Ridge Gourd Cultivation (Ribbed Gourd) Guide:
Introduction of Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- Ridge gourd is one of major vegetable crops in Asia. Ridge gourd is also known as “Ribbed Gourd” and scientific name of ridge gourd is “Lufa acutangula”. This vegetable mainly used for culinary purpose and it’s very popular in China, Vietnam, south and east India. Ridge gourd vine requires support for its growth and development. This vegetable belongs to the family of “Cucurbitaceae” and genus of “Luffa” (Loofah). It is an important commercial crop fetching good yields and returns with proper farm management practices. Low investment and high yield makes the commercial success of this crop. The advantage of ridge gourd cultivation is, it can be grown throughout the year where irrigation facility is available. Usually, this plants has creeping nature, hence it requires good support for it vine for high yields and quality. This vegetable has good fiber and very good for digestion. Commercial growers should get quality seeds from known nurseries or seed providers. If you are planning for seed production, fruits should be allowed to fully ripen and then dry out on the vine. The fruit must be harvested at a young stage, if they are grown for cooking purpose. Ridge gourd can be grown in pots, containers, back yards , poly houses and green houses.
Health Benefits of Ridge Gourd:- The following are some of the health benefits of Ridge Gourd.
- Ridge gourd helps in reducing inflammation.
- Ridge gourd helps weight loss management.
- Ridge gourd helps in controlling diabetes.
- Ridge gourd helps reducing body heat.
- Ridge gourd is good for hair.
- Ridge gourd also aids in curing piles.
- Ridge gourd has medicinal properties for healing jaundice.
- Ridge gourd is also used in skin care treatment against eczema and psoriasis.
- Ridge gourd has high beta carotene, so it is good for eye health.
- Ridge gourd helps in reducing skin infections.
- Ridge gourd is good for digestion due to its fiber content.
- Ridge gourd helps reducing constipation.
- Ridge gourd has low calories.
- Ridge gourd also used in ayurvedic medicine.
Local Names of Ridge Gourd in Other Parts of the World:- Torai (Urdu),पाटे घिराैँला (Nepali), Luffa (German), Cresta calabaza (Spanish), Biloto tikvata (Bulgarian), قرع ريدج (Arabic), 里奇金瓜 (Chinese), Tagaytay lung (Filipino), Cresta zucca (Italian), น้ำเต้าสัน (Vietnamese), Vetakolu (Sinhalese, SriLanka), CreastaTigva (Romanian), リッジひょうたん (Japanese), ននោងជ្រុង (Cambodian),Hřeben Tykev velkoplodá (Czech),Luffa (French),Ридж Тыква (Russian), Ridge kalebass (Swedish), Ridge Sütőtök (Hungarian), Petola segi(Malay), قمقمه! (Persian).
Local Names of Ridge Gourd in India:- Ridge Gourd / Ribbed Gourd (English), Turai (Hindi), Pirkkankai (Tamil),Peechinga (Malayalam), Beera Kayi (Telugu), Heerakai (Kannada), Jhinga (Bengali), Turia / Sirola (Gujarati), Ghossaley / Gosalen (Konkani), Dodka / Doadakee (Marathi), Janchi / Jahni (Oriya), Kalitori (Punjabi), Peerae (Tulu), Turrel (Kashmiri).
Ridge Gourd Varieties:– There are improved varieties of ridge gourd specific to most of the regions in Asia. However, it is better to find out the high yielding hybrid variety suitable for your local area. Pusa Nasdar, Desi Chaitali, Co-1,Co-2, PKM 1, Phule Sucheta and Kankan Harita are some of the hybrid ridge gourd varieties cultivated in India.
Climate Required for Ridge Gourd Cultivation:– Ridge gourd thrives very well in a warm hot climatic conditions. The optimum temperature for ridge gourd cultivation is 24°C–30°C. Very high temperature (more than 39°C) especially in the early stage of growth stage helps produce more male flowers, reducing the yield. Very low temperature also affects growth of vines.
Soil Requirement for Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- Usually, ridge gourd can be grown in wide range of soils. However, well-drained sandy loam soils rich in organic matter are perfect for ridge gourd cultivation. Soils with pH range from 6.0-7.5 is ideal for good yield.
Season for Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- This vegetable can be grown throughout the year with proper irrigation. The best time of planting for rainfed crop is just before onset of monsoon (rainy season).
Land Preparation in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- Plough the filed 3 to 4 times until it gets the fine tilth stage and remove any weeds from previous crops. Should dig pits of 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm at 2.5 meter x 2 meter spacing and form basins. As the vines need support, bamboo or any support should be provided at each pit.
Seed Rate and Seed Treatment in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- Generally seed rate depends on the cultivar (variety) and soil type. On an average 5 kg of seed is required to cover the 1 hectare field. To prevent from seed borne diseases and soil born diseases, seeds should be treated with Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 grams / kg of seeds before sowing in the pits.
Propagation and Sowing in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:– Propagation is done by seeds. Sowing should be carried out by dibbling method where 3 to 4 seeds should be sown in each pit. Usually it takes 4 to 5 days to start the germination and after 2 weeks, retain only two healthy seedlings to prevent from overcrowding. Layout should be ring and basin. Once the seedlings start creeping, arrange any support like bamboo sticks or rock pillars or any kind wooden support.
Irrigation in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- Irrigation depends on the season and soil moisture holding capacity. However, irrigation should be carried out before dibbling the seeds in pits. The summer crop should be irrigated before sowing and subsequently once in 3 to 4 days. If the crop is cultivated as rainfed, there is no need of irrigation. In water problem areas, drip irrigation would be a great choice for efficient use of water. In this case, drip lines should be arranged along with pits. There are many drip subsidy programs available through local government schemes for small farmers. Contact local horticulture department for these seed and drip subsidy programs.
Manures and Fertilizers in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- Ridge gourd plants responds very well to manures and fertilizers. If the crop is intended for commercial growing, soil test needs to be carried and nutrient gap in the soil should be filled. During the soil/land preparation, apply 20 to 25 tonnes of well-decomposed farmyard manure like cow-dung along with 50 kg of ‘N’ & 25 kg of ‘P’ per 1 hectare. Half dose of ‘N’ full dose of ‘P’ should be applied at the time of sowing. Remaining half dose of ‘N’ should be applied 1 month after sowing the seeds.
Intercultural Operations in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- As part of inter-cultural operation in ridge gourd cultivation or ribbed gourd cultivation, shallow cultivation should be carried out and appropriate bamboo stick support should be provided for growing vines. Manual weeding should be carried out during the initial stages of plant growth to avoid the competence with the main crop for nutrients. Sometimes due to overcrowding of vines, some may tend to fall on the ground and these needs to be checked out. Hoeing should be carried thrice to control weed population. Spraying Ethrel 250 ppm (2.5 ml/10 lit of water) 4 times 2 weeks after sowing at weekly intervals will increase fruit yield.
Pests and Diseases in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- The following are the common pests and diseases found in Ridge Gourd cultivation.
- Beetles, fruit flies and caterpillars are main insect pests found in ridge gourd cultivation.
- Control measures: Spraying Dichlorvos 76% EC 6.5 ml/10 liter of water or Trichlorofon 50% EC 1.0 ml/l liter of water will check out these pests.
- Powdery mildew and Down mildew are common diseases found in ridge gourd cultivation.
- Control measures: To control powdery mildew, spray Dinocap 1 ml/liter of water. or Carbendazim 0.5 g/liter of water. To control down mildew, spray Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2 grams/liter of water twice at 10 days interval.
Harvesting in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:– The fruits start to form after 55 to 60 days from the day of sowing in pits. Since these vegetables are long, care must be taken to make sure the vegetables are hanging in a downward direction. Usually, when the vines grow long & thick, the developing fruits get entangled in the vines, resulting in fruits getting undesired shape. The full grown tender fruit should be harvested at weekly interval. These vegetables can be harvested with a sharp knife.
Yield in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- Yield depends on many factors like cultivar (variety), soil, climate and farm management practices. On an average one can obtain up to 90 quintals from 1 hectare ridge gourd crop.
Marketing in Ridge Gourd Cultivation:- Harvested ridge gourd can be supplied to local markets.
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