Climate and Soil
Bottle Gourd/Long melon is a warm season crop. It can also be grown under protected conditions to get early yield. The crop can be grown in wide range of soils ranging between sandy loam to heavy soil.
Punjab Long melon-1 (1995) : Its vines are long, stem pubescent, angled and light green. It is an early maturing variety. Its fruits are long, thin and light green. Average yield is 86 q/acre.
Sowing time : February-March.
Seed Rate : Use 1.0 kg of seed per acre.
Spacing : Seeds are sown on both sides of the bed of width 2.5 meter at a distance of 60 cm. Sow at least two seeds at one place to ensure good stand.
Manure and Fertilizers
It requires 40 kg N (90 kg Urea), 20 kg of P2O5 (125 kg of Super phosphate) and 20 kg of K2O (35 kg of Muriate of Potash).Apply 1/3 N along with whole of P2O5 and K2O at the time of sowing in two parallel bands 15 cm away from the bed mark and prepare the ridges. Rest of the N is applied after one month of sowing.
Irrigation : Irrigate immediately after sowing the seeds on the beds. Irrigation may be given at 4-5 days interval in summer season.In the rainy season, apply irrigation whenever required.
Long melon fruits are ready for picking in about 60-70 days.Fruits should be picked when attain the marketable size and are tender. In peak season harvest the fruits at 3-4 days interval.
Long melon field should be minimum 1000 m isolated from other varieties of long melon, muskmelon, snap melon and wild melon. The undesirable or off type plants are rouged out before flowering, during flowering and fruiting stages. Three field inspections should be conducted, first before flowering, second at flowering and fruiting and third before harvesting of the seed crop. The mature fruits are picked and pulp is taken out in fresh water. It is kept for one or two days for separation of seed from the pulp. The seed is rubbed with hands.Heavy seeds settle in water and are retained.