Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits and Production Technology of Bottle gourd 

Bottle gourd is a popular vegetable in our country which is a favorite food of many. Bottle gourds are usually grown in the vicinity of homes in winter, but are now grown almost all year round. Bottle gourd is delicious and nutritious at the same time. Cause it contains a lot of vitamins, necessary minerals and water, as well as beneficial fiber. Bottle gourd can be eaten as a vegetable curry, labra, bhaji or salad. The scientific name is Lagenaria siceraria.

Nutrients : 

Each 100 grams of lentils contains –

  •  2.5 grams of carbohydrates, 
  • 0.2 grams of protein,
  •  0.8 grams of fat, 
  • 6 grams of vitamin-C, 
  • 20 mg of calcium, 
  • 10 mg of phosphorus, 
  • 8 mg of potassium, 
  •  Nicotinic acid 0.2 mg.

Health benefits : 

  1. 98 percent of a bottle gourd is water. As a result, it is filling the water deficiency of our body .
  2. Bottle gourd helps reduce blood cholesterol.
  3. Bottle gourd contains adequate amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants, which are beneficial for the heart.
  4. You can also eat bottle gourd for curing jaundice and kidney problems.
  5. Bottle gourd has very few calories and plenty of dietary fiber. It also helps to lose weight.
  6. Bottle gourd is a useful vegetable for diabetics.

Production technology : 

Soil

Loamy or  clay loam rich in organic matter is good for bottle gourd cultivation.

Climate

Climate that is neither too cold nor too hot is good for bottle gourd cultivation. The winter of Bangladesh is more suitable for bottle gourd cultivation. However, the temperature in some parts of Bangladesh in winter sometimes goes down below 100C which poses a serious threat to bottle gourd cultivation. The difference between day and night temperature is 8-90 C. The yield of bottle gourd decreases at a significant rate.

Lifetime

The average lifespan of bottle gourd is 175-165 days.

Seed sowing time and seed rate

The best time to sow seeds is from August to October. However, it is better to sow the seeds in late October for seed production. 600-700 grams of seeds are required per bigha.

Seed purification

Seed treatment is essential for prevention of seed borne diseases and production of vigorous fresh seedlings. Seed treatment can be done using 2 Vitavax / Captan per kg.

Seedbed preparation

Seedlings should be produced in polybags in nurseries for bottle gourd cultivation. A  bed of 20-25 cm high should be made in a place where light air is normally available. A house of 4-5.2 m size should be made on the fence. The height of the house from the ground along the edges of the house will be 0.8 m and the height of the middle of the house from the ground will be 1.6 m. The house will need bamboo, bamboo twigs, plastic for the tent and twine to tie them.

Seed sowing

6x 10 cm Or slightly larger polybags can be used for sowing seeds . First you have to prepare the soil by mixing half of the soil and half of the dung. To ensure seed germination in the soil, it should be filled in a polybag. Then you have to sow two seeds in each bag. Seeds should be buried deep in the soil twice the size of the seed.

Seedling care in the seedbed

Necessary care of seedlings should be ensured in the nursery. Seed germination is a problem in winter. Therefore, in case of winter seedling production, the polybag should be covered with plastic every night till seed germination and kept open during the day. The seedlings should be watered as required but care should be taken so that water does not fall on the seedlings. If the soil of the polybag is compacted , it should be broken.

Easy germination of seeds

Peel a bottle gourd, grate it and squeeze the juice. So for easy germination, just soak in clean water for 15-20 hours or 1% potassium nitrate solution overnight and then sow in a polybag.

Land selection and land preparation

In order to cultivate these crops, land with good facilities for irrigation and drainage and adequate sunlight should be selected. Diseases and insect infestations can be reduced by avoiding repeated cultivation of the same crop on the same land. Land and holes need to be well prepared for extensive root growth. 

Bed making and bed to bed distance

The height of the bed will be 15-20 cm. The width of the bed should be 2.5 m and the length should be according to the length of the land. In this way the beds have to be made one after the other. As well as 60 cm between the two fences. There will be diameter irrigation ditches and only drainage ditches 30 cm wide for every 2 beds.

Seedling age: 

16-18 days aged seedlings are good for planting in the field.

Planting seedlings

The seedlings should be soaked with water in the afternoon before planting. The next day in the afternoon the seedlings should be planted. The seedlings should be taken from the nursery to the field in trolleys or baskets. The soil in the field should be well turned upside down to make room for planting seedlings with one stroke. After that the polybag should be cut with a sharp blade along the fold and the polybag should be removed.

Irrigation

The bottle gourd crop is very sensitive to water. Excess of water will disrupt the fruit bearing and the fruit will fall off slowly. Therefore, regular irrigation should be given as per the need. Flood irrigation can never be done by soaking all the lands . Only if it is blocked with water in the irrigation ditch, the plant will draw water. In the dry season, it is necessary to give irrigation at intervals of 4/5 days.

Mulching

After irrigation, the land is compact up. When the canopy is compacted, the air circulation in the root zone of the plant is disrupted. Therefore, light mulch should be used for every irrigation and the soil at the base of the tree should be broken.

Weed control

Certain species of grasshoppers host a disease called Bottle Gourd Mosaic virus. Therefore, from planting seedlings to collecting fruits, the land should be kept free from weeds at all times. In addition, if there are weeds at the base of the plant, it absorbs food and sap.

Removal of sucking branches

There are small stalks at the base of the plant. They are called absorbent branches. These interfere with the yield of the plant and its proper physical growth. So till the stalks 40-45 cm at the base of the plant have to be cut and removed with a sharp blade.

 

Harvesting (maturity identification)

The edible maturity of the fruit can be identified as follows.

  1. There will be a lot of hair on the fruit.
  2. If you put pressure on the fruit with your nails, your nails can enter very easily.
  3. It is suitable for fruit collection 12-15 days after pollination.

 

The fruit should be cut with a sharp knife leaving a long stem of the fruit. Care should be taken while cutting the fruit so that there is no damage to the plant. The more bottle gourd can be collected, the higher the yield will be.

Yield:

Proper cultivation of Bari Lau-1 and Bari Lau-2 yields 35-40 tons per hectare and about 4.5-5.0 tons per bigha.

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