Bitter Gourd Cultivation Punjab

General Information

Another name of Bitter gourd is “bitter melon” and is also known as “Karela” in Hindi. The botanical name of bitter gourd is Memordica charantia and it belongs to the family of “Cucurbitaceae”. It is popularly known for its medicinal, nutritional and other excellent health benefits. Because of its high demand in the market, bitter gourd farming is done very successful. Bitter gourd is mainly used for making juice and for culinary purpose. It is a rich source of Vitamin B1, B2 and B3, C, beta-carotene, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, folate and calcium. It has health benefits such as it helps in preventing blood disorders, detoxifies blood and liver, boosts immune system and helps in weight control.   

Soil

Sandy loam soil which is rich in organic content and has good drainage system is ideal for the bitter gourd cultivation. The pH of the soil ranging from 6.5-7.5 is best for bitter gourd farming. 

Popular Varieties With Their Yield

Punjab Kareli-1: Released in 2009. The variety has green leaves which are smooth and serrated. They bear long fruits which are thin and green in color. First fruit harvesting is done after 66 days. The fruits have an average weight of 50 gm and it gives an average yield of 50 qtl/acre of fruit. 

 
Punjab-14: Released in 1985. The plant has small vines. The fruits have an average weight of 35 gm and are light green in color. The variety is suitable for sowing during rainy or spring season. It gives an average yield of 50 qtl/acre. 
 
Other state varieties:
 
CO 1: The variety has medium sized fruit which are long and dark green in color. The fruits have an average weight of 100-120 gm. It gives an average yield of 5.8 t/acre and the variety matures in 115 days. 
 
COBgoH 1: The variety matures in 115-120 days and gives an average yield of 20-21 t/acre.
 
MDU 1: The fruit are 30-40 cm in length and matures in 120-130 days. It gives an average yield of 13-14 t/acre. 
 
Arka Harit, Preethi and Priya are the varieties that are mainly grown. 

Land Preparation

For bitter gourd farming, well prepared land is required. To bring the soil to fine tilth, 2-3 ploughings should be done followed by weeding. 

Sowing

Time of sowing:
February to March or June to July is an optimum time for seed sowing.
 
Spacing:
Sow seeds on both side of 1.5 m wide beds and use plant to plant spacing of 45 cm. 

Sowing depth:
2.5-3 cm deep seeds are sown in the pit. 
 
Method of sowing:
Dibbling method
 

Seed

Seed rate:
Use seed rate of 2.0 kg per acre. 
 
Seed treatment:
Before sowing, seeds are soaked in 25-50 ppm Gibberelic acid and 25 ppm boron for 24 hours. 

Fertilizer

Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre)

UREA SSP MURIATE OF POTASH
30 125 35

 

Nutrient Requirement (kg/acre)

NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS POTASSIUM
13 20 20

 

Application of FYM@10-15tonnes is done before 10-15 days of sowing. Along with FYM, application of fertilizer dose of nitrogen@13kg/acre in the form of urea@30kg/acre, phosphorus@20kg/acre in the form of SSP@125kg/acre and Potassium@20kg/acre in the form of MOP@35kg/acre is done. Full dose of phosphorus and potassium and one third dose of nitrogen are applied before seed sowing. The remaining dose of nitrogen is added after one month of sowing. 

 

Irrigation

After sowing, first irrigation should be given. In summer season, irrigation is given after every 6-7 days and in rainy season, irrigation is given only when needed. In total, 8-9 irrigations are required. 

Weed Control

Intercultural operations are carried out for weed control. To control the weeds, 2-3 hoeing should be done in initial stage of plant growth. Weeding operations should be carried out in the soil at the time of fertilizer application and mainly earthing up is done during rainy season. 

Plant protection

  •  Disease and their control:
Powdery mildew: The symptoms are appearance of white powdery spots on upper surface of leaves which causes leaf withering.
 
Spraying of Carbendazim@3gm /ltr is done to control the powdery mildew.

Downy mildew: If infestation is observed spraying of Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil@2gm/ltr is done twice at the interval of 10-12 days.

  •  Pest and their control:
Aphids: They suck the sap from the leaves resulting in yellowing and drooping of leaves.
 
Spraying of imidachloprid@0.5ml/ltr is done to control the aphids.

 

Mites: Thrips results in curling of leaves, leaves become cup shaped or curved upward.
 
Spraying of Dicofol 18.5% SC@2.5ml/ltr water is done to control mites. 
Beetles: The symptoms are damage to flowers, leaves and stems.
 
Spraying of Malathion 50EC@1ml/ltr is done to control beetles. 

Harvesting

Depending upon season and variety the crop is ready to harvest in 55-60 days. Picking of fruit is done after the interval of 2-3 days. 

Seed production

Rouging should be done three times i.e. first at vegetative phase, second at flowering stage and third at the time of fruiting stage. Keep isolation distance of 1000m from other varieties of bitter gourd. Remove diseased plants from the field. Place one honey bee colony for the production of good seed yield. For seed production, the fruits are harvested when the fruit turns dark yellow to orange in color. After harvesting seeds are taken out form pulp, then they are cleaned and are shade dried.