Bitter gourd farming has influenced a lot of people in the world. Not because of its bitter taste but because of the health benefits it has.
This vegetable is also popular as Bitter Melon worldwide though Indians call it Karela. It is characterized by its climbing trait. And this vine plant finds a place in herbal medicines too.
The presence of momordica is the cause of the bitter taste. These bitter gourd vines grow easily and faster.
Bitter gourds are enormously consumed in juices for their high medicinal content and healing nature.
Bitter gourd farming finds huge demand in the market and is at boom these days.
Before trying your hands at bitter gourd farming you should be abreast with all the relevant guidelines related to this. Please check out.
Health benefits of bitter gourd
Bitter gourds are loved and demanded their abundant contribution to improving health. Explicit store for Vitamins A, B, C and Manganese, Zinc, Iron, and Calcium. Dietary fiber riches improves the digestive system too.
The polypeptide, resembling insulin is a sure-shot cure for diabetes. Helps in improving blood disorders, liver, and diabetes-related issues. Gives a boost to the immune system and heals psoriasis.
Checks weight and cures eye-sight. This cylindrical veggie is a piece of baggage of health that people are eager to grab. So getting into bitter gourd farming would be amazing.
Requirements for bitter gourd plantation
Few factors are affecting the bitter gourd farming. Let’s acknowledge them:
A purely loves hot and humid climate and grows well in such places.
A perfect combo for bitter gourd farming lies in super productive and neutral PH soil. Nourished with organic riches and possessing a good drainage system. Such a soil is a perfect recipe to bitter gourd farming.
- PREPARING LAND
Plowing thoroughly till the dead-end is recommended. This goes till the tilth ensuring perfect soil aeration and enhancing the fertility as well. After this proper spacing should be made by preparing basins.
- FAVORABLE TIME
The best bitter gourd growing time is summers. As it thrives well in the hot and humid climates.
Before cultivating seeds, the field should be watered well. Then once in a week is enough for the bitter gourd plant. As a moist soil is all what a bitter gourd needs.
- WEED CONTROL
The plant needs weeding at least thrice in the entire span, i.e from plantation till harvest. This helps in improving the bitter gourd farming.
- DISEASE AND PEST CHECK
Bitter gourd plant attracts pests and insects. Aphids, Mites, Beetles, Caterpillars. Downy mildew and powdery mildew are common threats to the plants.
- MANURE AND FERTILIZERS
A good quantity and quality of fertilizers ensure good growth.
How to grow bitter gourd
Bitter gourd farming is practiced in a tropical climate. As it is a creeper plant it needs support to stand. It produces yellow-colored flowers, their pollination is carried out by the insects.
To find out how to grow bitter gourd is not tough. Let’s find out.
Buy seeds from a verified source or can be obtained from the fruit as well. The seeds obtained through fruits are red in color. By applying some tricks, you can accelerate the sprouting time.
Generally, in bitter gourd farming, the seeds take three to four weeks to sprout. To speed up the action unwrap the seeds before sowing them. Or absorbing them in water for 24 hours before sowing will do the same work.
Plant them at a depth of 2 cm. And you should note that bitter gourd growing time is from April to May.
A constant regular water intake is to be maintained by keeping it moist throughout the growing period. The climate should be hot as low temperatures ruin the plant.
The proper spread of fertilizers is a necessary set as they are susceptible attract to bugs and insects.
Pruning enhances growth of the bitter gourd farming. All the unwanted shoots and tiny growths are curbed so the entire focus remains on growth. This is how you can plant bitter gourds.
Production technology of bitter gourd
BITTER GOURD HYBRID
The largest contributor of cucurbit, (bitter gourd) has stated that the hybrid production technology of bitter gourd is the best.
This ensures a higher and improved variety of bitter gourd farming. It speeds up the production time. In 60 to 65 days your bitter gourds are ready.
And some varieties take 45 days only. These are less affected by powdery mildew. But a lesser area is allotted towards hybrid production. As a major portion is still under open pollination.
To enhance the production quality, more areas should be allotted to hybrid production. In this pollination is carried out by hand and the seeds are continuously monitored to keep a track of growth.
And the sprouting starts in 7 days from pollination which is much faster as compared to the normal one.
Hybrid production is way far better than normal. The fruits produced are much longer and good. Also, they grow at a rapid pace. But the only drawback is the hybrid seeds are costlier.
They might not fit in your budget.
Pollination in bitter gourd
Over 6 months, bitter melon vines get ready for pollination. Those alluring yellow flowers on the vines attract honey bees towards them to kickstart the process.
In case of the non-availability of insects, pollination has to be carried out by hand. For this, you need to transfer the pollen of male flowers to female flower.
The daytime is preferable for pollination. If the pollination is successful, these flowers start converting to fruits.
Varieties of Bitter Gourd
The common variety of bitter gourds are:
- Chinese variety is a light green color with a shiny surface.
- Indian variety is generally darker in color in comparison to the Chinese variety and has prominent ridges on its surface.
- Long spined
- Short spined
- Malaysian type
- Philippine type
- Half long type
How to harvest bitter gourd
A good time to attain maturity is considered to be 65 days or more. In hybrid, production it goes down to 45 days.
From the time they are sown till they grow, it requires 60 to 65 golden days period. By this time, bitter gourds reach their size and appearance.
They can be picked at an initial stage prior to ripening unless there is a seed requirement. Care should be taken while picking bitter gourds and not causing any injury to the vines.
Those plucked bitter gourd can survive till 2 or 3 days when stored at a cool temperature.
BITTER GOURD PLANTING DISTANCE
The spacing pattern should be made in such a way that the seeds get enough air and place to grow.
By carrying out dibbling method seeds are placed at 120*90 cms. Only 3 to 4 seeds are placed in a single pit.
While in flatbeds, the spacing becomes 1*1 cm. This ensures a good yield. The bitter gourd yield, per acre, amounts to around 65 to 100 quintals.
For seeds, leave few vines undisturbed in the field. Even after harvesting the seeds continue to grow inside the bitter gourd.
On cutting the bitter gourd these seeds can be removed and collected. After washing and drying they are ready for sowing.
These seeds have life for 2 to 3 years. Not all the bitter gourds should be collected from the vine. Some should be allowed, to rip open on their own.
After maturing these seeds can be collected from the ripened fruit.
Let’s sum up all the information. The above article is an absolute insight into bitter gourd farming. Now, whether you are a beginner or intermediate, can go ahead with the bitter gourd cultivation.
Bitter gourds have an easy and rising demand in the markets. This is an advantageous veggie considering both monetary and health factors.
The production and supply, is growing heaps and bound in today’s era. With dedication and hard work, bitter gourd farming can be turned into a high profit fetching activity.
Get started with your bitter gourd cultivation. Good luck!!!!!