Ridge gourds are nutritious vegetable plants that belong to the Cucurbitaceae family. Their fruit contains Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Carotene, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Iron.
They grow well in tropical to subtropical regions. Fruit of ridge gourd can be used at a vegetable in the young stage as well as a loofah that can be used in bathrooms or kitchen in later growth stages of the fruit.
Just like other vegetable plants belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family you can grow ridge gourd directly from seeds in mid-June to August. These gourds could also be grown in February to March as early crops.
They grow as a vine so you will need to provide support to the plants. You can construct a web-like structure with the help of jute ropes and wooden sticks around the plant to provide support.
To grow this plant loamy to sandy loam soil is considered best. If you do not have sandy loam soil then you can mix 10% sand in the soil along with other potting mix ingredients.
In this article, I will discuss the Complete Guide To Grow Ridge Gourd. If you are interested in growing this plant in your garden organically then take out 10 minutes from your day to day schedule and read the complete article with patience.
You can grow this plant from seeds twice in a year. The first growing season is from February to March as an early vegetable crop and second is in monsoon i.e. from Mid June to August as late-season vegetable crops.
Selection of Pot
For germinating seeds, you can choose a germination tray or if it is not available then you can also grow it in small containers like paper cups or glasses by making drainage holes at the bottom.
For transplanting your sprouted plants select a medium to large size container. A large container of 20-inch by 20-inch size will do good. Take care to have good drainage holes to remove excess water from the pot.
If you can grow it in-ground soil directly without pot then it is the best way to grow this plant.
You can either purchase small plants directly from the nearest plant nursery and transplant it in your pot or you can grow from seeds.
How To Grow Ridge Gourd From Seeds
- Growing these gourds from seeds is quite easy. Purchase a high-quality disease resistance seeds from an authorized seller. Check the label in the seed packet for sowing time. Only purchase the seeds if they are viable to be sown in the required time.
- Soak the seeds in water for 4 hours before sowing. In the meanwhile prepare potting mix with 40% cocopeat + 20% normal garden soil + 40% any organic compost. Vermicompost is a good option. Mix the mixture thoroughly. After mixing pour them in each container selected for germination.
|Ridge gourd Seeds for germination|
- Sow one to two seeds in each container and cover it with a potting mix. Apply water gently, do not overwater, and place the container in the semi-shade area. Keep maintaining moisture in the container whenever you see top layer of soil becomes dry. In a week your seeds will germinate.
- Wait for nearly 25 days till your plant reaches at least 6 to 7 leafed stage for being ready to be transplanted.
Preparation of Potting Mix
For transplantation prepare rooting mix with 40% normal garden soil + 20% cocopeat + 40% any organic compost. Mix the mixture thoroughly with hand and pour it in the larger container with good drainage holes.
Take out the plant carefully along with the soil without damaging the roots. Wash the soil attached to the roots with water carefully Dig a proper hole at the center with the help of a gardening tool to transplant the plant.
Place the plant at the center and cover the base with the potting mix and firmly apply pressure around the base with hand to fix it properly in the pot. In each pot, you can keep one to two plants.
Water your pot gently and place it in partially shades area for at least 10 days. After 10 days place your pot in direct sunlight.
Just like other cucurbits, ridge gourd also requires at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. Not getting enough sunlight will result in stunted growth of the plant.
In summer water your plant daily when the topsoil seems dry. Do not water your plants in afternoon or with hot water from the tank. Let the water cool in the tank before applying them in pots.
Take care to maintain proper drainage in the pot to prevent any root infections in the plant.
You can apply fertilizers after 45 days from transplantation in your pot. In the article, I am telling you the organic way so apply a handful of organic compost in the pot and mix it with the upper layer of the soil. Vermicompost or Kitchen waste compost is quite good.
You can also apply a half tablespoon of bonemeal. After the first application of fertilizers apply the same amount in every 20 days.
Blooming and Care
Ridge gourd produces both male and female flowers separately on the same plant. Normally under natural conditions pollination occurs due to wind or pollinators like bees or butterflies. But in the case you notice flower drop then you can try hand pollination to get fruits.
Take out healthy male flowers from the plant and remove all the petals from it and rub the male part i.e. stamen on the stigma of female flower gently. With one male flower, you can pollinate 3 to 4 female flowers.
VIEW THIS: MALE AND FEMALE FLOWER OF RIDGE GOURD
Pest and Disease Management
If you are growing a high-quality disease-resistant variety of ridge gourd then there is very little chance of getting diseases or pest attacks. To avoid chances of getting fungal attacks avoid watering on the foliar parts of your plant like on leaves and stem.
If you notice any infected parts then remove it immediately.
After 60 to 65 from germination, you will start noticing flowering in the plant. After pollination fruit formation will occur and it will take 8 to 12 days for fruits to be completely mature to be plucked from the plant.