Cultivation Of Smooth Gourd

Nutritive Value: Smooth gourd is also called bottle gourd and is one of the popular vegetable in the kitchen garden and requires less space on the ground as it is a creeper and can grow any where on the wall or on over head trellises. Smooth gourd fruit contains 93 percent water, 3.0 percent carbohydrates, 1.2 percent proteins and 2.0 percent fibers, and 0.5 percent minerals like calcium, phosphorus and iron.

Soil and Climate: All cucurbit family vegetables require welldrained sandy loam soils with a good amount of organic matter in it. Smooth gourd requires a hot and dry climate. Cold and frosty climate is unsuitable for cultivation of smooth gourd vegetables.

Important Varieties: Pusa Summer prolific long, Pusa summer prolific round, Pusa Meghdooth, Pusa Manjari and Arka bahar are popular varieties of smooth gourd grown in South India.

Planting and Irrigation: Smooth gourd is cultivated in the rainy and summer seasons. Seeds are sown during June-July with a distance of 90 cm between two rows and 60 cm between two plants. It is a shallow rooted vegetable that needs light but frequent irrigation.

Plant Protection: Powdery mildew is a major disease of all cucurbit vegetables causing a white cottony fungal growth on leaf surfaces reducing the process of photosynthesis there by the yield. It can be controlled by dusting sulphur powder on the crop foliage.

Harvesting: Smooth gourd starts yielding from 80 to 90 days after sowing deeds. Full grown and tender fruits are harvested by cutting fruits, keeping a one inch stem intact without causing injury to other parts of the creeper and stored in the shade.