Ivy Gourd Farming – Introduction
The ivy gourd is a vine basically. It grows in the tropical regions mostly. The immature fruits are eaten commonly in many parts of the world. The plant is mainly popular for its medicinal properties. Diabetic patients benefit from the properties of the ivy gourd plant.
The ivy gourd grows naturally in many areas. It is also considered as an invasive species. This is because it spreads very quickly. It can grow very quickly and also poses a serious threat to other plants. It is usually grown in fences and outside the house because of its beautiful flowers. The immature fruits of the plant are eaten as a delicacy. It can be eaten as a curry, fried or in many other ways.
The fruits are striped and green when immature. They can or cannot be stripped. When ripe, the fruits turn an attractive red skin color. Due to its medicinal and many other health benefits, the ivy gourd is very much popular in the local market. To increase its international demand, the cultivation must be done on a commercial basis. Proper cultivation techniques are available for the suitable farming of ivy gourd. By using the techniques, good quality fruits and leaves can be obtained.
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Scientific Name of Ivy Gourd: Coccinia grandis
Top Countries Producing Ivy Gourd
The ivy gourd plant is a native plant in Asia and Africa. It grows in India, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Samoa, Hawaii, Fiji etc. The plant and its fruits are mainly popular in West Bengal and Assam. Apart from that, it is also cultivated in other places as well.
Different Varieties Of Ivy Gourd Cultivated Across The World
This is an improved variety of ivy gourd. The plant produces long fruits. The length of the fruits is about 9.5cm and each fruit weighs about 18g. The yield from each plant is approximately 1048 fruits a year. The leaves of the plants have three lobes. The fruits are suitable for making salads, pickles or for cooking as well. This variety is propagated through cuttings. This variety shows early flowering. The fruits take 45-50 days to reach maturity. The fruits must be harvested while they are still tender. The annual yield for this variety is about 6 tonnes per hectare of land. The plant bears fruits throughout the year. The fruit skin has a pale green color. This variety can be cultivated for 4-5 years as a perennial There are also no reports of serious pests or diseases affecting the plants of this variety.
Indira kundru- 35
This high yielding variety of ivy gourd is suitable for cultivation in Chhattisgarh The fruits have a light green color and are long in size. The fruits are suitable to be cooked and for other table purposes. The average yield of this variety is about 900-1000 quintals per hectare of land.
This is a high yielding variety of ivy gourd. The size of the fruits is oblong. The skin of the fruit is green in color and it has white colored stripes. This variety of ivy gourd fruit is mainly used for table purpose. The average yield of this variety is about 1000 quintals per hectare. This variety is suitable for growing in Chhattisgarh plains.
Cultivation Of Ivy Gourd
There are few high yielding varieties of ivy gourds which are available in the market. For obtaining a good yield, a good yield must be selected. The cultivation of ivy gourd must also be done properly. the plant is invasive and can form a weed very easily. So, it must be cultivated properly. The modern methods of cultivation must be followed to get good quality of fruits.
Soil Conditions For Ivy Gourd Farming
The ivy gourd grows well in well-drained soils. The soil must be fertile and rich in organic matter. The ivy gourd can grow in other types of soils also. Good soil must be used for ivy gourd cultivation. Only then, the production will also be good. The soil must be well aerated. The ph of the soil must not be extremely high or low. A neutral ph of the soil is preferable for farming. The soil should not be too deep or light.
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Climatic Conditions For Ivy Gourd Farming
The ivy gourd is basically a crop of the tropical climate. The crop must not be grown at too high altitudes. Full sunlight is needed for the proper growth of the plants. It can also be grown in partial sunlight. In either case, the crop must not be exposed to extreme climatic conditions. In winter, frost and extreme cold must be avoided. Too much rainfall is harmful to the crop. A moderate rainfall is sufficient for the ivy gourd cultivation.
Land Preparation For Ivy Gourd Farming
The land must be thoroughly cleaned and made free of weeds and other materials. Once the desired land is selected and cleared, it must be made suitable for farming. After that, the field must be ploughed several times. Ploughing makes the soil texture smooth. After ploughing, the land must be levelled and harrowed. Farmyard manure must be mixed with the soil after the last plough. Drainage channels must be made in the field. The drainage channels must be made so that extra water can be drained out of the field.
Propagation Methods For Ivy Gourd Farming
The ivy gourd is propagated through seeds. The seeds must be selected properly. Only healthy seeds which are disease free must be selected for sowing. The seeds must be pre-treated before sowing them in the soil. Pretreatment prevents the fungal and other such diseases. It is better if the seeds are bought from a reliable source.
The seed propagation takes a longer time to germinate and mature. Therefore, ivy gourd is also propagated through vegetative methods such as by cuttings.
Planting Methods For Ivy Gourd Farming
The cuttings are raised in nurseries. When they are suitable for planting, they can be transplanted to the main field. Healthy plants and cuttings must be used for vegetative propagation. For transplanting, pits must be dug in the main field. The pits must be exposed to the sunlight for about a month. After that, it must be filled with farmyard manure and topsoil. The cuttings must be planted in the pits and watered immediately.
The seeds can be directly planted in the main field or can be transplanted to the main field from the nurseries. The seeds usually take 3-4 weeks to germinate. In nurseries, they are grown under controlled conditions. After the seedlings have developed roots and few leaves, they can be transplanted to the main field. They must be planted carefully in the main field and watered. Only healthy seedlings must be selected for planting in the main field. The seeds can be directly sown in the field. any seed sowing methods can be used for sowing. The seeds must not be planted too deep in the soil. any seed sowing equipment may be used for sowing of the seeds.
While sowing, proper spacing must be given. There is no specific planting season for ivy gourd. The ivy gourd can be planted any time of the year. The plants must be raised in the greenhouse when young. This must be done so that the young plants can be protected against harsh environmental conditions.
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Irrigation Methods For Ivy Gourd Farming
The ivy gourd plants need more water while it is still young. The first irrigation must be provided when the sowing is done. After that, irrigation must be given based on the moisture content of the soil. in times of extremely dry and hot weather, proper irrigation must be provided. To save water, sprinkler and drip irrigation can be used. In rainy weather, irrigation is not required. If there is too much rainfall, the water must be drained out of the field. For that, drainage channels must be provided in the field. In winter, the irrigation must be given based on the soil moisture. Little irrigation is needed to protect the plants from frost. Watering the plants is extremely important during fruit formation and flowering time.
Fertiliser And Manure Application For Ivy Gourd Farming
A soil test must be done before application of fertilizers. Based on the results, the fertilizers must be applied. Farmyard manure must be applied at the time of land preparation. Too much chemical fertilizers must not be applied. It makes the soil dry and barren. The organic fertilizers must be applied along with chemical fertilizers in the land. After each time fertilizer is applied, a light irrigation must be given. Application of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in the right amounts is very important. To avoid micronutrient deficiency, a proper quantity of micronutrients must also be applied.
Intercultural Operations For Ivy Gourd Farming
The ivy gourd itself can become a weed problem if crop management is not done properly. The weeds from the ivy gourd crop must be removed at an early stage. The weeds can be removed by hand. Chemical pesticides can also be used in case of extreme problems. Sometimes, cultural methods also work better. A combination of all the methods can also be useful.
The ivy gourd is a vine plant. When the plants start growing, they must be trained on a trellis or provided a suitable support system. The training of the plants is important. Pruning can be done whenever necessary.
Pest And Disease Control Of Ivy Gourd Farming
The ivy gourd is not seriously affected by too many pests and diseases. In case of disease and pest attack, appropriate chemicals must be used. Proper crop management must be practiced to avoid such diseases and pests. Seed treatment before sowing is also helpful. The insects such as mites, aphids, and caterpillars must be prevented. The fruits must be protected from the insects and pests as well. Spraying of pesticides must be done to avoid excessive pest attack.
Harvesting Ivy Gourd
The ivy gourd is mainly harvested for fruits and vines. For vines, the plants must be picked when the leaves are fully mature. The fruits are eaten tender. So, the fruits must be harvested before they reach maturity. The fruits must be individually cut from the vines. They must be carefully cut so that fruits are not injured.
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Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of Ivy Gourd
The ivy gourd vines and leaves must be sold fresh in the market. If it is not done, they will dry out and quality will decrease. Immediately after harvesting, they must be cleaned and stored properly. The fruits must be sorted out and graded based on size and quality. They can be stored under proper storage conditions. After that, they can be put in boxes or cartons and sold in the market. For long distance or export purpose, the fruits must be packed appropriately.
Benefits Of Ivy Gourd
- For people looking to reduce fat from their body, ivy gourd is the best solution. It increases the metabolism of the body and thus reduces fat.
- The ivy gourd can be very beneficial for persons with respiratory problems. Those suffering from respiratory issues must take ivy gourd.
- The ivy gourd can help to control blood sugar levels. It is taken by diabetic patients.
- Ivy gourd is rich in potassium. The potassium helps to maintain a regular flow of blood and also keeps the heart healthy.
Ivy Gourd Farming – Conclusion
Ivy gourd has slowly gained popularity among many other vegetables in the market. The fruits of ivy gourd are already popular in the market and in many other places. To increase its popularity in the international market, large-scale cultivation must be done. the quality of the fruits must be increased. The plant is already popular for its health benefits and nutritional value. to get better profits, the cultivation must be done properly.
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