Commercial Snake Gourd Farming Guide – Package of Practices

Snake gourd Farming – Package of practices Introduction

            In this post, we will let you know about the Snake gourd Farming Package of practices. In addition, you will get to know about seed rate of snake gourd, the origin of snake gourd, sowing in Snake gourd farming, disease management, harvesting and yield in Snake gourd farming.

Botanical name: Trihcosanthes anguina

Snake gourd Family: Cucurbitaceae

Chromosome no. of Snake gourd: 2n = 22

Origin of Snake gourd: China

Importance of Snake gourd Farming:

Young tender fruits used as vegetable. Snake gourds are rich source of Vit A. Crop is highly cross pollinated due to its monoecious nature. Flowers are unisexual. Female flowers are solitary. Ratio of male and female ranges from 31:1 to 22:1.

Agronomic practices in Snake gourd farming

Soil requirement  They are often grown on wide range of soils. However soil which is well drained and rich in organic manure is suitable for snake gourd. Sandy loam soils rich in organic matter with good drainage are suitable.
pH 6.5-7.5
Snake gourd Varieties1. Light green with white stripes 2. Dark green with pale green stripes
ClimateSnake gourd can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates. High humidity is favorable for growth and development of Snake gourd. Snake gourd may not be successfully grown above 1500 m altitude. July and January are highly suitable for cultivation of Snake gourd.
Seed treatmentTreat seeds with Trichoderma viride @4g/kg seed or Pseudomonas fluorescens @10g/kg seed or Carbendazim @2g/kg seeds.  
Seed rate of Snake gourd1.5 kg of seeds/ha approximately
Field PreparationPlough the field to fine tilth and dig pits of size 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm at 2.5×2 m spacing and form basins. Sow the seeds @ 5 seeds/pit and thiining is done 15 days of sowing.
Time of sowingSnake gourd is sown in April to July and October to November months. Seeds are sown in hills near edge of raised beds or flat beds at 1.5 to 2 m between row to row and 60 to 90 cm between plant to plant. 2 to 3 seeds per hill should be planted.
Manuring10 to 15 tons of well decomposed FYM/ha is incorporated into the soil before sowing. Macro nutrients @60 kg N, 50 kg P and 40 kg per ha is nutrient recommendation for Snake gourd farming. Half dose of Nitrogen is top dressed at a stage when the plants start bearing. Add Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria cultures @2kg/ha and Pseudomonas @2.5 kg/ha along with FYM @50kg and neem cake @100 kg before last ploughing.
Irrigation and Water management in Snake gourd farmingIrrigation is given immediately after sowing. Afterwards light irrigation is given every 4th or 5th day. Frequent irrigations are needed during flowering and fruit development stage. Any stress during this era will reduce fruit size and yield. Over watering is extremely harmful. Snake gourd is irrigated usually by basin or furrow method. Irrigate the basin before dibbling the seeds and thereafter once weekly.

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Inter cultivation operation in Snake gourd farming:

Shallow cultivation is done to make the soil loose and to stay down. Vines are trained on sakes, patches, which can facilitates hanging of fruit. Fruit are tied with some weight to encourage linear growth. Earthing from individual vines is a crucial operation to avoid exposure of roots. Hoeing and weeding can be done thrice or as and when necessary. Provide stakes and train the plants to achieve the pandal height (2 m). However, pandal system isn’t essential for Co 2 Snake gourd variety.   

Disease management in Snake gourd farming

Damping off (Pythium spp., Rhizoctonia solani, Fusarium spp.)  Seedlings may die prior to emergence. Tissue becomes soft & constricted on crown region.Seed treatment with Trichoderma @5gm per kg seed and Captan or Thiaram @3g per kg seed. Prepare or construct high seed beds to obtain better drainage and avoid long irrigation periods.
Downey Mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis)Water-soaked necrotic lesions with whitish-grey to purple fine downy growth underside the leaf. Small chlorotic lesions are seen on older leaves, later appearing on the younger leaves.Spray Mancozeb 64%WP 3g + Cymoxanil8% or Zineb75%WP 3g in 1 lt water two times in 10 day interval. Provide adequate spacing between plants to reduce canopy density.  
Powdery mildew (Erysiphe ichoracearum)Conidia are produced from affected tissue and the spots take on a powdery appearance on upperside of the leaf. endrils and leaves becomes necrotic and die.Spray Karathane @1ml or Thiophanate methyl 75%WG @2.5g or Benomil 50% WP @0.4g in lt water. Implement a preventative fungicide spray program to delay infection and help lower disease incidence.

 Harvesting and Yield of Snake gourd:

Harvesting of Snake gourd: Young tender half grown fruits are ready for harvest in about 8 weeks after planting. Fully ripe fruits are collected for seed production purpose.

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Yield of Snake gourd: Average yield of snake gourd is about 13 to 20 ton/ha.

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