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It is spring... Time for garden enthusiasts like me to wake up and prepare the backyard to plant our own vegetables... Even people with very little space use their terrace to plant vegetables in containers. Gourd varieties like Ridge gourd, Bitter gourd and Snake gourd are some of the popular vegetables which can be very easily grown in the home garden. These plants do not require much attention. However, by putting in a little more effort you will enjoy a great yield from the same plant from which you used to harvest very few fruits only.

A step-by-step instructable on growing Ridge Gourd at your home garden... These methods apply to other varieties of gourds like snake gourd and bitter gourd also.

Step 1: Seeds

Let us start with seeds...

Either you can save seeds from previous year's fruits allowing one or two to fully mature and dry in the plant itself or you can buy seeds from shops.

in the first picture you can see the ridge gourd seeds being collected from last year's dried fruit. The seeds are protected by the sponge-like network of fibers. You can extract the seeds from the fruit whenever you are planning to plant.

The second picture shows the seeds stored in cow dung. You can harvest the matured seeds and press them into flattened fresh cow dung and dry it in shade. Cow dung is natural protector and will not allow any pests to damage the seeds. You can break the dried  cow dung cake and take out the seeds any time.

The third picture is of the store-bought seeds. These seeds are treated with chemical pesticides and are artificially colored to show the presence of pesticides. Take care while handling store-bought, chemically treated seeds and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
<p>hello sir really very informative steps i had started a kitchen garden many vegetables i have harvested but only ridge gourd it had been spread very widely but there is no male or female flowers for the other wine i have receive some male flowers no female and the trellis i have planned horizontally to the wall do it matters i never had pruning will it help me out will be thankful if u reply</p>
You need to prune unnecessary vines. you can train the vines horizontally to the wall, no problem, but make sure the plant gets some sun light. Too much of Nitrogen based fertilizers will help the plant to grow vigorously without any flowers. So stop adding fertilizers. Proper pruning and training the plant will get you more flowers and fruits
<p>Very nice information...Thank you for that. I have also planted gourds in my garden but the leaves and some time also the fruits when small gets dried out. what could be the reason? Please guide.</p>
May be due to over-watering. Water only when required.
<p>Hi - Very nice info on growing gourds.. This is my first year growing so i am a bit confused on the pruning part - When u say cut the main stem after 12 nodes, do u mean count 12 nodes from the bottom of the plant to the top or 12 nodes from the top of the trellis n prune it. Please clarify. Am assuming the same technique works for bitter and bottle gourds as well.</p><p>Thanks !</p>
Count 12 nodes above the trellis and prune. If you count 12 nodes from the bottom of the plant then your plant will not reach the trellis. All other laterals, count from where they started growing. You can follow the same technique for other gourd varieties also.
<p>hello, this is all wonderful and helpful information. Thank you so much!! This is my 1st year growing gourds and i already have two beautiful teenage gourds which i hand pollinated 8 days ago..i had a question to the approximate yield of each plant. I have 6 bottle gourd plants and all are doing well... According to your experience, how many gourds can i harvest each week? </p><p>I have a mild white fly infestation from a near by hibiscus plant. I see around 1-2 white flies on each alternate leaf.. What can i use to stop the infestation? Please advise...</p><p>I also have tomato, cucumber and pepper plants within a small backyard garden and i m worried it will spread...thank you again for all the info and your advice.</p>
with six bottle gourd plants, you will harvest more than you can consume. the yield depends on how you manage your plants by pruning, providing support, watering, pest control and fertilizing.<br><br>The mild white fly infestation are caused by mealybugs. trim the most affected parts and throw them far away. Hibiscus plants are easily affected with these bugs and they spread to everything surrounding it.<br>You can remove them by spraying a water jet. Otherwise wash the affected parts with kerosene mixed with water.<br><br>Do not over-water as to much moisture will increase the infestation.<br>
Thank you for your quick reply..before planting, i tried searching as to how many plants i would need for a family of 4 but was unable to get that info, so now i have 6 bottle gourd and 6 bitter gourd plants ?... My neighbours are going to be happy! <br>I pruned each plant the way you have outlined, i have cattle panel arch trellis for support - around 10 ft in length and 8 ft width.. The ht would be around 6.5 ft. All my plants are in diy grow boxes with a water reservoir, so water is not a problem. I am not sure about pests as it is my 1st year growing gourds and in such numbers. When i planted the saplings, i used handful of bone meal, 1 tbsp epsom salt, and 1-2 handfuls vermi compost. The potting mix is soilless with peat moss and cow manure addition. I also put in 1 handful of vegetable food meant for squash, eggplants, tomates, cucumbers etc.<br><br>I will try the water and kerosene method and keep it up each week. Thank you again for your response and this wonderful treasure of information and experience.
Hi i have grown bitter gurad. Earlier it was placed in lobbie with 2 hrs sunlight plant grown well.then i placed it on 3rd floor outside where shed is there and sublight comes after 2pm but i am seeing that my plant leave turning yellow and not that green as it was earlier. More flowers are not openning up really well fruit gwoth is also slow. Please auggest. I water plant once in a day.
Potted plants lose water very soon and become dry. Instead of watering once in a day, try watering in small quantities 2 to 3 times a day so that the soil is kept moist not wet. You can also place a plastic water bottle with a small hole at the bottom which will add drops of water to keep the soil moist. Do not add to much fertilizer. A handful of vermicompost or organic compost per month is enough. Mix the compost well with top soil. Also try pruning the laterals and keep the plant in a manageable condition
Very detailed info , thank u raj <br>I planted my ridge gourd store bought ( pink color ) seeds in good potting mix compost , after scraping &amp; soaked in warm water for 24 hrs too . But they r not germinating . What could be the reason ? I live in Boston area in Us . Now the temp's are good too.
I checked my seeds they just look like how planted.this is the fourth time happened to me ,trying from last two months ( indoor , out door ).Changing each time different tech's. But no hope. I just have my last round of seeds , let me give a final try . My strong gut is I got not a good seeds( this is the 3 rd packet Iam using ).any suggestions would be great To see at least one seed germinating. <br>Thanks again.
<p>Please see step 2 where I have shown different methods for germinating the seeds. Plant few seeds in paper cups and few wrapped with soil in banana stem. You can also wrap the seeds in newspapers with soil and keep it moist. If your seeds are good then they will show signs of germination. Otherwise it is better to get good seeds. Hope you will get at least few germinating</p>
Ok, Thanku . I will try with news papers
Germination of ridge gourd seeds may take some time. So please wait for a few more days. you can just dig out one seed and see how it is. If you find them rotten then replant fresh seeds. I think this is the best season in your place to grow gourd varieties.
<p>Hello, I have planted chilli in my balcony garden, I live in India, Pune. My flat is on 8th floor so there are very less bees/flies to pollinate. My plants are healthy and are bearing lots of flowers but the fall off with stems. I give them vermicompost every 15 days, 1 spoon. I have tried had pollination also but it did not work too. I have heard the chilli self pollinate. Please advise. My email is ipshu283@gmail.com</p>
Chilies are very easy to grow in containers. Place the pots in your balcony where it is getting some direct sun light at least for a few hours in a day.. Stop adding vermicompost or any other fertilizer and water when required. Hope your plants will bear fruits soon.
<p>Hi.....I have planted few ridge gourd in my garden and i get flowers and fruit buds next every single new leaf. But they all turn brown and dry off. Some grow to certain extend and dry out. I have ants on the fruit and flowers.the male flower buds are getting dry before they turn into flowers. We live in arizona. The plant is 2 months old. Do i need to wait for some more days or is there any problem.Please suggest me a solution to stop the vegetables from drying.</p>
Your plant looks very healthy, may be you might have added too much compost / fertilizer to the plant. Stop adding any more compost. Also water if necessary.<br><br>To ward off ants boil few onions (shallots will be better) in water. The filtered onion water can be diluted and sprayed on plants. Do prune the vines after every 10 to 12 nodes. This will help in producing healthy fruits.
How many days does it take to see shoots after planting the seeds
It may take 15 to 20 days. Have patience and wait for few more days if the seeds did not sprout
In what position seed should be planted can u plz say it qith picture
Plant it like this in this picture
<p>Sir, Please can you mail the pdf to rashmi_iyengar@yahoo.com? I'm trying to grow bitter gourd, but the fruits turn yellow and dry when they're about a cm long. Leaves and plant look healthy</p>
Please go through the files sent to your mail. Do not over-water or add too much fertilizers
<p>i have planted bottlegourd in my terrace.the plant has grown well.it has given 2 bottle gourds also. but after that i am not getting anymore vegetable....small fruits appear on the female flower but then get dried up and die away...how to solve this problem</p>
<p>Dear sir can u please let me know the better size of a container for growing ride gourds, bottle and snake gourds since i am planning to grow them on my rooftop.</p>
You need a container size of about 50 cm wide and 50 cm high.
<p>I am planning to grow Bottle Guard in United States, Do i need to grow in a strong sunlight or, it can grow in a shade also? what temperature would be the best? and how long it takes to grow from the seeds and when is the best time to start?</p>
I am not aware what is the present climate at your place. If winter is over and the climate is getting warmer, you can start planting now. All gourd varieties need sunlight. It may take about 15 days for the seeds to germinate.
Dear sir can u please let me know the better size of a container for growing ride gourds, bottle and snake gourds since i am planning to grow them on my rooftop. Can we use plastic used barrels after cleaning
It is better to use large size containers for gourds. Used plastic barrels can also be used. You can cut a barrel in half and use both ends.
Sir, i want to grow the gourd in pot. Kindly help on same. And if possible please mail me at narinderpreetsingh@gmail.com.<br>This is the first time i m engaged in this kind of activity. Please help. <br><br>Thanks
Yes, you can grow all gourd varieties in pots also. Please go through some of the gardening files sent to your mail
<p>This is one of the exciting<br>article I have come across recently. I also have a similar website http://www.dinefresh.in</p>
<p>Hello.</p><p>Its been more than 3 months since i planted the ridge gourd seeds. The plants are growing well n long with vines and leaves. I used red soil, black soil, and some home made compost to sow them. Somehow they havent produced a single flower yet. What could be wrong? </p>
Compost in large quantities makes the plant grow vigorously but less flowers. Do not add any more compost. Prune the laterals leaving about 10 to 12 nodes
<p>Hello Sir,</p><p>I am a starter in home gardening. I am planning to plant a bitter gourd in a pot and make it climb on my kitchen grill. Can you please share your valuable tips and pest control method to grow a healthy kitchen garden to my email id vijayboi@yahoo.co.in. Thanks in advance</p>
please go through the attached files on gardening sent to your mail
<p>thank u somuch. i'll go thru them</p>
<p>sir ,how to grow bitter gourd from seed in my home pls will you tell me the step by step procedure with photos pls sir</p>
It may take nearly six months to document step by step procedure from seed to fruit with photographs. Please give me your mail id. I will sent you a file which will give a general idea of how to grow Bitter gourd.
Pl. My email id syamallikas@rediffmail.com
<p>please see attached files sent to your mail</p>
Very informative n interesting. Thq
<p>thank you...</p>
<p>sir do we count from the tip of the plant,to 12 nodes? And can we grow pumpkin in pots ?</p>
<p>sir, thank you for your reply.please tell how to grow tomatoes.do we have to prune it or not.i read that we have to prune the suckers.please make a tutorial on tomatoes.thank you</p>

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