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>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>
I have already return articles in facebook group on how to grow tomatoes and chilies. It is in five parts. You need to join the group to view the posts as it is a closed group. I will soon make an instructable. You can see the posts at following links :<br><br>Part 1... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.870471939629795&amp;type=1<br><br>Part 2... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.870811919595797&amp;type=1<br><br>Part 3... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.871299639547025&amp;type=1<br><br>Part 4... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.871833022827020&amp;type=1<br><br>Part 5 and last... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.872419872768335&amp;type=1<br>
Not from the tip, but from where the lateral is growing. count 10 to 12 nodes and then pinch the tip. You can grow pumpkins in pots but needs a large area to spread and grow
<p>Sir, I have planted avarakkai, tomatoes, chilly, okra, plantain in my terrace garden. The avarakkai plants are a month old and I have just now trained them on climbers. Only today I stumbled on this site and came to know about pruning.</p><p>Now should I cut the laterals from the plants? And allow only the main shoot to climb?</p><p>Then there are small green worms on the leaves which are eating away the leaves. I have kept the pots far away from all plants. What should be done to control these?</p><p>Naeem oil and soap will be good or can I try chilly,garlic ginger mix?</p>
I am sorry I was away... You can cut laterals and allow the main stem to climb up to top of trellis. Pick the worms and throw them away. Neem oil with soap and Chilly, Garlic ginger mix both are good organic pest controllers. You can use any of them
Hello, i have planted ivy gourd cutting and its been growing well..i see lots of lateral growths.. Please confirm do we have to cut the lateral growths as it is done for ridge gourds.. Will the same pruning method apply for ivy gourd as well.. Thanks
Yes, prune all laterals leaving the main stem till the creeper reaches the top of trellis. then you can allow laterals to grow trained on the trellis.
Thanks sir
<p>Hi..</p><p>I have farm.There are bottle gourd crops.There are disease and pests problem.How to solve this problem.The leaves are make brown and dry.</p><p>Please suggest me a solution to stop the disease and pests problem.</p>
your plants seems to be affected by Mosaic disease. Uproot and discard all affected plants.<br><br>Gourds are warm climate plants. Now winter is starting and some of the places in India are getting colder. Wait for summer before sowing again
<p>Hi.....I have planted few ridge gourd in my garden and i get many flowers and fruit buds. But they all turn brown and dry off. Some grow to certain extend and dry out. I have ants on the creepers. I do spray neem oil and lime base liquid soap mix once a while to keep the pests away. Please suggest me a solution to stop the vegetables from drying. I do have have few patchy yellow leaves. </p>
May be due to over-watering. Water as and when required. For ant problem, boil onions in water and use that water diluted as spray on ant affected parts
Sir..please suggest the best season to grow bottle gourd in a pot...i recently tried to grow bottle gourd in a pot but the fruit didnt grow well in size and the plant got destroyed in few days
Gourd varieties need warm climate and lot of sunlight. If you are using a pot, make sure to have good drainage
<p>Hello sir, My ridge gourds plant almost 2 months old. It has given fruits and it turned to yellow. Kindly suggest some remedies .</p>
<p>Try hand-pollinating the fruits to get healthy fruits</p>
Sir im growing bitter gourd in my tarase i cannot tell which is male ir female or at wat hight it be hanged advice me
<p>Look at Step 10. The male flowers are just plain whereas the female flowers have a small fruit attached to them. in terrace you can have a small trellis system to support the plant</p>
Hello sir,i m growing bottle gourd on my terrace.thereis good foilage n flowering but the young fruitd r getting brown n leaking spots.pl advice its remedy.your site is vy informative.<br>
<p>This may be due to over-watering. Water the plants only when necessary</p>
Hi sir, i have flat beans(avarakkai) plants in my terrace. It is flowering beauyifully since a month but not giving fruits. There are green beetle like insects on it. These insects are found in this plant only. I tried neem oil many times but could nt get rid of them. Today i cut off the branches if the plant nt knowing what to do. Bt i found those insects fly n sit on other plants. Have i done a blunder. Do these insects lay eggs on bitter gourd n bottle gourd saplings leaves. I found spots on those saplings n very tiny white snake like insects moving on thise leaves.<br>Pls advise.
<p>Avarakkai plant attracts lots of insects. it is better not to get mixed with other plats. You can spray home-made organic pesticide on your plants. This may not be as effective as chemical pesticides. Crush small amounts of ginger , garlic and dried red chilies. Dilute with water and spray</p>
Hi sir, i have ridge gourd n snake gourd plants in my terrace. They are 2 months old and have started giving fruits. However, the leaves near the roots are yellowing n also i found black eggs behind leaves towards the top. I have cut off all leaves that have turned yellow and also the leaves that had eggs. Is it ok . there are 4 plants in one bucket(25 kg paint bucket). All plants have thin stems. Is it normal. Or is it over crowded n hence thin. They have started giving fruits n hence i m hesitant to transplant a few plants into another bucket too. Ridge gourds are short and a week old. Sbake gourds are almost 1 feet long and a week old. When can i cut the fruits. How to know if the fruits are ready. <br>I spray panchagavyam(monday) and neem oil(wednesday) once a week. <br>I did not add soap water while applying neem oil. Is that ok. <br>How frequently should i give organic manure to these plants.<br>Pls advise
Hi JyothsnaG, as your plants have started bearing fruits it is better to leave them where they are. If your plants are in ground they have the scope to spread their roots around, where as in a paint bucket the space is very limited.<br>Yellowing of older leaves near the root are normal but if you find black eggs it is better to trim and throw away the leaves. If you find eggs on younger leaves, wash them with 5% of neem oil mixed with water. Panchagavyam also to be mixed with water before spraying on plants. Add organic manure once in every 15 days. Ridge gourd should be harvested when they are young, otherwise they will become inedible with lots of fiber. Snake gourd can be harvested any time before the fruits started to dry out.
Hi sir, good morning. Thanks for ur reply. <br>How to avoid ants on these plants. M worried if they are eating away the new young fruits.
<p>sorry for my late reply due to my network problem. spray talcum powder at the base of plants to avoid ants. you can also use onion water, boil few onions in water and spray the diluted extract on plants.</p>
<p>Hello, we have these two gourd plants that have spread extensively yet there are no flowers. The buds rot before they flower (photo attached) and some of the plant seems to have died. I realise from reading your post that I should trim it but is there anything we can do for the flowers? Also, some of the leaves are yellowing and curling, which I suppose is a fungus. Do suggest what to do. Thank you. </p>
Trim all affected parts and throw far away from your garden. Train your plant on the trellis. Do not add too much of Nitrogen based fertilizers like urea. Hope you will get fruits soon. Watch for any fungus infection in the new growth
<p>Thanks for your reply. We use no chemicals in the garden. Will trim and see how it goes! </p>
<p>I had already typed my comments but cant find it here..so doing it again</p><p>This was a very informative article.Thank u so much.I am new to terrace gardening and has grown a snake gourd from a plastic sack.I wasn't aware of pruning,so there are a few lateral branches which are quite long.My plant's first lateral branch is at the tenth node from bottom and since then very third node has given a lateral branch..I have a few doubts</p><p>1.All of a sudden there is premature yellowing of leaves starting from the edges eventually involving the whole leaf.It is slowly moving up.There yellow dots on the top leaves as seen in the picture.Is it deficiency or infestation? I use neem emulsion every week.Fertilisers used are vermicompost/slurry from home compost/neemcake dried cowdung mixture.One of these is given every week.In fact I have prepared and kept neemcake dried cowdung mixture fortified with trichoderma for next application.What should i do abt the yellowing?I cant find any insects per se.</p><p>2.Since there are plenty of male flowers and on or two female buds on each lateral vine,should i prune now?should i cut off the main shoot ?</p><p>Kindly advise..Thank u so much.</p>
<p>your plant may be affected by Alternaria leaf blight disease which causes the yellowing of leaves. Collect all yellowed leaves and discard. Use 5% neem oil mixed with and spray on the plant. Do not over-use the manure. It is better to trim the main shoot and also laterals after every 10 to 12th node. Try hand pollinating whatever female flowers you find. Pruning will give more laterals and more female flowers.</p>
<p>thank u sir..shall do as advised..neem oil has to be mixed with some thing?</p>
<p>mix with water at rate of 5% </p>
<p>Thank you so much sir...can we follow the same principle of no laterals till trellis and pruning off the main and laterals on the trellis at 10-12 th node for other varieties like bitter gourd,ivy gourd and long beans..anywhere we have to be different?Thanks once again sir..</p>
<p>Train and remove laterals for all varieties till top of trellis and trim the main after about 12 nodes above trellis. This will help you manage the plants very easily below the trellis. When the plants start growing above the trellis sometimes it will be very difficult to prune each and every lateral. Take your own decision as per condition. you can leave some laterals to grow if you find it hard</p>
<p>thank u sir</p>
<p>sir,this is my first attempt to grow ridge gourd.after seeing your article i pruned the plant, my trellis is 8 feet tall.unfortunately i had put shade cloth just above the trellis and tied it firmly so that the shade cloth will not flyoff in the wind.but after reaching the top my plant is finding it difficult to grow further.what to do now sir?</p>
You can remove the shade clothing and train the plant on the trellis. Gourds need sunlight and space to grow. Why did you use shade clothing for ?
When it will give fruit plzz tell
Train the creeper on the trellis. Prune all laterals to 12 nodes. In about 20 to 30 days you will find lots of male and female flowers.
My snake gourd is about 2 + months old now and has lot of male and female flowers. I however do not see the females blooming for some reason. Any tips I can use to make the females bloom so they can be pollinated? I am afraid tht the season will be over soon with no fruits. Kindly advice. Thanks in advance.

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Bio: I like to make things more simple with easily available resources. My favorite quote: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan ... More »
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