Ash gourd- Planting activities
Ash gourd is propagated by seeds. The recommended seed rate is 300 to 400 gram/acre. The best season of planting is January to March and September to December.
For rainfed crop, sowing can be done during May-June after the receipt of the first few showers.
The land is prepared well by thorough ploughing or digging. Pits of 60 cm diameter and 30-45 cm depth are taken at 4.5 m x 2.0 m spacing.
Lime or dolomite @ 1-3 kg/cent has to be applied depending on soil acidity. This should be followed by adding organic manure @ 90 kg/cent along with top soil.
The planting is done in raised beds during rainy season and in trenches during summer season. Seeds are sown @ four or five per pit at 1-2 cm depth. Deeper sowing delays germination.
The seeds are soaked in water for 24 hours prior to planting for better and quicker germination.
The seeds will germinate in about 4-5 days. Remove unhealthy plants after two weeks and retain two or three plants per pit.
Ash gourd can also be grown as a transplanted crop. The seedlings are transplanted 15-20 days after sowing or when they are 10-15 cm tall.
Apply recommended basal dose of fertilizers at the time of planting. A time lag of ten days should be given between application of lime and fertilizers.