Snake Gourd is a very important Indian vegetable crop and it can be grown throughout the year. Snake gourd may not be a type of vegetable that is known around the world, but certain cultures have been using this unique food variety for hundreds of years. They are native to Southeast Asia, including India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and other neighboring countries.
Potla kaya (Telugu), Pudalangai Kootu (Tamil) ,Paduvala Kaayi (Kannada), Padwal (Hindi), Paḍawaḷa ( Marathi), Padavalanga (Malayalam).
January and July are the best time for Snake Gourd cultivation.
Snake Gourd growss very well in a hot and warm climate, the ideal temperature for Snake Gourd cultivation is 25° to 38°C.
Snake Gourd can be grown in wide variety of soils. But it grows best in sandy loamy soils with rich organic compost. The soil or main field should be prepared thoroughly by 3 – 4 ploughings and soil pH ranging from 6 – 7 is suitable for Snake Gourd cultivation. Snake Gourd crop requires good soil drainage. Better yield and quality of vegetable depends on the organic matter or Farm Yield Manure (FYM) application while preparing soil or land.
Before sowing , Snake Gourd seeds have to be treated with Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 grams or Trichoderma viride 4 grams / kg of seeds.
Methods of Sowing and Spacing
The Snake Gourd seeds are sown by dibbling method at 1.5 m to 2.0 m X 1.0 m to 1.5 m. Sow 5 seeds in each pit. After germination, thin to 2 healthy seedlings after 2 weeks of sowing. The seeds also can be sown in poly bags. 4 seeds per bag is ideal and 15 days after germination, they can be planted at 4 seedlings per pit in the main field.
Usually Snake Gourd Plantation spreads during July and January. The Snake Gourd seed sowing time depends on the type of crop season.
An average seed rate in Snake Gourd farming is about 5.5 kg- 6.5 kg / ha.
During the early stage of Snake Gourd plants growth, shallow cultivation in the field is preferred. The vegetable plants should be provided some kind of support with sticks for better creeping.
Manure and Fertilizers
40 to 50 cartload well decomposed organic Farm Yard Manure (FMY) should be applied at the time of soil or main land preparation. 100 grams of NPK 6:12:12 mixture as basal dose / pit and N @ 10 grams/ pit 30 days after sowing the seeds. Apply Phosphobacteria and Azospirillum @ 2 kg / ha and Pseudomonas 2.5 kg / ha along with Farm Yard Manure 50 kg and neem cake at100 kg before last ploughing in the main field.
Water the basin before dibbling the snake gourd seeds and afterwards, once in a week is recomended. Drip irrigation is most beneficial in the Snake Gourd farming. The summer plantation requires frequent watering at an interval of 4 to 5 days. Normally rainy season crop does not require any watering.
Weeding and Hoeing can be done twice or thrice or as and when necessary. Provide stakes and train the plants to reach the pandal height (2 meter). Pandal is not essential for Co- 2 variety. Spray Ethrel 100 ppm (1 ml in 10 liter of water) at least four times from 10 to 15 days after sowing at weekly intervals.
The Snake Gourd become ready for harvest from 45 to 60 days of sowing depending on the Varity. Cut the full grown Snake Gourd with knife and this can be done weekly.
Depending upon the farm management and care, the average yield 18 ton /ha in 135 to 145 days can be achieved.