Ash gourd planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of Ash gourd is Benincasa hispida Cogn; it belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae

Varieties: CO 1 and CO 2.

Soil: A deep loamy soil with pH ranges from 6.5-7.5 is suitable. A warm tropical climate is ideal.

Season and sowing: July and January.
Five to six seeds are sown in each pit the seeds are treated with Trichoderma viride 4 g or Pseudomonas fluroscens 10 g carbendazim 2 g/kg of seeds and after germination, the seedlings are thinned to two per pit.

Seed rate: 2.5 kg/ha. Soak the seeds in double the quantity of water for 30 minutes and incubate for 6 days.

Preparation of field: Plough the field 3 – 4 times. Dig pits of 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm at a spacing 2 x 1.5 m and form basins.

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

Application of fertilizers: Apply 10 kg FYM per pit and 100 g of NPK 6:12:12 mixture/pit and 10 g N/pit 30 days after sowing.

After cultivation: Hoe and weed thrice. Spray Ethrel 250 ppm (2.5 ml/10 lit of water) four times at weekly intervals commencing from 15th day after sowing.

Plant protection against 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 affected fruits and destroy.
2. The fly population is low in hot day conditions and it is peak in rainy season. Hence adjust the sowing time accordingly.
3. Expose the pupae by ploughing.
4. Use polythene bags, fish meal trap with 5 gm of wet fish meal and 1 g of dichlorvos in cotton, 50 traps are required per hectare. Fish meal and dichlorvos impregnated cotton are to be renewed once in 20 and 7 days respectively.
Do not use DDT, lindane 1.3% dust, copper and sulphur dust, as these are phytotoxic.

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

Yield: 20 t/ha in 140 days.

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