Squash Melon Cultivation

General Information

Squash Melon is also known as round melon, round gourd, and Indian squash. It is important summer vegetable of north India. In Punjab it is called as "tinda".  Squash Melon origin is present in India. It belongs to family of Cucurbitaceae. Its raw fruits are used for vegetable purpose. 100gm of immature fruits contains Proteins@1.4%, fat@0.4%, carbohydrates@3.4%, carotene@13mg and vitamin@18mg. Fruits also possess medicinal property, they are used against dry cough and also for improving blood circulation.

Climate

  • Season

    Rainfall

    200-300mm
  • Season

    Temperature

    10-28°C
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    10-20°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    20-28°C
  • Season

    Rainfall

    200-300mm
  • Season

    Temperature

    10-28°C
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    10-20°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    20-28°C
  • Season

    Rainfall

    200-300mm
  • Season

    Temperature

    10-28°C
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    10-20°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    20-28°C

Soil

For good growth and yield it required well drained, rich organic matter contained sandy loam soils. pH of soil in range of 6 to 7 is ideal for optimum growth of crop. It also gives good results when grown on lands having water table near to soil. 

Popular Varieties With Their Yield

Tinda 48: Its vines are 75 to 100cm longs. Its leaves are light green and fruits are of medium size. Fruits are round having shining light green color. It gives average yield of 25qtl/acre.

Tinda Ludhiana
: Fruits are having light green, of medium size and having flat round shape. Each vines bears 8-10fruits. Its flesh is tender, of white color, contains less seeds and having good cooking quality. Ready to harvest in 60days after sowing. It gives average yield of 18-24q/acre.

Other States Variety

Arka Tinda:
Developed at Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bangalore.

Anamalai Tinda

Mahyco Tinda

Swati
: Fruits are of dark green color. Ready to harvest in two month. 

Land Preparation

Plough land and bring soil to fine tilth. Apply well decomposed cow dung@8-10tonnes/acre at time of field preparation. Prepared raised bed for cultivation. Seeds can be sown on furrow or in Pits.

Sowing

Time of sowing
In North India, it can be cultivated for two times. It is sown in February-March and also in June-July.

Spacing

Sow seeds on both side of bed and use spacing of 45cm.

Sowing Depth

Seeds are sown at depth of 2-3cm.

Method of Sowing

Seeds are directly sown on bed or ridge.

Seed

Seed Rate
Sow two seeds per spot. Seed rate of 1.5kg is sufficient for one acre land.

Seed treatment

Before sowing soaked seeds in water for 12-24hours. It will increased germination percentage.
To protect seeds from soil borne fungus, treat seeds with Carbendazim@2gm/kg of seeds or Thiram@2.5gm/kg of seeds before sowing. After chemical treatment, treat seeds with Trichoderma Viride@4gm/kg of seeds or Pseudomonas fluroscens@10gm/kg of seeds. 

Fungicide name Quantity (Dosage per kg seed)
Carbendazim 2gm
Thiram 2.5gm

 

Fertilizer

Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre)

UREA SSP MURIATE OF POTASH
90 125 35

 

Nutrient Requirement (kg/acre)

NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS POTASH
40 20 20

 

Overall squash crop required Nitrogen@40kg in form of Urea@90kg/acre, Phosphorus@20kg in form of SSP@125kg/acre and Potash@20kg in form of MOP@35kg/acre. Apply one third dose of Nitrogen and full dose of Phosphorus and Potash at time of sowing. Apply remaining dose of Nitrogen during early period of growth.

Weed Control

Use of black polythene mulch will help to control weeds problem also it will help to conserved moisture. To make field weed free, do hand weeding and keep check on weeds. Carry out first hand weeding 15-20days after sowing. Give remaining weedings depending upon weed intensity. 

Irrigation

It need frequent irrigation as it is short duration crop. If seed are sown on pre-irrigated furrows, apply first irrigation on second or third day after sowing. Depending upon climate, soil type, in summer season provides irrigation with interval of 4-5days. In rainy season provide irrigation depending upon rainfall frequency. Squash Melon responds well to drip irrigation and it improves yield by 28%. 

Plant protection

Aphids and Thrips
  • Pest and their control:

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.

 

Powdery mildew
  • Disease and their control:

Powdery Mildew: Patchy, White powdery growth appears on upper surface of leaves also on main stem of infected plant. It parasitizes the plant using it as a food source. In severe infestation it causes defoliation and premature fruit ripening.
If infestation is observed take Spray of water soluble Sulphur@20gm/10Ltr of water 2-3times with interval of 10days.

Anthracnose

Anthracnose: This disease attacks only on fruits which will lead to fruit drying.
As a preventive measure, treat seed with Carbendazim@2gm/kg of seed. If infestation is observed in field, take spray of Mancozeb@2gm or Carbendazim@0.5gm/liter of water.

Harvesting

Depending upon variety fruits are ready for harvesting within 60days of sowing. Carryout harvesting when fruits are tender and of medium size. Carry out picking at interval of 4-5days.

Seed production

Keep isolation distance of 800m from other varieties of squash melon. Removed disease infected plants from field. When fruits are mature i.e. they changes their color into dull. Then they are crushed with hands in fresh water and then separate seeds from pulp. Seeds which are settled in bottom are collected for seed purpose.

References

1.Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana

2.Department of Agriculture

3.Indian Agricultural Research Instittute, New Delhi

4.Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research

5.Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare