Snake gourd is a creeping plant. It bears long twisted fruits and is usually consumed as a vegetable. Farmers cultivate the plant throughout South and Southeast Asian countries, counting India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia and China.
In addition, this species is native to significant parts of Australia, Africa and India. Growing well in tropical countries produces greenish-white and off-white fruits that grow to 100–150 cm in length and 60–75 cm in diameter (approximately).
Backed by agricultural research, hybrid snake gourd varieties grown in India have high demand and are exported abroad. In India, several small high-yielding gourd species also grow in abundance.
Farming most needs several types of equipment, which play a prominent role in the processing of cultivation. Implements, harvesters and tractors are predominant in snake gourd farming; therefore, we suggest the Kubota b2741, better for enhancing efficiency in the field.
Snake Gourd Benefits For Health
Enriched with various minerals and dietary fibre; snake gourd has many health benefits. For example, consuming snake gourd juice helps treat diabetic patients. And its high fibre is excellent for people suffering from constipation and digestive disorders.
It has anti-inflammatory properties of high value and is preferred in alternative medicine in diet plans to manage chronic pain such as arthritis. Apart from chronic constipation, we can treat various stomach base disorders like IBS, flatulence, worm invasion and liver diseases like jaundice.
It can work wonders as a natural expectorant to relieve cough and treat fever from the respiratory organ. In addition, applying its liquid can help in controlling dandruff naturally.
The only disadvantage of the gourd is pesticide residue. Therefore, if not cultivated organically, it should be thoroughly cleaned and peeled before cooking.
Although gourds grow well in any good soil, they give the highest productivity in areas with sandy loamy soils. The pH in the soil should not be excessive and should be limited to 6.5-7.5. The farmers should well- drain and ventilate cropland,
Snake Gourd Growing Temperature
During their growing phase, minimum 18°C to 21°C and later 24°C to 27°C optimum temperature is ideal for growing gourds. However, the extreme climate is unsuitable for the cultivation of snake gourds.
The ideal season for planting in cropland is January to July. Depending on the fertility scale of their land, the farmer should cultivate 2 – 3 kg of gourd seeds per hectare.
Effective land preparation for gourd cultivation is the key to maximizing productivity. Use necessary machinery and tools for ploughing and make it a well-plough land. This cultivar needs aeration, which is the demand of gourds. Prepare pits 30-40 cm deep and 50-60 cm in diameter with a spacing of 2.5 x 2.5 m, and then consider adding compost to the top-soil of the pit.
To maximize yield and protect your plants before the last ploughing. Top-soil with 130 kg FYM (Farm Yard Manure), 250 kg Neem Cake, 5 kg Azospirillum, 5 kg Phosphobacteria must be mixed. Need to apply N, P, K @ 180/240/250 kg respectively during the cropping period. An ideal parameter is to initially apply 50% or 90 kg of nitrogen (N) and then use the rest during the cultivation period.
Proper irrigation is an essential part of snake gourd cultivation. It is good to water the land at intervals of 2-3 days, depending on the climatic conditions. Other than this, during summer in snake gourd cultivation requires regular irrigation.
Furrow irrigation is a consistent way to support plants without the risk of overwatering or under-watering. However, when considering furrow irrigation, it is essential to judge factors such as soil conditions, row-spacing between furrows, and the slopes requiring irrigate your plants to get the best results.
The farmer should use the well-drained land and be careful to avoid excessive watering. In places where rainfall is low, choose deep water, which helps save water and provides essential nutrition to the tree’s roots in areas with deep soil.
Pruning and Weeding
Weed control is basic to reducing the risk of pest attack. In addition to hand weeding, use long sticks to reach and eliminate inaccessible weeds that get in the way of your planting’s normal growth. Equally, carefully wipe off non-productive lateral branches with a sharp knife that encourages rapid harvesting to increase yield.
Harvesting and Yield in Snake Gourd Cultivation
In general, it takes about 130-150 days for the gourd to reach its harvesting stage. As you should not cut them immature evenly, be sure to cut it before they reach the desired size and ripen. The expected average yield is 15-18 t/ha; however, this largely depends on the effective cropping scheme and its variety.
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