Bottle gourd is an important crop in India.It is also known as Lauki / Calabash. The fruit in green stage and leaves with the stem are used as a vegetable. The hard shell of the fruit is used for different purpose.
Climate and soil requirement for growing bottle gourd
It requires warm growing season with a temperature ranging between 18-300C. It can be grown in various kinds of soils, but sandy loam to loamy soils are ideal.
Improved Varieties of bottle gourd
1.Punjab Long (1997): The plants are vigorous, profusely branched bearing cylindrical light green and shinning fruits. It is suitable for packaging and long-distance marketing. Average yield is 180 q/acre.
2.Punjab Komal (1988): It is an early maturing variety. The first fruit attains marketable maturity in about 70 days after sowing. It bears oblong, medium sized, light green, pubescent, 10-12 fruits per vine. It is tolerant to cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). Average yield is about 200 q/acre.
Bottle gourd cultivation practices
Sowing Time for growing bottle gourd
There are three distinct sowing seasons:
1. February- March
3. November-December (Under protection).
Use two kg. Seed per acre.
Prepare 2.0 to 2.5m wide beds and sow seed on both the sides of beds at a distance of 45-60 cm.
Manures and Fertilizers for Bottle Gourd
Apply 20-25 tons of farmyard manure per acre before preparation of beds. Add 14 kg N (30 kg. Urea) before sowing and another14 kg N (30 kg. Urea) at early picking stage.
Irrigation of Bottle gourd plants
First irrigation may be given just after sowing. The crop requires frequent irrigation. Summer season crop requires irrigation at 6-7 days interval whereas sparingly during the rainy season. The total number of irrigations would be 8-9.
Harvesting of Bottle gourd
The crop is ready for harvesting in about 60-70 days after sowing depending upon variety and season. Harvest only tender and medium sized fruits which are still tender and shining in color. In peak season, perform picking activity in every 3 or 4 days.
Isolate the seed crop field all around to a minimum distance of 800 meters from fields of other varieties of this crop. Perform a minimum of three field inspections to produce true to type seed. The first inspection before flowering, second at flowering and fruiting and third before harvesting of the fruits. Rogue out the off type and diseased plants. The fruits turn green dull at seed harvest stage. Dry the harvested fruits and extract the seeds, grade the seeds for packing.
“Cultivation of Bottle Gourd or Lauki or Calabash cucumber …” Mt agriculture information bank. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017 <http://agriinfo.in/?page=topic&superid=2&topicid=900>.
Cultivation of Bottle Gourd or Lauki or Calabash cucumber … (n.d.). Retrieved from http://agriinfo.in/?page=topic&superid=2&topicid=900
Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.