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Snake gourd

SNAKE GOURD (Trichosanthes cucumerina)

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PlantCharacteristics

Snake gourd is a common cucurbitaceous vegetable of Kerala.It is an annual climber native to India. The crop prefers a tropical warm humid climate. A loamy soil having pH range of 6.0-7.0 is best suited for the crop. The crop cannot tolerate frost.

Varieties

Kaumudi, Baby and TA-19.

SeedsAndCultivation

Season
January-March and September-December are the main growing seasons.
Seed rate: 3.0-4.0 kg/ha
Spacing: 2.0 m x 2.0 m
Sowing
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. After two weeks remove the unhealthy plants retaining three plants per pit.
Erect pandals for trailing snake gourd. Provide bamboo stakes and cross wires for spreading the vines. The seedlings when starts producing tendrils should be staked to thin bamboo poles using banana fibres so as to enable the vines to spread on the pandal.
Training of developing fruit
Fivedays after fruit set,at the tip of the developing fruits,a small stone is tied using a piece of banana fibre.Otherwise the developing ovary ovary will be coiled.however short fruited types do not require such training.

WaterManagement

During the initial stages of growth irrigate at an interval of 3-4 days. Irrigate on alternate days during flowering and fruiting periods.

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) is applied in several split doses at fortnightly intervals.

WeedManagement


Conduct weeding and raking of the soil at the time of fertilizer application.

PestManagement

The important pests attacking snake gourd are fruit flies, epilachna beetle and red pumpkin beetle. Control measures recommended for bitter gourd can be followed in this case also.

DiseaseManagement

The important diseases are downy mildew and mosaic. The control measures as stated under bitter gourd can be adopted.
Harvesting can be done only after 10 days (at least) of insecticide / fungicide application. The fruits should be washed thoroughly in water before cooking.

Harvesting

The harvest starts from 78 to 80 days after sowing. The harvest is done at an interval of 5-6 days. A total number of 6-8 harvests can be done.

AverageYield

Yield ranges from 18 to 25 tonnes/ha.


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