Bitter Gourd!

Bitter Gourd is an important vegetable consumed by all people. It possesses both nutritive and medicinal values. It contains more vitamin C, than other vegetables. It also contains minerals like iron, phosphorus and calcium. juice has antacids property and is also good for heart ailments. Cultivation of is quite profitable.

Climate and Soil:

Basically, it is a crop of sub-tropical climate requiring hot and humid climate, the temperature ranging from 250C to 350C. The crop is grown in Kharif and summer seasons where irrigation facilities are available.

Light to medium soils with good drainage is suitable. In light soils, more organic manures need to be applied.

Land preparation:

One ploughing to medium depth (7″-8″ deep) should be given and 2-3 harrowings should be given to loosen the soil and to mix FYM.

Varieties:

i. Hirakani
ii. Phule green-gold
iii. Phule Priyanka
iv. Phule Ujwala
v. Coimbatore white long

Sowing:

is a wide spaced Vine crop. It is grown in rings on broad beds. Broad beds are opened at 1.5 m.with 60 cm.furrows, seeds dibbled in rings.

Manures and fertilizers:

25 tonnes of FYM and 200 kg. Neem cake is applied at the time of land preparation and mixed thoroughly. Top dressing with 200 kg Nitrogen + 50 kg Phosphorus and 50 kg Potash is done. 50 kg Nitrogen + 50 kg Phosphorus + 50 Kg Potash is applied at the time of sowing and remaining Nitrogen in three split doses later on at an interval of 30-35 days

Interculture:

Two – three weedings. The broad ridges and mended in such a way that vines come on the ridges.
Irrigation:
In Kharif season, irrigations are given at an interval of 10-12 days and in summer season 5-6 days interval.
Plant protection:
A crop is affected by powdery mildew, aphids and fruitfly. For controlling insect attack, wettable sulphur 30 gm + blito x 30 gm + Nuvacron 15 ml or Endosulphan 20 ml + sticker 10 ml in 10 litres of water be sprayed at 10-12 days interval.

Special :

Stakes or Mandap needs to be provided to train the vines to encourage vigorous growth and more fruiting and also to facilitate interculturing operation, harvesting, etc.

Harvesting and Storage:

Harvesting starts 60 days after sowing. The fruits are harvested every after 8-10 days. In all 15-16 pluckings are obtained. Harvesting should be done in the morning before 11 a.m. The yield obtained is 15-18 tonnes/ha

Marketing:

Major quantities are marketed in distant markets. Fruits are packed in wooden boxes or bamboo baskets. They are sold through commission, wholesales and retailers to final consumers. s are also exported to Gulf Countries by Exporters.