Ridge Gourd Cultivation

Ridgegourd

About the Crop

Crop Name

Ridge Gourd

Common names

Angled luffa, Ridged luffa

Scientific Name

Luffa acutangula
Family Cucurbitaceae

Name in Indian languages

Telugu - Beerakaya, Kannada - Hirekayi, Tamil - Peerkankai, Malayalam - Peechanga, Marathi - Dodka, Hindi - Torai, Gujrathi - Sirola, Assamese - Jika.

Origin, Distribution and Uses

Ridge Gourd also popularly known as Loofa in many countries, is a pulpy vegetable and belongs to the Cucumber family. It is tastier and widely used in day to day cooking in India. It is cultivated widely around the tropical regions around the world and believed to originate from Tropical Asia. Apart from India, it is cultivated and used in food preparations and called Sigua in China, Patola in Phillipines, Thaboot Thee in Myanmar and Loofa in Egypt.
Dark green in colour, Ridge Gourd is a fleshy vegetable and grows in vines. It is commonly used as Pachhadi, Dal and in south Indian preparations of Sambhar and Koottu.
It is highly nutritious and contains vitamins like vitamin-C, Thiamin and minerals and dietary fiber.
It acts as Anti Oxidant and purifies blood. It is having properties of controlling Diabetes, Jaundice and solves constipation related stomach disorders since it is rich in fiber.

Area, Production and Productivity

Ridge Gourd is cultivated in approximately 24,800 Acres in India. And the average yield is 39t/acre. Total production is approximately 3,16,925 Tons.

Cultivation Requirements

Climate and Seasons

Ridge gourd can be cultivated during summer and rainy seasons but not during winter in areas, where the temperature goes below 25°C, since it requires a temperature of 25 to 35°C, for germination of seeds.

Soils

It grows well in loamy soil or loose soil. Proper drainage is required.

Varieties

Improved Varieties

1. Pusa Nasdar

Developed in IARI, New Delhi. Yield - 37 to 39 t/Acre.

2. Pusa Nutan

Developed in IARI, New Delhi. It is 25 to 35 cm long. Yield 39 t/Acre.

3. Pant Torai

Developed at GBPU, Pant Nagar, Gujarat. It is about 5 Cms long.
Yield - 25 t/Acre. Suitable for rainy seasons.

4. CO 1

Developed at TNAU, Coimbatore. It is 60 to 75 Cms long. Yield 35 t/Acre.

5. CO 2

Developed at TNAU, Coimbatore. It is 90 to 100 Cms long. Yield 60 t/Acre.

6. PKM 1

Developed by TNAU ,Coimbatore. Yield 70 t/Acre.

7. Swarna Manjari

Developed by HARP, Ranchi. Yield 49 t/Acre. Tolerant to powdery mildew.

8. Punjab Sadabhar

Developed by PAU, Ludhiana. 25 t/Acre.

9. Satputia

Cultivar of Bihar. Produces cluster of fruits with 5 to 7 fruits per cluster. Yield 50 to 60 t/Acre.

10. Arka Sujat

Developed by IIHR, Bangalore. It is 35 to 45 cm long. Yield 63 t/Acre.

Crop Management

Field Preparation

The field is to be ploughed three times before sowing. Field Yard manure to be applied to the fields @ 125 Kg and Neem Cake @ 250 Kg per acre along with Azospirillum 5 Kg and 6.5 Kg of Pseudomonas after 2nd ploughing. It is desirable if the pH value of the soil is at 6.5 to 7. Good drainage for water is required.

Propagation

Propagation of the plant is through seeds.

Sowing, Nursery and Transplanting

Seed Rate

About 12 kg seed per Acre is required for ridge gourd cultivation.

Seed Treatment

The seeds of ridge gourd are very hard and having a very smooth surface and may take more time to germinate. In order to enable for earlier germination of seeds, they are to be first roughed lightly with rolling over a sand paper and soaked in luke warm water over night. Before sowing, the seeds are to be treated with Trichoderma viride @ 4 gm per kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 gms per kg of seeds.

Transplanting

The seeds can be directly sowed three numbers in a pit or can be grown initially in a polythene bag filled with same soil and transplanted at the pits after a healthy growth of the plant. Thinning to two plants after healthy growth of plants to be carried out.

Spacing

The plants are sown at a spacing of 150 X 200 cm.

Methods

The seeds are sown following two methods. One is Bed type the other is Pits or furrows type. Generally the Bed type method, is followed for Trellis or raised type of growing and Pits type is followed for ground trailing method of growing. In ground trailing method, the fruits will have a flat side whereas in raised method the fruits will be round shape.

Cropping Patterns

Rotation type of cropping can be followed.

Water Management

Drip Irrigation system is best suited for Ridge gourd growing. In this the lateral pipes are laid at an interval of 1.5 Meters and the drippers spaced @ 60cm in between with a water capacity of 3.5 Litres per hour.

Nutrient Management

N-P-K at the rate of 60-85-75 kg per acre before sowing and N @ 50 kg per acre after 30 days. Spray Ethrel @ 2.5 ml per 10 litres of water after 15 days of sowing and once in a week after that. This will help increase in yield.

Weed Management

Removal of weeds and earthing up of soil to the plants to be carried out before application of fertilisers. Application of Fluchloralin @ 2.5 kg per acre or Bensulide @ 15 Kg per acre to the filed 15 days before sowing helps control weeds.

Pests and Management

  • Fruit fly (Bacterocera cucurbitae)
    Lays eggs on the flowers, fruits and eats the contents of the fruits when the eggs got hatched and become maggots. Causing rotting of the fruits.
    To Control this, cover the fruits with polythene bag wrapped around. Remove the affected fruits by hand and destroy them by dipping in hot water with disinfectant solution. Do not throw the affected fruits on the earth. Using Light Trap with poison baits like hanging a coconut shell applied inside with Molasses or Gur paste with Furadan granules, will attract the flies and kill them.

  • Red Pumpkin Beetle (Aulacophora foveicollis)
    Eats Leaves and as a result the leaves become curly, dry and fall down. Their Grubs inside the soil eat the stem and root portion, resulting in the plant dying.
    To control this, granules of Furadon 3 G can be mixed with the soil at the base around the plant.

  • Aphids (Aphis gossypii)
    Suck sap from the leaves. Leaves become curly and fall down. Aphids are also carrier of Mosaic virus.
    To control this, spraying the plant with tobacco solution or Malathion(0.1%) can be carried out.

  • Root knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita acrita)
    Attacks roots of the plant by forming knots on the root portion resulting in damage of plants and productivity. Crop rotation, deep ploughing and exposure of the field to sun, applying insecticides before sowing can control this disease.

Diseases and Management

  • Yellow wine Mosaic Virus
    Causes heavy damage to the crops due to curling and wilting of leaves, retarded growth, lower productivity. In order to reduce loss due to this, Seeds can be selected from disease free plants, virus resistant variety seeds also can be used. As a precaution, the seeds can be soaked in hot water having a temperature 55°C temperature.

  • Powdery Mildew (Sphaerotheca fuliginea)
    Appearance of grey or white patches on the leaves and spreads rapidly throughout the plants having a powdery appearance of the plants, resulting in defoliation of the plant.
    Spraying of Karathane (0.5%) or Carbendazim (0.1%) can control this disease.

  • Downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis)
    This disease appears during rainy seasons with high humidity. The leaves get the appearance of as such they have been soaked in water at the bottom and angular portions. This will cause damage of entire plant quickly. Immediate removal of affected leaves and spraying of Dithane M-45 (0.2%) over the leaves and lower side can control this disease.

Cost of cultivation

Cost of Cultivation of Ridge Gourd - in Rupees per Acre

Cost In Rupees
Field Preparation 14,820
Nursery, Planting and Sowing 19,760
Weeding 19,760
Fertilisers 19,760
Wages 17,290
Stacking, Transportation and other expenses 12,350
Total 1,03,740
  • Total Cost of cultivation - Rs 1,03,740
  • Average Yield per acre - 49 Mt
  • Market Price - Rs 4 to 15 per kg
  • Nett income at the minimum price Rs 1,96,000
  • Profit - 1,96,000 - 1,03,740 = Rs 92,260

Marketing

The harvest can be done by hand picking and sorting according to the weight and length of the fruits.
They can be marketed either through local markets or through marketing agents.

Post Harvest Technology

Ridge Gourd has to be used immediately after harvest. So the earlier the marketing, the better for the cultivator.

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