Introduction of growing Ridge Gourd in pots
The scientific name of Ridge Gourd is “Lufa acutangula” and is also known as “Ribbed Gourd”. One of the major vegetable crops in Asia is Ridge Gourd. It is a vegetable that you can grow easily in containers. Ridge Gourd is a member of the cucumber family and contains a lot of water in it. Ridge Gourds need very little attention and hence they are well suited for any garden. But with the help of this article on how to grow Ridge Gourd in pots, you can increase the yield and performance of your plant.
A step by step guide of Ridge Gourd growing in pots from seeds
Ridge Gourd is an annual, vigorous, climbing vine, with yellow flowers. You can grow Ridge Gourd with the appropriate water system throughout the year. By the way, the most suitable time for Planting Ridge Gourd is before beginning summer and before the beginning of winter. Ridge Gourd is a very famous vegetable in the south and east India. The fruit must be harvested at a young stage if they are grown for cooking purposes. Ridge Gourd can be grown in pots, containers, back yards, poly houses, and greenhouses.
Varieties of Ridge Gourd
Various Ridge Gourd varieties are given below:
- Swarna Manjari
- The shape is elongated in shape, medium size, weight is around 175 g, highly ridged, greenish color, soft pulp and contain less fiber
- Tolerant to powdery mildew
- Maturity: First harvest 65-70 days after sowing
- Swarna Uphar
- The shape is elongated, medium size, weight is around 200 g, long ridged at the edible stage, soft pulp and contain less fiber
- Maturity: First harvest 65-70 days after sowing
- Swarna Sawani (Satputia)
- The plant is vigorous with 3-4m vine length early flowering and fruiting and suitable for rainy season crop
- It is tolerant to powdery mildew and downy mildew
Below are some of the hybrid Ridge Gourd varieties cultivated in India
- Pusa Nasdar
- Desi Chaitali
- PKM 1
- Phule Sucheta
- Kankan Harita
Choosing a container for Ridge Gourd
Ridge Gourds are heavy feeders. They need a lot of nutrients and also a lot of water. So you need a large container to grow ridge gourd in pots. Generally, a 20-liter container would work fine. You can grow 2-3 plants in one container. You can use a container of any shape. Just make sure that it is at least 12 inches deep. A large amount of organic compost in the potting soil mix will ensure that it is nutrient-rich and also help in retaining water.
Ridge Gourd will grow fast and it is a climber. So you need to build a trellis well in time for the plant. Keep the height of the trellis at least 6ft. When the first fruit appears it is a good time to add extra nutrients to the pot. To do this remove the mulch and add about 2-liters of well-decomposed compost to the container.
Taking care of Ridge Gourd growing in pots
You can take care of Ridge Gourd plant by following these:
Temperature and Sunlight for Ridge Gourd
It requires a warm and humid climate for its growth and development. The optimal temperature requirement for Ridge Gourd is 25-30oC.
Ridge Gourd plants require full sunlight. Therefore your raised bed should be placed at a bright sunny spot. Keep the Ridge Gourd container under open sunlight.
The soil requirement for Ridge Gourd
Ridge Gourd can be grown in all kinds of soil but loam, clay loam, and silt soil are best suited for its cultivation. Proper drainage is highly beneficial. So, it requires rich well-drained soil that is rich in organic material.
To grow Ridge Gourd from the seed, you should change the soil on your site, which is full of organic matter such as compost or composted manure. You can spread a 2-inch thick layer of organic compost in the soil, it works in the soil at a depth of 6 to 8 inches. 6.5 -7.0 soil pH is suitable for growing ridge Gourds or neutral to slightly alkaline, but do not add lime unless a soil test determines a low pH.
Water requirement for growing Ridge Gourd in pots
In summer, you should water your potted Ridge Gourd plant every day. Water the soil near the plant. Use a watering can to water and make sure that the plants get water in the form of the shower but not by a single flow. You can also make provision for watering by watering by a drip irrigation system for your raised beds.
Fertilizer requirement for growing Ridge Gourd in pots
Gourds and most other plants are heavy feeders, so add an adequate amount of manure and compost to the soil before planting. But you may want to occasionally feed with a water-soluble low-nitrogen fertilizer like 5-10-5.
If you promote organic compost for Ridge Gourd plant then it is the best, so that you get a better taste in the vegetable. If you will get cow manure it is perfect. It is also good if you use kitchen scraps collected in your compost bin. Very good compost is also produced through the biogas plant.
Ridge Gourd seed sowing, spacing, treatment and germination
You can grow 3-4 plants in a 20-liter pot. Approximately, the distance between plants needs to be 4-5 inches, so that roots of all plants can spread well in all the directions. For sowing the seeds of Ridge Gourd, it is a good idea to soak the seeds in water for 10-12 hours. Mark your spots where you’ll be sowing your seeds in the pot. Now make 3/4 inch to 1-inch holes in the soil using one of your fingers. Place the seeds on their side in the holes and then cover them loosely with the potting soil. On raised beds, sow two seeds per pot in a spacing of 2 x 2 ft. Water the pot gently. Be careful not to disturb the soil. Check the moisture in the soil every day. Don’t let the soil dry out any time. In about 3-5 days you should see happy seedlings looking out from the pots.
To grow from seed the soil full of organic matter and direct sunlight both are important. Rubbing it on sandpaper before planting seeds or leave it soaked in water at room temperature for 24 hours. Doing so will ensure germination and quickly.
Growth stages of Ridge Gourd plants
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Sprouting Stage: Germination time of Ridge Gourd is within the first 6-8 days then it will start sprouting and then the tiny sprouts will be visible.
Cotyledons: The first two leaves will appear in the second week of germination. These are false leaves called cotyledons.
First leaves: First leaves will appear above cotyledons at the end of the second week.
Seedling stage: From the second week, seedlings will start growing into a small plant.
Thinning: After the second week, keep only single seedling at one spot, Cut off the lagging, weak and small seedlings with a pair of scissors.
Ridge Gourd plant maintenance
Ridge Gourd plant maintenance will require evenly damp soil to ensure the best and fast growth. Do not overwater to the plant or do not allow the soil to dry out.
- When your ridge Gourds bloom, add an adequate amount of VC or Compost Tea(CT) to help promote greater plant productivity
- Make sure your Ridge Gourd must receive at least 1“-1 1/2” of water a week.
- Once the soil has warmed, make sure to retain soil dampness and an even growing temperature around the plant.
Pollination in Ridge Gourds can be quite tricky! For that matter, any type of Gourds. So, a brief description of the Ridge Gourd flowers and pollination is provided below.
Ridge Gourd flowers
Ridge Gourd plant produces both male and female flowers. The female flower will develop into ridge Gourd, and this sets them apart from their male counterparts. The female flowers have a small fruit attached to its bottom while male flowers do not have that fruit.
Ridge Gourd pollination
Pollination is done by bees. In case you do not get bees in your garden go ahead and hand pollinate the Ridge Gourd. Hand pollination is very simple. Just take pollens from a healthy male flower and remove its petals gently without disturbing its stamen. Now rub the stamen gently on the stigma of the female flower. You can use a single male flower to pollinate 2-3 female flowers if you don’t have enough male flowers. But in case you have used a single male flower for each female flower.
Pests and diseases of Ridge Gourd
Pests and diseases of Ridge Gourd are given below:
Pests of Ridge gourd
Fruit flies: Fruit fly causing premature fruit drop and also yellowing and rotting of the affected fruits.
Control: Before the sowing of seeds apply Carbaryl 10% DP in pits to destroy the pupae.
Caterpillar: One can find the eggs lay on the lower side of the leaves. The larva feeds on the leaves, flowers, and the flesh of the fruits.
Control: can be controlled by spraying Malathion 50 EC 1 ml/lit or Dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/lit or Methyl demeton 25 EC 1 ml/lit
Beetles: These pests are red. Colored grubs after hatching feed on the parts that touch the ground such as roots, fruits, and stems. Adults feed on flowers and leaves.
Control: MethyDemeton 25EC and Malathion 50EC must be sprayed. Hand picks the adult beetles to destroy and after harvesting expose the field to the sun to destroy hibernating pests by thorough plowing.
Diseases of Ridge gourd
Downy mildew: Cottony white mycelial growth is seen on the leaf surface. One can observe yellow spots on top of the leaves and water-soaked spots of fungus under the leaves. It is severe during the rainy season.
Control: Downy mildew can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit twice at 10 days interval.
Powdery mildew: The disease appears as small, round, whitish spots on leaves and stems, which later enlarge and coalesce rapidly. On the leaf surface, the white powdery mass appears. Heavily infected leaves become yellow, and later turn brown and dry. Extensive premature defoliation of the older leaves occurs resulting in yield reduction.
Control: Powdery mildew can be controlled by spraying Dinocap 1 ml/lit or Carbendazim 0.5 gm/lit.
Ridge Gourd pests and diseases organic control
Once you have identified the insects, you can control them with an assortment of organic pest-control methods too. The following list contains a few methods of organic control:
Beetles and caterpillars
- Handpick off the plants
- Dislodge with jet water spray
- Remove the affected fruits and destroy
- Prune or stake plants to improve air circulation
- Water only in the morning so plants have a chance to dry during the day
- Mix 1 part milk with 9 parts water and spray the stems and tops of leaves with the solution. Reapply after rain.
- Spraying leaves with baking soda (1 teaspoon in 1-quart water) raise the pH, creating an inhospitable environment for powdery mildew.
Ridge Gourd harvesting
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Ridge Gourd’s harvesting can be done just by looking at the stem right next to the Gourd. If it has started to shrink, turn brown and dry, then, the Gourd is done growing and can be picked. The body of the Ridge Gourd may still be green, but the dried stem means that the Gourd is not receiving any more nutrients from the vine so that you can pick it.
Do not leave the Ridge Gourd fruits for a long period of maturity. Pick the fruit in the young stage only, otherwise, the skin becomes thick, and the fruits will be inseparable with lots of fiber from inside. Leave the ripe fruits on the plant itself. When it is completely dry, you can store its seeds. Use any garden cutter a pair of scissors to remove the fruit from the plant. Do not remove the fruit by pulling as it will damage the plant. That’s all folks about growing Ridge Gourd in pots/containers.
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