Horticulture
Horticulture :: Vegetables:: Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.)
Cucurbitaceae

Varieties
Co 1, MDU 1, COBgoH 1 (Hybrid), Arka Harit, Priya and Preethi are mainly cultivated.  

Co 1

COBgoH 1

Soil
Sandy loam soils rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH range of 6.5-7.5 is suited for bitter gourd cultivation. This crop requires a moderate warm temperature.

Season
Planting is done on July and January.

Seed rate
1.8 kg/ha

Preparation of field
 Plough the field to fine tilth and dig pits of 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm size at 2 x 1.5 m spacing and form basins.

Sowing
Sow the seeds (5 seeds/pit) treated with Trichoderma viride 4 g or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g  or Carbendazim 10 g/kg of seeds and thin the seedlings to two/ pit after 15 days.

Irrigation
Irrigate the basins before dibbling the seeds and thereafter once a week.

Application of fertilizers
Apply 10 kg of FYM per pit (20 t/ha) 100 g of NPK 6:12:12/pit as basal and 10 g of N/pit 30 days after sowing.Apply Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria 2 kg/ha and Pseudomonas @ 2.5 kg/ha along with FYM 50 kg and neem cake @ 100 kg before last ploughing.

Quality seedling production
Bitter gourd is a direct sown vegetable but polythene bag nursery is more advantageous to get early marketing and to avoid more gap filling. Use 200 gauge poly bags of 10 cm diameter x 10 cm height for sowing the seeds. Transplant about 15 days old seedlings to the main field.


Drip irrigation
Install drip system with main and sub-main pipes and place the inline lateral tubes at an interval of 1.5m. Place the drippers in lateral tubes at an interval of 60 cm and 50 cm spacing with 4LPH and 3.5 LPH capacities respectively.

Field preparation
Form the raised beds of 120cm width (120 cm) and spread the lateral tubes in the centre of each bed. Irrigation is done in the beds by operating the drip system continuously for 8-12 hrs. Spray pre emergence herbicide like Pendimethalin @ 1 Kg a.i/ha just before planting. Planting or sowing is done at the holes made at 2 m distance.

Fertigation
Apply a dose of 200:100:100 kg NPK/ha throughout the cropping period through split application.


Drip irrigation

Fertigation Schedule- Bitter gourd (Hybrid)
Recommended dose: 200:100:100 kg/ha

Stage Crop stage Duration in days Fertilizer grade Total Fertilizer (kg/ha) Nutrient applied % of requirement
N P K N P K
1 Crop
establishment
stage
10 19:19:19 + MN
13-0-45
Urea
26.81
11.00
29.03
5.00
1.43
13.35
5.00
-
-
5.00
4.95
-
10.00 5.00 10.00
Subtotal 19.78 5.00 9.95      
2 Vegetative
stage
30 12-61-0
13-0-45
Urea
12.28
66.00
109.00
1.47
8.58
50.14
7.49
-
-
-
29.70
30.00 7.50 30.00
Subtotal 60.19 7.49 29.70      
3 Flower
initiation to
first picking
30 12-61-0
13-0-45
Urea
12.28
44.00
115.00
1.47
5.72
52.90
7.49
-
-
-
19.80
-
30.00 7.50 20.00
Subtotal 60.09 7.49 19.80      
4 Harvesting stage 45 19:19:19 + MN
13-0-45
Urea
26.31
78.00
97.52
5.00
10.14
44.86
5.00
-
-
5.00
35.10
-
30.00 5.00 40.00
  Total duration 115 days   Subtotal 60.00 5.00 40.10      
Total 200.06 24.98
(or)
25.00
99.35
(or)
100.00
100 25 100

*75% RD of Phosphorus applied as superphosphate = 469 Kg/ha.
1. 19:19:19 = 53 kg/ha
2. 13:0:45 = 199kg/ha
3. 12:61:0 = 25 kg/ha
4. Urea = 351 kg/ha

After cultivation
Hoeing is done thrice to control weeds. Provide stakes to reach the pandal (2 m).  Spray Ethrel 100 ppm (1 ml dissolved in 10 lit of water) four times from 15th day after sowing at weekly intervals.

Pandhal System

Plant protection
Pests and diseases

Mites: Spray dicofol 18.5 % SC @ 2.5 ml per litre of water.

Aphid: Spray Imidachloprid @ 0.5 ml/lit along with sufficient quantity of stickers like Teepol, triton X100, apsa etc., for better adhesion and coverage.

Beetles, fruit flies and caterpillars
Beetles, fruit flies and caterpillars can be controlled by spraying Malathion 50 EC 1ml/lit or Dimethoate 30 EC 1ml/lit or Methyl demeton 25 EC 1ml/lit.
Do not use DDT, lindane 1.3% dust, copper and sulphur dust, as these are phytotoxic.

Fruit fungus

 

Fruit fly infestation

Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew can be controlled by spraying Dinocap 1ml/lit or Carbendazim 0.5 g/lit.

Downy mildew
Downy mildew can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit twice at 10 days interval.

Yield
Varieties: 14 t/ha in 140 - 150 days.

Hybrids : 40 t/ha in 180 days   

Market Information


Crop Growing districts
Coimbatore, Dindigul, Cuddalore, Thoothukudi, Tiruppur
Major markets in Tamil Nadu Periyar Vegetable Market Koyambedu, Chennai
Gandhi Market, Oddanchathiram
Natchipalayam Vegetable Market, Coimbatore
Grade Specification 20-25 cm long green fruits with short neck and tubercles are preferred
 
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