Farmer Ramachandra from Ariyalur dist. Udayarpalayam taluk, Sholankurichi Village in Tamil Nadu shares his experience and expertise in efficiently growing snake gourd by using Integrated Pest Management and Nutrition techniques. He is illiterate and doesn’t own his own land, yet, he leased one acre to grow snake gourd because he was sure about his methods.
He claims, 25 year back long snake gourds were grown abundantly, they were tasty and of very good quality, but these days short snake gourds are commercially viable since its easy to transport but lacks in proteins.
Below are the steps he followed. All the information is with respect to one acre.
Land preparation and soil nutrition technique: -
v Day 1 – Preparation of 1st Soil fertilizer
v Day 2
v Day 4 – Preparation of bacteria fertilizer
v Every 2-3 days interval, use the above mixture using 10 liters of water.
v After application cover land with plastic covers.
v Every 2-3 days interval, spray water once to avoid excessive heating.th
The above technique helped Farmer Ramachandra reduce 25% of the cost he usually spent on fertilizers. Next he talks about the procedure to soak the seeds and prepare frames for growing snake gourd.
v For each plant create holes with a gap of 9 feet to 9 feet.
v Leave these holes open for one week to stabilize the temperature.
v Take some soil, mix bacteria fertilizer and refill these holes.
v Between each 9 feet gap create a water canal. Once made, by evening leave water in canals.
v The same night soak half kg of seeds in wet cow dung, overnight.
v Next day put 4 seeds in each hole, 1 inch deep.
v Prepare a shamiana of leaves to let sunlight and air in, with additional gaps for the plant to grow.
v For the frames:-
v After 3 days of sowing the seeds, spray water once every 3 days.
v After 10-12 days saplings will start to grow.
v Support the plant with half feet stick and connect the sticks with a thread to the wire ceiling.
v Once it grows to the top, depending on the soil, water the plants regularly.
v After 20-25 days, prepare the following mixture to increase immunity against pests.
The advantages of the above mixture are that leaves will noticeably becomegreen and healthy and the immunity of the crop against pests will increase. Once a month on once in 10 days add compost to the soil for earthworm development.Once in 15 days spray 30 ml of panchkavya in 1 liter of water for flower development.
Additionally, use Barrix Catch Vegetable Fly trap to trap Bactrocera species which cause heavy damage to the fruits. Use 20 Barrix Magic Sticker – Yellow and 20 Barrix Magic Sticker - Blue sheets to control sucking pests which suck plant sap. It helps against pests like aphids, Leaf miners etc. Spray neem oil for other pests. In case of fungal and bacterial infection, young fruits and leaves are the first to get affected. For this prepare the following mixture:-
With these techniques after 2 months, the plants will consistently bare fruit upto 6 months and sometimes even 8 months.