Snake gourd planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of Snake gourd is Trichosanthes cucumerina. L; it belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae

Varieties: CO 1, CO 2, PKM 1 and MDU 1.
Soil: Sandy loam rich in organic matter with good drainage and the pH range from 6-5-7.5. The crop requires a moderate warm temperature.

Season and sowing: July and January.
Sow the seeds (5 seeds/pit) treated with Trichoderma viride 4 g/kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g/kg or carbendazim 2 g/kg and thin the seedlings to two per pit after 15 days.

Seed rate: 1.5 kg/ha.

Preparation of field: Plough the field to fine tilth. Dig pits of size 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm at 2.5 x 2 m spacing and form basins.

Irrigation: Irrigate the basins before dibbling the seeds and thereafter once in a week.

Application of fertilizers: Apply 10 kg of FYM, 100 g of NPK 6:12:12 as basal per pit and N @ 10 g pit 30 days after sowing.

After cultivation: Hoe and weed thrice. Provide stakes to reach the pandal height (2 m).
Pandal is not essential for CO 2 variety. Spray Ethrel 100 ppm (1 ml in 10 lit of water) four times from 10 to 15 days after sowing at weekly intervals.

Plant protection from Pests
Leaf beetles, and leaf caterpillars: Spray malathion 50 EC 1 ml/lit or dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/lit or methyl demeton 25 EC 1 ml/lit or fenthion 100 EC 1 ml/lit.
Fruit fly
1. Collect the damaged fruits and destroy.
2. The fly population is low in hot day conditions and it is peak in rainy season. Hence, the sowing time may be adjusted accordingly.
3. Expose the pupae by ploughing.
4. Use 20 x 15 cm poly bags fish meal traps with 5 g of fish meal + 1 ml of dichlorvos in cotton @ 50 traps/ha. Fish meal and cotton are to be removed once in 20 and 7 days respectively.
Do not use DDT, lindane 1.3% dust, copper and sulphur dust. These are phytotoxic.

Protection from Diseases
Powdery mildew: Spray Dinocap 1 ml/lit or Carbendazim 0.5 g/lit.
Downy mildew: Spray Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit twice at 10 days interval.

Yield: 18 t/ha in 135 – 145 days.

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