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Ash Gourd

ASH GOURD (Benincasa hispida)

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PlantCharacteristics

It is annual vine trailing on the soil surface. It is also known as wax gourd. The crop prefers a warm tropical climate and deep loamy soil.

Varieties

KAU Local, Indu.

SeedsAndCultivation

Preparation of land

Pits of 60 cm diameter and 30-45 cm depth are taken at 4.5 x 2.0 m spacing. Well rotten FYM and fertilizers are mixed with topsoil in the pit.

Season
Ash gourd can be successfully grown during January-March and September-December. For rainfed crop, sowing can also be started after the receipt of the first few showers during May-June.

Seed Rate
0.75-1.0 kg/ha

Spacing
3.0 m x 2.0 m

Sowing
Seeds are sown at the rate of four or five per pit. Remove unhealthy plants after two weeks and retain two or three plants per pit. For trailing, spread dried twigs on the ground.

WaterManagement

During the initial stages of growth, irrigate at an interval of three or four days. Irrigate on alternate days during flowering and fruiting.

NutrientManagement

Apply FYM @ 20-25 t/ha as basal dose along with half dose of N (35 kg) and full dose of P2O5 (25 kg) and K2O (25 kg/ha). The remaining dose of N (35 kg) can be applied in two equal split doses at the time of vining and at the time of full blooming.

WeedManagement

Conduct weeding, and raking of the soil at the time of fertilizer application. Earthing up may be done during rainy season.

PestManagement

Fruit fly, epilachna beetle and red pumpkin beetle are important pests affecting ash gourd. They can be controlled as given under bitter gourd. Aphids can be controlled by spraying malathion 0.05% or quinalphos 0.03%.

DiseaseManagement

Powdery mildew and mosaic are important diseases in ash gourd. They can be controlled as in bitter gourd.
Harvesting can be done only after 10 days (at least) of insecticide / fungicide application. The fruit should be washed thoroughly in water before cooking.

Harvesting

Fully mature fruits show disappearance of ashy bloom on the fruit surface. Harvesting starts in 90-100 days after sowing and may continue up to 150 days after sowing. The fruits can be stored in a well ventilated room for 4-5 months.

AverageYield

Fruit yield is 25-30 tonnes/ha.

 


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