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Growing Gourds (Ridge Gourd, Bitter Gourd and Snake Gourd)

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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.
 
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Step 1: Seeds

Picture of Seeds
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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.
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Dear Sir,

I am a fresher at gardening but plan to start my own little vegetable garden on my terrace. I live in Oman and the summers here will touch 50 degrees. My terrace faces the west though. Can you give me a few tips on what are the best veggies to plant for this climatic condition? Thanks in advance.

Warm Regards,
Pooja
antoniraj (author)  dodropinsoon8 days ago
Hi Pooja,
I think you can grow all sorts of vegetable in Oman. You can try tomatoes, chilies, okra, Brinjal and all. Do not expose the plants to extreme sunlight and do not allow the soil to become dry. I hope you can get all sorts of vegetable seeds there locally. Also get in touch with your neighbors who have balcony garden and ask their opinion. Good luck

I am growing bitter gourd at home and the young fruits become yellow and drops out as soon as it emerges....what could be the reason...I am in Dubai and it is very hot out here...

antoniraj (author)  tamilselvan.s10 days ago
May be due to very hot weather the young female flowers are not properly pollinated. Try hand pollinating very early morning as the efficiency of male flowers is lost by noon.

thanks for your reply sir,,,,,i did B.Sc(Horticulture) from HC& RI Periyakulam,under Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Now i am doing M.Sc(Vegetable science) @ Gujarat. My native is sivakasi in tamil nadu. what about u sir?

hai anthoni sir,,,My research work on ridge gourd,,,what is the per day water requirement of ridge gourd for better growth and development???

antoniraj (author)  amu.karthick20 days ago
water requirement depends on the type of soil and climate condition. the roots of gourd spread mostly on top 50 cm depth of soil, so you need to maintain good soil moisture minimum up to this depth. it will be better to carryout field studies in different soil and different climate conditions and record the results for your research work
tschandr28 days ago
Very nice article. I am trying out bitter gourds in grow bags. I' ve planted 2 of them per bag but the soil quantity is less around 6-7 inches in depth. The bag has more capacity around 12 inches. Can i fill more soil to the bag on the top or i need to shift the planta to new bags?
antoniraj (author)  tschandr28 days ago
No need to shift the plant to new bag. As your bags have enough space, just fill soil as they grow up
Is it ok to fill more soil on the top? Tomato plants can grow roots from stem. Is it the same for gourds also?
antoniraj (author)  tschandr28 days ago

it is ok to fill soil as they grow. Gourds grow their roots deep and wide

Roots generally grow downwards so I got this doubt whether adding soil from the top will really help. Will there be more roots coming out from the stem portion which goes under soil after filling?

This is how it looks right now.

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antoniraj (author)  tschandr27 days ago

they do not have much space for adding further soil. You need to have some free space also from the top of the grow bag. Just train them on supports as they grow

Actually I folded the top edges of the bags. If I unfold them it'll add another 3-4 inches i think. I also see some lateral shoots coming from nodes. As per you suggestion I'll cut all such branches till the trellis level. Planning to use thin coir ropes on the black frame as trellis.

vijay.manke1 month ago

VERY USEFUL I HAVE STARTED GROWING LUFFA ON THE TERRACE BUT RELUCTANT TO PRUNE THE VINES I WANT THEM TO GROW AS THEY ARE THIS TIME MAY FOLLOW YOUR ADVICE THE NEXT TIME

psunil1 month ago
Great article. Started growing after reading ur article. i hav lot of questions... How long does this plant lost? Do I need to plant every year? also why my plant doesn't bear more than 3 ridge gourds?
Please explain.
thanks
antoniraj (author)  psunil1 month ago
thank you... this plant will last for a season only. You need to plant every year. Secondly, you need to prune the vines so that lateral shoots will emerge and bear more gourds. Please go through the instructable on how to prune your vine
psunil psunil1 month ago
Btw.... last week ridge gourd grew 800cm long. Tastes yummy.

Hi

I am from Kerala, I want to grow Ridge Gourd in my home. From Where I get the seeds

antoniraj (author)  Byjukanjirathingal1 month ago
Seeds are easily available in Kerala. I have seen vendors selling seeds in street corners. Otherwise you can get seeds from shops selling pesticides. They also stock seeds
julian.eisig2 months ago

Hi there , I'm a dibetic. Can i grow that crop in the tropics? specifically in venezuela?

antoniraj (author)  julian.eisig2 months ago

Hi Julian, yes, you can very well grow them in Venezuela... some of the gourd varieties like Bitter gourd, Ridge gourd and Bottle gourd are known to control diabetes.

123peche.2 months ago

I have been growing ridge gourd in adelaide. But they have turned really bitter. Do you know what is the reason behind it.?

antoniraj (author)  123peche.2 months ago
It happened to me also. This is due to the presence of cucurbitacin in large amounts. This may happen due to pollination by bitter pollens from other plants. Try hand pollinating the female flowers with male flowers from same plant.

Also, before cooking cut one small piece from the end and lightly touch with your tongue. If it tastes bitter discard it. Otherwise the bitter one will make all other good ones also inedible
VikramV1 made it!3 months ago

I have bittter gourd growing in acre, but the problem is leaves are turning pale yellow and most of the 3 days old fruits are turning yellowish orange when they grow upto 2 inch size. what seems to be the problem? the total crop is having yellow leaves and small young fruits with yellow colour. please help

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antoniraj (author)  VikramV13 months ago
you got a very good setup for growing bitter gourds. The problem seems to be viral attack. Please give me your mail id and I will send some files to you regarding growing bitter gourds and disease management. Though they suggested use of chemical pesticides, I will not recommend them to be used on vegetables

Thank you very much for the reply.

vikram_viky2001@yahoo.com is my email ID. Looking forward for your reply

antoniraj (author)  VikramV13 months ago

mail sent to you bounced... please give me a valid mail id

antoniraj (author)  VikramV13 months ago

please go through attached files sent to your mail. hope this will help

SiddeshK5 months ago

The best guide on gourd Sir!! May you write more guides to guide ignorant people like us!!

Thanks a lot!! I will try this method soon :)

antoniraj (author)  SiddeshK5 months ago
thank you...

Amazing and very helpful article on growing gourds. I have planted three ridge gourds in a grow bag on our terrace. I dont know how to set up trellis. Can this plant just be left to grow on the floor?

antoniraj (author)  bkaravindkumar6 months ago
you will not get many fruits if you leave it on the ground. make some sort of trellis with pvc pipes. it is very easy
SoumyaR6 months ago

Hi there - I am growing Snakegourd (Podalakai) . Can I grow two plants in a big grow bag?

antoniraj (author)  SoumyaR6 months ago
yes, you can grow two snake gourd plants in a large grow bag

Great,

what area do you live, do those plants need a warm climate?

antoniraj (author)  BG_instructs1 year ago

thank you... I live in Tamil Nadu, India.. yes, gourds need a warm climate to grow

Waw! such a nice article. That too with pictures. hats off to u. I have a ridge gurad plant in my balcony and the fruits are getting dried out when they are small and tiny. So is it because of the failed pollination? also the leaves of the main stem are getting the white patches like coated with white powder. what to do? please help. tha plant has grown so nicely and lot of flowers and small fruit buds. i dont want to lose the plant. please help antony. thanks a ton

antoniraj (author)  chandrakala.santosh8 months ago

thank you... the fruits getting dried out may be due to failed pollination. Try manual pollination. Your plant is also seems to be affected with Mealybugs. Prune out all affected leaves and throw them far away. You may wash the main stem with kerosene which will kill all the bugs. otherwise you can use a water jet aslo washing the plant thoroughly..

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