and delicious preparations are made after stuffing and frying.
We use the bitter gourd after frying. Bitter gourd vegetables have medicinal value and are used for rheumatism, curing diabetes, asthma, and blood diseases. In addition, we can use the roots and stem of wild bitter gourd in many ayurvedic medicines.
Farming most needs several types of equipment, which play a significant role in the processing of agriculture. Tractor, Implements and harvesters are the core in the bitter gourd farming; therefore, we suggest the Powertrac Euro 50, better for enhancing efficiency in the field.
It is a warm-season crop mainly grown in subtropical and hot-arid regions. It is susceptible to light frost and provides partial protection if it grows during the winter months.
The temperature range of 24℃-27℃ is considered optimal for the growth of vines. Seeds germinate best when temperatures exceed 18℃. High humidity during vegetative growth makes the crop susceptible to various fungal diseases.
Farmers can grow bitter gourd on sandy to loamy soil with good drainage. Alluvial soil is also good on the banks of the river for the production of bitter gourd. A pH range of 6.0–7.0 is considered optimal.
Land Preparation :
The land is ploughed and levelled by 1-2 crosswise ploughs. Then, depending on the support system adopted, the cisterns are opened at a distance of 1.5-2.5 m.
Method of Planting :
In the plains, farmers can sow the summer season crop from January to February, whereas they can sow the rainy season crop in May. Therefore, 4-5 kg of seed is required for planting one hectare. Before planting, the seed is treated with Thiram (3 g/kg of seed).
Plant Support :
This gourd, being a weak climber, needs support for its growth. Plants stuck on the support (bower) keep yielding for 6-7 months, while 3-4 months remain on the ground without support.
In addition, such vines are less prone to pests and diseases as they do not directly contact the soil. Planting in the bower system is done at a distance of 2.5 x 1 m. The cisterns are dug at 2.5 m, and irrigation channels are laid at 5-6 m. Wooden poles (3 m in height) are erected at a distance of 5 m at both ends of alternate grooves. Wires connect these poles.
The wires and furrow are further connected to a cross wire at a distance of 45 cm to form a network of wires. The seeds are immersed at a distance of 1 m along the trunk and lightly covered with soil. It takes about 1.5-2 months for the vines to reach the height of the bower, so during the early stages of growth, the vines are roped until they reach the bower.
Manuring and Fertilization
The amount of fertilizers depends on the variety, soil fertility, climate and planting season. Generally, farmers add well-decomposed FYM (15-20 t/ha) to the soil during tillage.
The recommended fertilizer per hectare is 50-100 kg N, 40-60 kg P2O5 and 30-60 kg 25 K2O. Half N and the entire P&K should be applied before planting. The remaining N is given at the time of flowering. They apply the fertilizer in a ring at a distance of 6-7 cm from the base of the stem.
A rainy season crop may not require irrigation if the rainfall is well distributed between July and September. Usually, weeds are irrigated a day or two before sowing, and the next irrigation, preferably light, is given 4 or 5 days after sowing. After this, irrigation is done at weekly intervals. It is essential to retain moisture well in the root zone to promote rapid root growth.
To keep the crop free from weeds, weeding is done 2-3 times. Generally, the first weeding is done 30 days after sowing. After that, subsequent weeding is done at monthly intervals.
Plant growth regulators
Application of many plant growth regulators such as MH (50-150 ppm), Ethyl (150 ppm), Silver Nitrate (3-4 ppm), CCC (50-100 ppm), Boron (3-4 mg/ha). The leaf stage and 4 leaf stage in bitter gourds produce female flowers and increase yield. Soaking the seeds in a bitter gourd with ethereal or boron (3-4 mg/kg) also increases the yield in the bitter gourd.
Bitter gourd crop takes about 55-60 days from sowing to the first crop. Further harvesting should be done at 2-3 days intervals as bitter gourds mature early and turn red. The selection of bitter gourd at the correct edible maturity stage depends on the individual type and variety.
Farmers usually harvest when these bitter gourds are still tender and green to not turn yellow or yellowish-orange during transport. Farmers should harvest in the morning, and the vegetables should keep in the shade after harvesting.
For the growing Procedure, the tractor is the essential part of bitter gourd farming; thus, we suggest the Powertrac 439 Plus tractor is the best in this farming procedure. Apart from this, you can use the Powertrac 434 tractor. Along with this, Powertrac 439 plus is also the best tractor.
For more information regarding bitter gourd farming, stay tuned with us.