Sponge Gourd Crop Information

General Information

It is also known as “Luffa” sponge gourd. The vines of sponge gourd attain the height of 30 feet or more. The fruits of sponge gourd are cylindrical in shape and outer skin is smooth green. The fruit contains white inner flesh which is fibrous and have similar flavor to bitter melon. The fruit attains the height of 1-2 feet. Fully ripened sponge gourd contains high fiber content which is used as cleansing agent and for making table mats, shoe-soles etc. It is a good source of Vitamin A and C. It is used to cure jaundice, diabetes, to purify blood, and is used to cure skin diseases. In India it is grown in Punjab, Bihar, U.P., Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.

Climate

  • Season

    Temperature

    25-28°C

Soil

It is grown in variety of soil types. It gives best result when grown in sandy loam soil. The pH value of soil ranges from 6.5-7.0 or neutral to slightly alkaline soil is good for plantation.

Popular Varieties With Their Yield

PSG-9: The variety is developed in 2005. The variety contains dark green color leaves with medium-long vines. The fruits of this variety are smooth, tender, dark green in color and are long in shape. Harvesting is mainly done after 60days of transplanting. It gives an average yield of 65qtl/acre. The average fruit size is 65g.

Pusa Chikni: This variety contains dark green color leaves, medium height plant and medium sized fruit. The fruits are smooth, tender and 2.5-3.5cm in thickness. It gives an average yield of 35-40qtl/acre.

Azad Toria-2:
It is recommended to grow in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Tarai region of U.P.

Pusa Supriya: It is recommended to grow in Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar, U.P., Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan regions.

Other state varieties:

Pusa Sneha: The variety is developed in 2004 by Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI). It contains medium long size fruit which is smooth and is dark green in color having blackish green color strips on it. The variety is resistant to high temperature. Spring and rainy seasons are best for crop production. Harvesting is mainly after 45-50 days of sowing.

Azad Toria-1:
It is recommended to grown in Uttar Pradesh regions.

Land Preparation

To bring the soil to the fine tilth and to make the field weed free, ploughings are required. At the time of ploughing add Farm Yard Manure (FYM) in the field for the good yield. FYM @84qtl in per acre of land is added for quality crop production.

Sowing

Time of sowing:
The seeds are sown twice in the year. The ideal time for sowing is in the month of mid-February to March and second time in the month of mid-May to July.

Spacing:

Sow two seeds per hill which is 3m wide and use spacing of 75-90cm between seeds.

Sowing depth:

Seeds are sown at the depth of 2.5-3cm.

Method of sowing:
Dibbling method is used.

Seed

Seed rate:
Use seed rate of 2.0 kg/acre.

Seed treatment:
With the help of filer firstly scrap the seed coat of the seed and then soak the seeds in the water for 24 hours for better viability and higher germination percentage.

Nursery Management And Transplanting

Seeds are sown on prepared nursery beds. Avoid seedbeds to touch the ground to protect them from soil-borne diseases. Transplanting is mainly done after 25-30 days of sowing having 4-5 leaves on the seedling.

Seedlings are planted at the distance of 2.5 x 1.2m between rows and plants. Fertilizer application of NPK is applied after 7-10 days of transplanting, then at the time of starting of lateral vine development, then at the flowering period.

Fertilizer

Nutrient value (kg/acre)

NITROGEN K2O P2O5
40 20 20

 

Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre)

UREA SSP MOP
90 125 35

 

At the time of land preparation apply fertilizer dose of Nitrogen @40kg (Urea@90kg), phosphorus @20kg (Single super phosphate @125kg) and potassium@20kg (Muriate of potash @35kg) as a basal dose. At the time of sowing, apply one third of the Nitrogen dose along with Phosphorus and potash. At the early stage of vine production i.e. one month of sowing apply rest of the dose.

 

Weed Control

To make the field weed free mulching and then weedicides are necessary. Apply Pendimethalin @1 ltr/acre or Fluchloralin @800ml/acre as pre-emergence herbicide.

Irrigation

In summer or dry condition, apply irrigation with the interval of 7-10 days and in rainy season, it requires limited irrigation. First irrigation must be done immediately after seed sowing. In total crop requires 7-8 numbers of irrigations.
 

Plant protection

Powdery Mildew
  • Disease and their control:

Powdery mildew: The symptoms are appearance of white powdery spots on upper surface of leaves which causes leaf withering.
Treatment: Treatment must be given in start of hot and humid summer season. Application of M-45@2gm in 1ltr of water will help to cure powdery mildew. It can also be controlled by fungicidal sprays of Chlorothalonil, benomyl or dinocap.

Beetles
  • Pest and their control:

Beetles: The symptoms are damage to flowers, leaves and stems.
Treatment: Appropriate insecticidal spray will help to cure pests.
 

Aphid and Thrips

Aphid and Thrips: They suck the sap from the leaves resulting in yellowing and drooping of leaves. Thrips results in curling of leaves, leaves become cup shaped or curved upward.
If infestation is observed in field, To control spray the crop with Thiamethoxam@5gm/15Ltr of water.
 

Harvesting

Crops are ready for harvesting after 70-80 days of sowing. Carry out picking at the interval of 3-4 days. Harvesting of tender and medium sized fruits should be done. It gives an average yield of 66-83 qtl per acre.

Seed production

Keep isolation distance of 1000m from other varieties of sponge gourd. Remove diseased plants from the field. The ideal time for growing the seed crop is in the month of February-March because harvesting of seeds will be easier during dry month. For seed production, the fruits are harvested when they get physiologically mature. After harvesting seeds are taken out form pulp, then they are packed and are stored.