Spine Gourd Farming (Kakrol/Kantola) – Introduction
The gourd family of vegetables is a large family. There are so many types of gourd which are consumed. Some of them are very common. There is also the uncommon type of gourd vegetables. But, whatever the vegetable, the gourd has many different types of vegetables. The spine gourd is another such unusual vegetable.
The spine gourd is not so common among other vegetables. It is uncommon yet is very rich in several nutritional benefits. Spine gourd also makes a delicious vegetable. The subtle flavor of the vegetable is what makes it so popular. It might not be a popular vegetable to be cultivated, but it must be commercialized. The spine gourd is an important vegetable. So, it must be cultivated on a large scale. The commercial production of spine gourd is done but not on a very large scale. The cultivation of spine gourd is very easy. But it is only produced in only a few places. The cultivation of spine gourd must be increased. Since it is good for health; the more farming of this vegetable will help to make this vegetable popular. It must be cultivated using proper cultivation techniques. It must be done so that the yield can be increased.
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Scientific Name of Spine Gourd: Momordica dioica
Top Countries Producing Spine Gourd
The spine gourd is a wild plant which grows in many parts of India. It is commercially cultivated in West Bengal and Karnataka. It grows in the wild in Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Odisha.
Varieties Of Spine Gourd
This variety of spine gourd shows early flowering. The stem is green in color and is ridged in habitat. The leaves of this variety are long and wide. It is dark green in color. The fruits are green in color. They have a conical shape. The fruit skin has spines which are soft and conical in shape. The spines are thicker in texture. Each fruit can have a length of about 14-16 cm. The weight of the fruits may be 150g. There are about 25-35 seeds contained in each fruit. This variety of spine gourd plant produces a very good yield. The average yield can be 20-25kg per plant. The fruit maturity time is early for this variety. The fruits take about five months to reach maturity.
Indira Kankoda I
Also known as RMF 37, this variety of spine gourd is new. The plant is resistant to the major pests and diseases. The fruits are also very attractive in color with a dark green skin. The plant gains maturity in 75-80 days. The farmers popularly cultivate this variety of spine gourd. It is because the fruits have a long shelf life. It also has many nutritional values. After the first harvest, the fruits reach harvest time at 35-40 days from the second year onwards. The plants can produce fruits until 5-6 years.
There are many other varieties of spine gourd cultivated in many places. The vegetable is not so frequently cultivated. So, there are not many high yielding varieties available in the market. The variety must be selected properly. Only high yielding varieties which give a good yield must be selected for farming. Among all the other varieties cultivated, the good variety must be selected.
Cultivation For Spine Gourd
To cultivate spine gourd, specific conditions must be met. The spine gourd is easy to cultivate. To get good yields, it is better if it is grown in proper conditions. The plant must be given proper nutrition. It must be protected from pests and diseases. Only then, the good yield can be expected. A good yield will also give good returns.
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Soil Conditions For Of Spine Gourd Farming
The spine gourd is one plant which can survive in almost any soil condition. Any soil from sandy to loamy can be used for its cultivation. The soil, however, must have a good drainage system. It must also be rich in organic nutrients. The soil must be well drained and well aerated. The water holding capacity of the soil must be good. It will help to provide moisture to the plants. The ideal ph for spine gourd cultivation is 5.5-7.0. The ph can be adjusted based on the soil texture. Growing the spine gourd plants in proper soil is very important. Only then, the plants will give a good yield.
Climatic Conditions For Spine Gourd Farming
The climate for spine gourd cultivation is specific. The specific conditions must be met to get a good yield. The plants can adjust themselves to any condition. A warm and sunny weather is needed for the cultivation of spine gourd. Plenty of sunshine is needed to grow the plants. The ideal temperature for spine gourd cultivation is 27-33 degree Celsius. This crop is best suited for cultivation in summer. So the proper conditions must be met. Winter and frost must be avoided when the plants are cultivated.
Land Preparation For Spine Gourd Farming
The land must be cleared of all the weeds and other planting matter from the previous cultivation. after that, the land must be plowed several times. The plowing can be done by tractor or plow. The land must be plowed till the soil achieves a fine tilth. On an average, 2-3 ploughings are sufficient. After the land is plowed, well-decomposed farmyard manure must be added to the soil. Based on the planting methods, the seed beds must be made in the field. Levelling of the soil must be done. Proper drainage channels must be made in the field. This must be done so that the extra water during rainfall can be drained out. Waterlogged conditions are not good for the spine gourd plants.
Propagation Methods For Spine Gourd Farming
The propagation method for the cultivation of spine gourd includes tubers and by seeds. Seeds are most commonly used. For seed propagation, a good variety must be selected. Seeds must be bought from a good source. The seeds must be pre-treated with proper agents before sowing. This helps to avoid many fungal diseases.
Planting Method For Spine Gourd Farming
To plant the seeds directly in the field, sowing equipment can be used. The seeds must be planted at least 2cm deep inside the soil. About 3-4 seeds must be sown in each bed. Broadcasting or dibbling method can be used for sowing the seeds. The seedlings also can be transplanted from the nursery. For that, pits must be dug in the main field. The seedlings must be planted in the pits. After that, it must be filled with manure and topsoil. A light irrigation must be given after planting of the seeds or seedlings.
Seed Rate And Planting Season For Spine Gourd Farming
On an average, 1-2 kg of seeds is enough to be sown in one hectare of land. If tuber planting is to be done, 3500-5000 tubers are enough. The spine gourd is sown in two seasons. It can be grown in monsoon from July to August. It can also be grown in January to February.
Spacing For Spine Gourd Farming
At least a distance of 2m must be provided between the rows. Between plants, a spacing of 75-80 cm must be given. A proper spacing must be provided so that the plants can grow properly.
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Irrigation Methods For Spine Gourd Farming
The first irrigation must be provided after sowing the seeds. After that, irrigation at regular intervals must be given. Proper irrigation must be given to get a good yield. During monsoon, no irrigation is required. In fact, if there is heavy rainfall, the water must be drained away. During summer months, regular watering must be done so that the plants do not dry out. The plants must be kept away from waterlogged and drought conditions. Drainage channels must be present in the field so that extra water can be drained out. For saving water, drip irrigation or sprinkler irrigation must be given. Over-irrigation must be avoided. It can cause the plants to damage.
Manure And Fertiliser Application In Spine Gourd Farming
The well-decomposed farmyard manure must be applied when the plowing is done. Proper quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium must be given to the spine gourd plant. If needed, micronutrients must be applied to avoid the deficiency. The best thing to do is a soil test. A soil test can tell which nutrients the plant needs most. After the soil test, the nutrients must be provided. Too much of fertilizers must never be used. This will make the soil dry and barren.
Intercultural Operations For Spine Gourd Farming
The spine gourd is a vine plant. The bower or the stake system can be used for training of the plants. Training must be done at the earliest. The weeds must be removed as soon as it emerges. Chemical pesticides may be used. The weeds may also be removed by hand. A combination of all the methods may also be used. The soil must be raked occasionally. It helps the plants to absorb nutrients better. Thinning of the plants must be done when the seedlings emerge. Thinning should be done to keep the healthy plants.
Pest And Disease Control Of The Spine Gourd Crop
The most common pest in spine gourd crop is the fruit flies and nematodes. The improved varieties of spine gourd are resistant to the disease. In case of the disease and pest attack, proper protection measures must be taken. Resistant variety must be planted. Seed treatment will help to control many diseases. Proper cultivation techniques might help to avoid the emergence of diseases and pests to a great extent.
Yield Of Spine Gourd
The average yield of spine gourd is about 75-100 quintals per hectare. The yield depends upon the crop management practices and the variety used.
Harvesting Spine Gourd
The fruits are ready when it is green. Ripe fruits are never harvested. The maturity time is a bit longer in the first year of cultivation. After that, the time decreases. There must not be a delay in harvesting of the fruits.
Post-Harvest And Marketing Of Spine Gourd
After harvesting the fruits, they must be collected and stored properly. The fruits must be graded and sorted properly. It is better if they are sold fresh in the market. They can be packed in boxes or cartons and sold to the market.
Benefits Of Spine Gourd
- The spine gourd is rich in Vitamin A. It can be eaten to improve the eyesight. So, it must be included in the regular diet.
- The spine gourd is very beneficial in case of a cough. So, to get relief from a cough, spine gourd must be included in the diet.
- The foliage of spine gourd is also beneficial. It can be taken to reduce fever. The water boiled with spine gourd vine and mixed with honey can be taken to reduce fever.
- The spine gourd is rich in fibers. The fibers help in curing constipation and other stomach problems. It can also help in digesting the food better.
Spine Gourd Farming – Conclusion
The spine gourd has a very good demand in the local market. If the cultivation is done on a large scale, more profits can be earned. The cultivation of the spine gourd must be done properly so that a good yield may be achieved.