Instructables

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

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.
MIrfanepcl11 days ago

Dear Antoniraj,

Very useful topic and related to my research. First of all highly appreciated to you for a detail topic discussed here.

I have a problem , My Ridge gourd is not making flower or fruit , I grow up this plant in April-2014 and now this is very huge and grown well up to the third floor from garden. But still no any sign of flower. Kindly let me know the method or knowledge about this.

Many thanks.

M.Irfan

antoniraj (author)  MIrfanepcl11 days ago
Did you add any growth stimulant or fertilizers like urea..? Too much of nitrogen rich fertilizers helps only foliage growth with less or no flowers. Timely pruning also helps in flowers and fruit set. Please do not add any fertilizers and do carry out pruning which may help in new growth with flowers
Deepu1419 days ago

I was bit confused on counting nodes, what need to be consider as node.

Please explain what is node

antoniraj (author)  Deepu1419 days ago

A node (in Botany) is a point on a plant stem where a leaf, flower / fruit are growing. If you see the first photograph in Step 12, you can see baby gourds growing adjacently. The point from which they are growing is a node

Thanks a lot. Very very helpful information.

SoumyaR20 days ago

this is by far the best detailed article on growing gourds I have read!! Thanks a ton.

antoniraj (author)  SoumyaR20 days ago

thank you...

SoumyaR20 days ago

awesome. Will this grow this in August - September rainy climate? Please guide.

antoniraj (author)  SoumyaR20 days ago
Yes, this is the right season to plant. You can plant all type of vegetables now.
sunshiine6 months ago

antoniraj, this is very interesting. Nice write up.

sunshiine

antoniraj (author)  sunshiine6 months ago
thank you sunshine...
tbresler6 months ago
can you do this with say....pumpkins?
antoniraj (author)  tbresler6 months ago
yes, but you have train pumpkins on the ground as the fruits are very heavy... pruning and pollination methods are same
Jobar0076 months ago

This is a handy trick to also use with bottle gourds.

Most of the time, gourds aren't pollinated by bees. They are pollinated by moths. A lot of gourds also only have flowers for a day or two so if you see them, you need to pollinate them. I like to pull off the male flower and touch it to two female flowers (touch the stamen and pistil together). I then pick another male and repeat. It's better to do at dusk to ensure the flowers will be open.

antoniraj (author)  Jobar0076 months ago
you are right... thank you for the information
BG_instructs6 months ago

Great,

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

antoniraj (author)  BG_instructs6 months ago

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

eilu6 months ago

We have a bitter gourd growing up our window. No one remembers planting it, it's a very hardy plant.

antoniraj (author)  eilu6 months ago
train it on to some support and look after the plant... you can harvest fresh fruits soon