Bottle Gourd Cultivation cum Layered Vegetable Farming in Sacks.

Introduction

Bottle gourd is vigorous, annual, climbing vine with large leaves and a lush appearance. Itis probably one of humankind’s first domesticated vegetable species, providing food, medicine and a lot more.It probably originated in Africa.

Cultivation on sack (Bora) is special type of pot culture adapted in the area where there is little or no cultivable area. Sack can be adjusted on the various place; top of the house, around the house etc. Its main purpose it to use the limited area and to have the variety of products especially of the vegetables according to season. For example, Chilly, Tomato, Brinjal, Rayo, Bottle gourd and other vegetables are successfully grown on sack.

Botany and Flowering

Bottle gourd ,Lagenariasiceraria, Cucurbitaceae , grows fast and may begin to flower only 2 months after seeding. It has tendrils to climb up and foliage is covered with soft hairs with foul musky odor. The leaves are circular with a few broad lobes. The flowers are borne singly on the axil of the leaves, the males on long peduncles and females on the short peduncle. The flowers are white and attractive up to 4 inches in diameter with spreading petals. The ovary is inferior. The anthers are borne on short filaments at the center of flower.

Pruning

To improve yield, remove lateral branches until the runner reaches the top of the trellis. Leave 4-6 laterals and cut the tip of the main runner to induce early cropping. Removal of lat­eral branches in the first 10 nodes has a positive effect on total yield. Without pruning, most of the female flowers occur between the 10th and 40th nodes, or at a height of 0.5-2.0 m.

 

Climate and soil

Bottle gourd requires a minimum temperature of 180C during early growth, but optimal temperatures are in the range of 24–270C. The crop can tolerate low temperatures, but extreme cool temperatures will retard growth and frost will kill the plant. The plants are adapted to a wide variety of rainfall conditions. Bottle gourd tolerates a wide range of soil but prefers a well-drained sandy loam soil that is rich in organic matter. The optimum soil pH is 6.0–6.7, but plants tolerate alkaline soils up to pH 8.0.

 

Staking and Trellising

Bottle gourd can be trailed either on bamboo poles, wooden stakes, GI pipes or other sturdy materials, when the plants start vining Vines are supported by bamboo stakes, which help vines climb freely and reach the top.

 

Harvesting

The fruits are ready for harvest 60-120 days after sowing depending on the variety. Cut the fruits from the vines carefully, using pruning shears or a sharp knife leaving 3-4 inches of stem attached.

Project Work
Giving finishing touch  after mulching, watering  and applying FYM to crop in field. (Photo: Blogger)

Observations

a)      Layout of the field; 48 soil filled sacks with Bottle gourd plant were arranged in 4 rows according to the roll number.

b)      Crops used; Rayo (Khumal Broadleaf), Radish (40 days) and a Bottle gourd plant.

c)      Sowing of seeds; 3 circular rows were made by making small holes around the sack. On first, second and third circle, Rayo, Radish and Rayo seeds were sown respectively. The distance between the circles was 10cm and that of between the holes was 5cm.

 

Table of Activities performed

S.N. Date Activities Data
1. 069/4/32 Cultural practices; weeding and mulching, seed sowing of Rayo and Radish into the holes around the sack. appearance of first true leaf, appearance of first node
2. 069/5/18 Watering, Staking of bamboo stakes, weeding, and pruning of side branches with sharp blade leaving 2cm from the main branch, counting of no of leaves, position of 1st tendril and no of nodes presented. No of open leaves=12, no of nodes=13, no of side branches pruned =8, position of node for 1st tendril=4th
3. 069/5/19 Weeding, counting of no of leaves and no of nodes. No of leaves=20, no of nodes=18, no of pruned branches=5
4. 069/5/30 2nd time staking, observation of male and female flowers and their pattern, harvesting of Rayo, position of female flowers. No of leaves=35, no of nodes=33, position of 1st side branch with female flower=25th and similarly on 26st, 27nd,28rd.
5 2069/06/01 Water and Cow urine application Fruit initiation

 

Discussion

Our project work for cultivation of Bottle gourd on sack provided opportunity to know the skills about the pot culture. On working with this, we got the idea about optimum utilization of soil filled sack for the production of vegetables. We saw that the male flowers appeared first on the main branch than the female ones. Female flowers appeared later as temperature went down and on side branch only. Male flowers had peduncle with no bulge at base and female flowers had peduncle with a bulge i.e. ovary.

 

Conclusion

In this way, we performed our project work. There is feasible scope of such type of cultivation practice. Year round seasonal annual vegetables can be produced within a limited area and a pot or sack. As there is possibility to plant the different plants from top to bottom in circular fashion within a sack, this is one of the best time, space and place utilizing economic practice. Our observation on growth habit, flowering pattern, no of leaves, no of nodes, branching habit, fruiting habit, staking, pruning of Bottle gourd within the sack showed the remarkable and positive results of good performance.

(Report of Project Work)

(Download Complete Report: BOTTLE GOURD CULTIVATION.)

6 thoughts on “Bottle Gourd Cultivation cum Layered Vegetable Farming in Sacks.

  1. Hi: I am interested to try out your experiment of growing bottle gourd in jute bag due to space constraint. Please provide details on the type of mud used along with mix of fertilizers, if any. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for your interest. It is hard to recommend typical dose of fertilizers (depends upon types of soil and other factors) and soil (varies place to place). Talking about my experience, We. students, use soil from your field which is black soil (Due to compost and mulch). You can take red soil as well but mix with well prepared compost and chemical fertilizers (if you want; Organic is better for home use.) You can take idea about soil looking picture in the post. For your easiness, use combination of fertilizers that is common in your locality for cucurbits. Don’t use excess nitrogenous fertilizer as they enhance vegetative growth and reduce fruiting as well. Just try! you could success. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

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  2. Pingback: Ya! Agriculture
  3. Thank you for your queries. It may be due to temperature fluctuation or change in phtyo-hormones such as auxin, gibberellin etc. Temperature fluctuation plays vital role to change male flower into female and vice versa. Some phyto hormones induce male flower and some induce female flower. So First find the cause. If you had mentioned about your climatic detail and treatments you applied to your plant, It would be easier for me to explain the problem and suggest solution. 🙂

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  4. Hi.. thanks for nice post.
    I have got bottlegourd plants which are 2 months old but there is no female flowers on the plant. I do see lots of male flowers but there are no female flowers and hence no fruit.
    What can i do now to start growth of female flowers.
    Thanks

    Thanks.

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