Snake Gourd Growing Tips, Techniques, Ideas, and Secrets
Hello gardeners, we are back with a new and helpful topic today and the topic is all about snake gourd growing tips, techniques, ideas, tricks, and secrets. Do you want to know all the basic and important tips for growing snake gourd? Well and then you will need to follow this complete article to know all the best tips and secrets for growing snake gourd.
Introduction to Snake Gourd
Snake gourd, (Trichosanthes cucumerina), is also known as serpent gourd and a rapid-growing vine of the Cucurbitaceae (Cucurbitaceae), planted for its oddly shaped edible fruits. The snake gourd is native to south-eastern Asia and Australia and is additionally grown in parts of tropical Africa.
In Asia, it is usually eaten immaturely as a vegetable very similar to the summer squash, and in Africa; the reddish pulp of mature snake gourd is employed as a cheap substitute for tomato. This cucurbit originates within the Asian tropics and is borne from a rapidly growing annual vine with fruit that will reach up to six feet or 1.8 m. in length. You’ll also find it mentioned as snake squash or club gourd, and it’s often pickled with a texture like zucchini when young. They are often used a bit like zucchini too — stuffed, baked, pickled, stir-fried, and is delicious altogether manner of curries and vegetarian dishes.
Snake Gourd Growing Tips, Ideas, Techniques, Tricks, and Secrets
10 Secrets to Boost Yield of Snake Gourd
1. Base fertilizer
Make a flowerbed with one-meter length and width. Then till the flowerbed at half a feet depth and add organic or trash powder as base fertilizer. Also, add 100 grams of lime or dolomite and 100 grams of organic. Then water the flowerbed for 3 days before sowing seeds.
2. Quality seeds
Choose local or hybrid sorts of seeds. Make sure of the quality of seeds, the source that supplied them, and therefore the expiry date. The seeds are often germinated by keeping them inside the banana stem or sowing in the trash. It’s to be sowed directly within the soil, soak the seeds in water for a minimum of 6 hours.
3. Water permeability
Choose a water-permeable place where sunlight is out there aplenty to sow the seeds. If the flowerbed is puddled with water before the vines grow, then its roots are likely to perish.
4. Healthy saplings
There should be a maximum of three to 4 saplings in one flowerbed. Only healthy plants should be allowed to grow.
5. Prune the vine
Once the vine begins to spread on the trellis, the tiny vines sprouting from rock bottom should be pruned. This may make the vine stronger and boost the yield.
6. Add fertilizer
After the vine grows well, add 500 grams of organic or trash powder for every plant. Diluted cow urine or a diluted mixture of organic or groundnut cake soaked in trash solution are often applied.
7. Remove weeds
Ensure all weeds are far away from the flowerbed regularly. The weeds often house insects that attack snake-gourd vines and also they consume fertilizers.
Use dry leaves for mulching the flowerbed. This helps to make sure moisture and coolness within the flowerbed for extended. Also, mulching is useful for the expansion of microbes within the soil.
9. Organic growth booster
Mix 10 grams of milky white asafoetida in one litre of curd and sprinkle it on snake gourd leaves. This may help the plant bloom faster and bear fruit. A mix of an equal amount of coconut milk and buttermilk can also be used for this.
Sometimes snake gourd doesn’t bear fruit even after blooming. Mix 100 grams of honey or sugar in one litre of water and sprinkle on flowers within the evenings. This makes the plant bear fruits faster.
10. Organic pesticides
There is no use in applying pesticides after insects start attacking the plant. Instead, homemade organic pesticides are often applied even before the pest menace begins. Various sorts of bugs and flies are often avoided in this method.
Soil Preparation Tips for Growing Snake Gourd
Snake Gourd is often grown in a big variety of soils. But it grows good and best in sandy loam soils with rich organic compost. The soil or main field should be prepared thoroughly by 3 to 4 ploughings and soil pH starting from 6 to 7 is suitable for Snake Gourd cultivation. Snake Gourd plant requires good soil drainage.
- What quite a soil do gourds like?
Gourds prefer full sun and rich well-drained soil that’s rich in organic material. Sow the seeds outdoors in any case danger of frost have passed and therefore the weather is warm. Sow seeds 1to 2 inches deep in groups of 4 seeds, just by spacing in groups 5 feet apart in rows spaced 8 feet apart.
Snake Gourd Seed Germination Techniques and Ideas
- Cracking the Seeds
The outer shell or layers of the snake gourd’s seeds are very hard to take out, making them difficult to germinate out. Even under ideal and optimum conditions, the seeds may require a month to germinate, and up to 40% of the seeds fail to sprout. to extend the germination rate, carefully crack the hard shell with pliers, very similar to you’d crack open an almond shell — place the pliers’ jaws on the ridged seam that joins the seed’s two halves and then press very gently until its cracks open. Do that carefully, because if you crush the shell and damage the endosperm inside, the seeds won’t sprout.
- Soaking the Seeds
After breaking the seam that holds the shell together, then soak the seeds for 2 to 12 hours helps activate the germination process. You need to simply place the cracked seeds into a bowl of very warm water and then place it on top of the refrigerator or in another warm location. After soaking the seeds, you need to plant them in a moist seed-starting mix in large flowerpots or peat pots. Cover the pots with wrapping to carry the moisture in. When the sprouts appear, usually within 10 days, you need to remove the wrapping.
- Paper Towel Method
Some gardeners like better to use wet paper towels to germinate the seeds. Place a warm, wet towel on a plate; then add the cracked seeds and canopy them with another wet towel. Keep the seeds in a warm location, like on top of the refrigerator or a seed-sprouting mat set at 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Monitor the seeds and then keep the paper towels moist. The seeds generally sprout within a fortnight.
- After Germination
After the seeds germinate out, between 10 and 30 days after planting, the seedlings usually require regular watering. Once you plant them within the garden, water them twice every week or when the soil is dry to the touch. Adding a side dressing of compost for three weeks after planting the seedlings will provide additional nutrients because the snake gourd vines grow. The snake gourd plants require an outsized trellis to support their 4 1/2- to 6-foot-long fruits. Additionally, adding a little light bulb to the structure attracts moths to pollinate the night-blooming flowers. Harvest the snake gourds three months after the seeds germinate out.
You may also check this: How To Grow Eggplant From Seeds.
Snake Gourd Watering Tips
- How often do you water snake gourds?
Watering snake gourds
Snake gourds usually need plenty of water to grow well, and that is especially true in very dry and even hot periods. Young snake gourd plants usually need more and more watering than established plants. It is good and best to do several light watering’s, in the beginning, to help the roots grow and even establish. Give your plants just 1 inch of water per week.
Tips for Growing Snake Gourd with a Little Space
If you don’t have tons of space in your garden, growing snake gourds are often tricky but not impossible. Provide them with much light, warmth, and water and you’ll even grow them in containers on your balcony.
1. Supporting the vines
The main challenge with growing snake gourds in a small place is giving them the proper support. These are vining plants that like to climb and typically grow as tall as 6 feet or 1.8 meters. If you’re in a pinch for vertical space, you’ll encourage them to vine horizontally.
Better to snip the very younger vines to stimulate lateral growth, and then use string to tie them along the trellis or railing. However, you’ll still get to provide some sort of support a minimum of 3 feet or 90 cm tall so that the hanging fruit has many spaces to develop.
2. Growing snake gourd in a container
To grow snake gourds in a container, you need to start by germinating the seeds using our germination guide above. Pick an outsized pot with drainage holes at rock bottom. The larger the pot, the higher — we recommend one that’s a minimum of 10 gallons or 38 litres.
Fill the container with potting soil mix, and add some bark to enhance the drainage. Place one seedling in each pot. You’ll get older to 2 plants per pot, but they’re going to be a touch crowded and won’t develop also, so we don’t recommend it unless you’ve got very, little or no space.
3. Caring for potted snake gourds
Potted snake gourds will be got to be watered more frequently than those growing within the garden, so check the moisture levels and water twice every week, if required. Confirm they receive a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day and have much warmth.
Last but not least, don’t ditch pollination. This is often especially important if you’re growing snake gourd in containers in a greenhouse or on your balcony. Without pollination, you won’t have any fruit, so take the time to try to do this manually within the evening.
You may also check this: How To Grow Parsley Hydroponically.
Fertilizing Tips for Growing Snake Gourd
- What is the best fertilizer for snake gourds?
Snake gourds are usually fertilized the same way as cucumbers and even melons. Incorporate 5-10-10 or a similar fertilizer like 6-12-12 into the soil at planting, at a rate of 4 pounds per 100 feet of row. When the snake gourd plant runners are 12 to 18 inches long, then you need to fertilize again spreading the fertilizer at least 18 inches away from the plant stems.
Snake Gourd Pest and Diseases Controlling Tips
Plant resistant varieties and better to use only certified seed; then apply appropriate protective fungicides; rotate plants every year.
- Alternaria leaf blight
Cucurbits need to be rotated with another plant every 2 years to scale back levels of inoculum; plant debris should be far away from the sector as quickly as possible after harvest or ploughed deeply into the soil and then applications of appropriate protective fungicides can help to slow the event of the disease; water plants from the bottom instead of from above to scale back periods of leaf wetness which are conducive to the event and even spread of disease.
- Cercospora leaf spot
Any diseased plants need to be removed compulsory and then destroyed to prevent further spread and plant debris should be removed after harvest or then ploughed very deeply into the soil to reduce inoculum.
- Downy mildew
You should not overcrowd plants and avoid overhead irrigation, water plants from the base and then apply an appropriate fungicide
- Gummy stem blight
Better to use disease-free seed and treat seeds before planting; rotate plants every 2 years.
- Powdery mildew
Plant in sites with very good air circulation and even sun exposure and do not overcrowd plants; sanitize the equipment regularly.
Rotate cucurbits with non-susceptible plants for at least 2 years and then plant only in well-draining soils; you need to spray plants with appropriate protective fungicides.
- Septoria leaf spot
Scout the plants in cool wet conditions for any sign of spots and even early application of an appropriate protective fungicide can help limit the event of the disease if spots are found’ cucurbits should be rotated with other plants every 2 years to stop the build-up of inoculum; plant debris should be removed and destroyed after harvest.
- Angular leaf spot
You need to use disease-free seed; don’t grow plants in a field where cucurbits are grown within the previous 2 years; protective copper spray may help reduce the incidence of disease in warm, humid climates; plant resistant varieties.
- Bacterial leaf spot
Avoid overhead irrigation; rotate plants far away from cucurbit species to stop disease building up; use new seed each planting because the saved seed is more likely to hold bacteria; apply appropriate protective fungicides and even copper-containing fungicides generally provide good control.
- Aster yellows
Remove any infected plants from the sector to scale back spread; control weeds in and around the field which will act as a reservoir for the phytoplasma; protect plants from leafhopper vectors with row covers.
- Cucumber mosaic
Control of the virus is essentially contingent on the control of the aphid vectors; reflective mulches can deter aphid feeding; aphid outbreaks are often treated with mineral oils or insecticidal soap applications; some resistant varieties are available.
- Squash mosaic
You need to use only certified disease-free seeds.
- Squash vine borer
Better to apply appropriate insecticide if eggs are found on leaves and then plough plants into the soil after harvest.
- Western striped cucumber beetle
Monitor new planting regularly for signs of beetle and then apply appropriate insecticides.
Snake Gourd Caring and Harvesting Ideas
In case if you miss this: Pumpkin Seed Germination Process.
Snake gourd care is the same as that of most of the other gourds. Prune the plant’s lateral branches to extend fruit set and production. Some people tie a pebble or other weight to the lower end of the gourd to foster a straighter fruit, but this is often only for aesthetics. There’s no got to do so.
Harvest snake gourds when they are young, around 40 to 50 days from planting. The long varietals may then be ready when only 16 to 18 inches or 41 to 46 cm. while the shorter cultivars are going to be around 6 to 8 inches or 15 to 20 cm. long.
Fully ripe fruit is sort of inedible, orange, and even mushy, although the red, jelly-like substance surrounding the seeds are often eaten very much like a spaghetti sauce in recipes or even utilized in Ayurveda medicine. Seeds are usually used as fodder for livestock but are toxic to human beings.
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