Bottle Gourd Terrace Gardening
Today, we discuss the gardening topic of “Bottle Gourd Terrace Gardening” or How to grow Louki on the terrace.
How to grow Bottle gourd in the terrace?
What is Bottle gourd? The Bottle gourd is a very popular and very healthy annual vegetable. This vegetable is a long vine, whose flower is white and the leaves come in bigger.
The Bottle gourd is also called a calabash, or white-flowered gourd. It has always been regarded as one of the healthiest veggies. This is a very versatile vegetable is full of water (about 92%) and minerals and keeps your body hydrated. Bottle gourd has lots of health benefits, is easy to grow and tolerant to high temperatures, making it a great vegetable for the Indian summers. The Bottle gourd scientific name is Lagenaria Siceraria.
There are several shapes or types of Bottle gourd, namely,
- Round (called calabash) bottle gourd
- High round bottle gourd
- Cylindrical bottle gourd
- Bottle shape bottle gourd
- Long bottle gourd
The Bottle gourd is simple to grow plants at home. You can grow it in pots or containers on the terrace starting from Bottle gourd seeds or seedlings.
Bottle gourd has high water content and is a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K and calcium. Bottle gourd helps in maintaining a healthy heart and it brings down bad cholesterol levels. Bottle gourd juice is recognized to be beneficial for the diabetic patient since it stabilizes blood sugar levels.
Prepare the soil for Bottle gourd terrace gardening:
Get some soil and natural manure, and combine it well with the peats. If you want to maintain it organically, add cow dung or goat dung manure to the mix. Stay this mix aside for a few days. Meanwhile, when peeling veggies, etc.; do not throw away the skin.
Verify the soil once or twice daily for moisture loss. If it feels dry condition, it’s time to water. A healthy Bottle gourd plant needs water in a consistent manner so that the soil does not dry up. Proper watering during the growing period encourages plant flower and fruit. If not watered well, the plant will have weak produce.
Containers used for planting Bottle gourd in terrace:
What type of containers can I use? Containers of all different sizes, shapes, whether of plastic, ceramic, metal or mud can be used. Your coke bottles, take away plastic boxes, old sacks, coconut shells, old broken buckets, UV treated grow bags, cement pots, your dented kitchen pots, just about everything can be recycled and used as containers.
Containers are the key to setting up plants. Whatever containers you use, they want to have a small opening at the bottom to release any extra water that pours for the plants. However, this small hole must be blocked with a small piece of flat stone to prevent the soil from draining away as well.
Tips for Bottle gourd terrace gardening:
Salt water must not be left on the plants. Specifically, in pot plant growers are using one and a half feet repeatedly in wood & cement plants for planting to be comfortable. Pots of red soil, sand, manure & mix well and to be applied. Plants were irrigated in the morning & evening. After the plants are grown with natural fertilizers in the growing of vegetables, the taste is good with the quality.
Temperature requirement to grow Bottle gourd:
Bottle gourd like plenty of sunlight and do not develop well in shady areas. The Bottle gourd plant grows well under warm temperatures (25 to 35ºC). Under frost free, low-temperature conditions, it will grow well provided the plants have attained sufficient vegetative growth before the onset of cool weather. The optimum germination temperature is between 20 and 25ºC. Temperatures below 15ºC and above 35ºC decrease the germination rate.
Propagation of Bottle gourd:
Depending on weather conditions, the seed can be sown directly or it can be raised in the nursery and then transplanted. In the case of transplanting, seeds can be sown in poly pots filled with a mixture of soil and compost manure and transplanted at 4 to 5 leaf stage. With some variation, seedlings are transplanted with an inter-row spacing of 1.5 to 2 m, and intra-row spacing of 1 m to 2 m. During the rainy seasons, the Bottle gourd is generally planted on mounds and during the dry season in depressions. The seed must be soaked in water overnight so that they absorb water which softens the seed coat.
The sprouts should emerge within 10 to 14 days. If you want quicker seed germination, soak the seeds overnight in water, prior to sowing.
Best time to grow Bottle gourd:
When to plant Bottle gourd? Bottle gourd is a winter growing vegetable and usually in the months from November to January in India. Raise the seedlings in a four-inch pot indoors (growing vegetables from seeds) or in a hot frost-free place (Temperature at least 20°C) in the ground by sowing two seeds, half inch deep. Keep the pot or container moist.
Keep your gardening tools ready:
You will require very simple tools for gardening like gloves, sprayers, composters, rakes, shovels, plant pruners and growth stimulators that you have handy to avoid delay in treatment. Based on the space and your need you can find a proper terrace gardening kit online for yourself.
Selection of space to grow Bottle gourd:
The home terrace is an ideal place to grow your organic veggies as it gets ample amounts of sunlight all throughout the day. However, if plants do not require that much sunlight, you can always arrange for a green shade net or greenhouse on your terrace or take a few indoors near windowsills. Though, if you are living in an apartment, you can use your own balcony, windowsill or confirm the housing society does not have any problem with you growing Bottle gourd on the terrace as it is going to take up some amount of common space.
How to find the right containers for terrace gardening? It is not necessary to opt only for costly earthen pots or decorative clay vessels to nurture plants. You can easily choose from one of unused household items like an empty paint bucket, water bottle, milk crates, and bathtubs and so on. You can even find that helmet you do not use anymore, clean it and fill it with soil and necessary nutrients to grow your vegetables. However, refrain from using rice or cement bags as they can start to disintegrate after some time. Whichever container you choose, make sure it is well cleaned and had holes for drainage before planting your seeds in it.
How to plant Bottle gourd? Fill your pot or container with the given growing medium and level the surface. Wet the soil with water to give the right environment for seeds to germinate. Plant seeds about 1 to 2 inches deep in the group of 3 seeds, then cover them with growing medium. Maintain the soil moist by spraying water twice daily.
Transplanting and plant growth:
Once the plants have reached at least 1/2 foot in height, it’s time to transplant them to a pot or container in a terrace. Before transplanting, maintain one healthy plant and remove others. At the bottom of the soil, cut the weakest seedlings out. Be careful not to disturb the roots of the healthy Bottle gourd plant. This procedure is called the plant thinning and it’s a great way to ensure healthy growth.
After thinning, shift the whole biodegradable pot out in an open space or in a container 18 to 24 inches deep. Bottle gourd vegetable grows well in sandy loam soil. By adding organic manure you can create the soil rich. This will give high-quality vegetables. The plant can grow over 1 to 6 feet as a vine, so it needs solid support to climb. You can give support by installing vertical trellis.
Bottle gourd planting care:
- Mind it when the frost is over. Transfer these plants to the prepared soil by manure in the late spring season.
- This plant requires a lot of water, particularly during the growing season, but hate the wet feet.
- When the main vine becomes 6 to 8 feet long, it’s growing tip is cut off, it strengthens the plant and helps support other branches. This helps in more stimulus of fruits and flowers. But this Bottle gourd plant grows well in sandy loam soil. By adding organic manure you can compose the soil rich. To cultivate Bottle gourd, as well-prepared soil by mixing the organic manure. This will give high-quality vegetables. For this soil pH Level, 6.5 to 7.5 are ideal.
- Bottle gourd plant needs water in a uniform manner; its soil does not dry up. The abundant water in the growing period encourages plant flower and fruit. Due to the state of drought, the tree will create weak and less.
- Keep in mind that wherever this plant is available, there must be a better system of drainage.
- Use it to spray seaweed solution or liquid fertilizer every three weeks.
- Its plants are vines and can be up to long 15 feet. To climb it, you can use lattice.
When to harvest Bottle gourd? It is important to harvest Bottle gourd at the correct time. When the Bottle gourd begins to change color or becoming yellowish color, it is time to harvest it. You must be able to pierce your nail in it easily. Harvest the Bottle gourd with at least one inch of stem attached. If the fruit becomes hard and cannot pierce your nails in it, it is over-ripe and not excellent for cooking but good for decoration purpose. Overripe Bottle gourds are very good for making seeds, which can be used to grow gourds next year. How long does bottle gourd take to grow? Your Bottle gourd plant should start flowering within 25-30 days of planting. Bottle gourd produces white flowers, about four inches in diameter. Bottle gourds should appear within 40 to 50 days of planting.
Insects and diseases of Bottle gourd:
In Bottle gourd planting powdery mildew can be a problem in humid hot weather. If mildew develops, remove the affected plant leaves. In order to avoid powdery mildew and rotting, make sure the plant gets good air circulation and proper water drainage.
In Bottle gourd, powdery mildew can be prevalent under humid conditions during summer and can quickly spread to all seedlings in a nursery net house. Control is achieved by spraying with copper oxychloride to the plant.
Gourds protect plant seeds from most pests. Gourds on the ground must be protected from damp by placing a pad of dry grass underneath. The damp will discolor the gourd with black blotches.
Storage of Bottle gourd seeds:
Store Bottle gourd seeds in a dated brown paper bag in a cool, dry, insect free area. Otherwise, leave the seeds inside the uncut calabash or Bottle gourd in a cool, dry area where they will remain safe from pests until the planting season.
That’s all folks about bottle gourd terrace gardening.
Read: Weekend Farming Information.