Ash gourd-Inter cultivation

Seeds are sown @ four to five per pit. Remove unhealthy and diseases plants and retain 2-3 healthy plants per pit after 2 weeks.

Apply the recommended second and third dose of fertilizers at the time of vining and at full blooming stage.

The fertilizers have to be applied around the plant after removing the weeds. While applying fertilizers, care should be taken to avoid fertilizer touching the vines. The fertilizer application should be followed with earthing up operations.

Mulching is also practiced in ash gourd to control weeds. Use organic or plastic mulch depending on availability. Mulch can be laid down before or after trans­planting and after sowing.

Ash gourd is trailed on the ground. Hence, spreading of dried twigs and coconut fronds on the ground is essential.

Ash gourd is a cross pollinated crop. Insects, especially bees, pollinate flowers. Intro­duction of bee-hives ensures good pollination.

During the initial stages of growth, irrigate the crop at 3-4 days interval, and on alternate days during flowering/fruiting. During rainy season, drainage is essential for plant survival and growth.