GOURD (Momordica charantia)
gourd is an important cucurbit vegetable of Kerala.
It is a climbing vine belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae.
A well drained loamy soil with pH of 6.5-7.0 is best
suited for this crop. Optimum temperature range is 25-30
0C. The charecteristic bitter taste of the fruit is
due to the presence of 'momordicine'.
Preethi, Priyanka and Arka Harit are high yielding varieties.
Priyanka is recommended for acid alluvial soils of Kerala.
January-March and September-December are the ideal
seasons. For the rainfed crop, sowing can be started
after the receipt of first few showers during May-June.
Seed rate: 5.0-6.0 kg/ha
Spacing: 2.0 m x 2.0 m
Pits of 60 cm diameter and 30-45 cm depth are taken.
Well rotten FYM and fertilizers are 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.
Erect pandals when the plants start vining.Pandals
have to be erected at a height of 6-8 feet using bamboo
stakes and G.I. wire.
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
weeding and raking of the soil at the time of fertilizer
application. Earthing up is done during rainy season.
FYM @ 20-25 t/ha as basal dose along with half dose
of N (35 kg) and full doses of P2O5 (25 kg) and K2O
(25 kg). The remaining dose of N (35 kg) can be applied
in several split doses at fortnightly intervals.
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 0.2% or malathion 0.2% suspension containing
sugar or jaggery at 10 g/l 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.
It can also be effectively controlled by the use of
banana fruit traps coupled with the removal and destruction
of infested fruits. It is more efficient than two sprayings
with insecticides. The trap is prepared by applying
carbofuran granules at the cut ends of ripe banana fruits
(variety Palayankodan). Traps are to be set at a distance
of 2 m after a border row and they may be replenished
after 7 to 9 days. Start bait trapping just before flowering.
Remove and destroy egg masses, grubs and adults occurring
on leaves. Spray carbaryl 0.2%.
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
Apply 1.5% fish oil soap. First dissolve soap in hot
water and then make up the volume. Alternatively apply
dimethoate 0.05%, phosphamidon 0.05% or monocrotophos
It is severe during rainy season. This can be checked
by spraying mancozeb 0.2% (waiting period of mancozeb
is three days).
Can be controlled by spraying nitrophenol 0.05%.
Control the vectors by spraying dimethoate 0.05%. 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 application. The fruits should
be washed thoroughly in water before cooking.
harvest starts from 60-65 days after sowing. Mature
fruits are harvested once in a week.