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Cultivation of Teasel/Spine Gourd

Session in Whatsapp group on !st April 2018 by Shri Ravi SankarTekuru 

This veggie controls diabetes, excess heat,cancer, piles, cough etc.
Now a days it became popular in markets. In Telugu it is called as Adavi-kakara or Agakara.

Climate: 
Teasel Gourd love light warm moist (25C to 30C). Don't love cool or very low temperatures. But it can sustain low temperatures. Requires warm climate and humidity to grow rigorously.

Soil: 
Loves well drained soils like sandy loam soils with high percentage of organic matter. Give high yields in soils which have pH 5.5 to 7.1( slight acidic to near neutral is best 7 pH).Can adapt in wide range of soils.

Seed:
Approx 1-2 kg per acre seed required. But we can't predict how many male/female come out of seeds.Better idea is going with tubers or plant stems 1210-3630 plants required per acre, 10% should be taken from male plants that is male tubers or stem cuttings required.Select virus free and disease free a seeds or tubers or stems from farmer. Soak seeds overnight before planting because of seed shell hardness.Approx seed germination time is 7 days.

Duration: 
People say plant can live up to 15 years and give fruits throughout year under full sunlight.From 60 days flowers will start approx from 70 days harvest will start.

Spacing: 
If your soil contains more percentage of sand dig 30-60cm pits(length * width * height) for every 6-7 feet(pit to pit). Mix soil with compost/fym and fill the pits. If clay soil is more. start preparing raised bed(120cms) or mounds/hills.

Field Preparation: 
Teasel Gourd need more organic content in soil. Grow green manure before the crop. Traditional practice is filling all pits with 8 tons of FYM or 5 tons of compost with 500 kg of Neem cake along with top soil.
Teasel gourd loves to climb. So, it need trellis with height of 6 feet approx.

Sowing Method: 
Sow 4 -5 seeds in every pit/hill/mound. And thin to remain 2 plants per pit or hill.
Propagate through stem cuttings 12 days old or 2 true leaves seedlings 1 per pit/hill can be transplanted. Direct sowing of tubers 1 per pit/hill.

Irrigation:
Initial irrigation before sowing. Irrigation is required every week . Especially before flowering. Maintain specific time everyday at least irrigating deep 20cm soil gives best results. Give mulch for soil if climate is too hot outside.These plants don't like over irrigation.Over watering, stagnation leads to several viral/fungal diseases.

Inter-crops: 
No inter-cropping seen up to now because minimal pest attack. Relay intercepting can be done. Beans for fixing nitrogen, Sorghum and Corn to prevent root rot by controlling soil nematodes, Radish deters leaf eating insects, fruit borers, Marigold, sunflower attract pollinators and deters bugs and beetles. Mint is said to help control ants, aphids, flea beetles, and rodents. Growing castor controls leaf miners.

Harvest: 
Tender fruits are harvested for eating purpose. Matured fruits are left like that for seeds.Average yield of 7-10 tons of harvest per acre.

Pest control:

  • Bacterial/viral infections occur due to water stagnation, over moist conditions and no proper circulation of air.
  • Four kg of Neem seeds are powdered and dissolved in 100 litres of water and filtered. Add 10 litres of cow urine and mix it with 50 gm of soapnut powder. Spraying this extract every 15 days will control many pests and diseases.
  • Install light traps one for every half acre from 6-10pm to overcome moths laying eggs and remove traps before teasel gourd flowers start to appear.
  • Spray diluted Neem oil for Aphids & Mealybugs.
  • Use fruit fly traps.

I

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Queries:

1.Under this can we grow shade loving crops?
It's difficult because it won't allow any sunlight. Strip cropping can be done

2. Is chicken growing possible?
Yes

3. Should we safeguard the root zone while growing chicken?
It's a strong plant, never give up easily. No extra care required

4. Is its germination tough? Any special care to be taken for germination?
From seeds it's tough, propagate from stems and tubers.





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