Cucumber - Organic

Cucumber

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Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is an important cucurbits grown in India. Cucumber is mainly used as a salad crop, whereas oriental pickling melon is largely used after cooking.

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. It is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and seedless. Within these varieties, several cultivars have been created.

The cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trellises or other supporting frames, wrapping around supports with thin, spiraling tendrils. The plant may also root in a soilless medium and will sprawl along the ground if it does not have supports. The vine has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruits. The fruit of typical cultivars of cucumber is roughly cylindrical, but elongated with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 centimeters (24 in) long and 10 centimeters (3.9 in) in diameter. Botanically speaking, the cucumber is classified as a pepo, a type of botanical berry with a hard outer rind and no internal divisions. Much like tomato and squash, it is often perceived, prepared and eaten as a vegetable. Cucumber fruits consist of 95% water

Scientific name: Cucumis sativus
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Higher classification: Cucumis
Rank: Species
Kingdom: Plantae


Uses:

The common name "snake gourd" refers to the narrow, twisted, elongated fruit. The soft-skinned immature fruit can reach up to 150 cm (59 in) in length. Its soft, bland, somewhat mucilaginous flesh is similar to that of the luffa and the calabash. It is popular in the cuisines of South Asia and Southeast Asia.


Climate & Soil:

Snake gourd is adapted to wide variety of soil and climatic conditions. It requires a minimum temperature of 18°C during early growth, but optimal temperatures are in the range of 24–27°C. Snake gourd tolerates a wide range of soil but prefers a well drained sandy loam soil that is rich in organic matter. The optimum soil pH is 6.0–6.7, but plants tolerate alkaline soils up to pH 8.0.

Popular Varieties - Recommended by SEEDseller

Kaumudi: A PROMISING snake gourd variety that combines high yielding potential with superior quality has become popular among Kerala farmers in the last few years. Known by the name 'Kaumudi', the snake gourd bears medium-sized, bright white fruits, and it is grown in almost all parts of the State including the hilly tracts. It is a high yielding variety. Fruits are long white, with average fruit length of one metre. Average yield is 50 t/ha.

Developed at the Sugarcane Research Station of the Kerala Agricultural University at Kallungal, Thiruvalla, it was released by KAU in 1996 for commercial cultivation, and since then it has spread far and wide within the State. Recommended for cultivation in the acidic alluvial soils of south Kerala, this variety has done well in all over the State.

A pure-line selection from a local collection from Kottayam district, 'Kaumudi' has a potential to yield an average 62 tonnes per hectare. The white fruits grow to about a metre in length, and each fruit will weigh on an average 1.3 kg.

The maximum girth of the fruit will be 30 cm. The flesh is thick (1.10 cm). The variety is suitable for late harvest as well, according to the scientists, who developed this variety.

This variety is suitable for growing in both summer and rainy seasons. The duration of the crop is five months, with a pre- bearing period of 75 days.

The fruits can be harvested in about 20 to 25 days after fruit set, when the flesh is still firm and tender. The fruits are tasty and are of high quality. The colour, cooking quality, size and shape of the fruit are highly acceptable to both the consumers and growers.

For extracting seeds, the fruits should be allowed to mature fully for about 60 to 75 days. Each fruit will have about 90 seeds, and seeds will remain viable for up to 330 days after proper processing, according to the scientists. ``Kaumudi'' is relatively free from major pests and diseases of snake gourd. The fruit fly attack is also much less (6 to 10 per cent) when compared to other varieties tested along with it.

The variety performs well in a variety of soils and agro- climatic regions. It does extremely well in rich loamy soils endowed with good drainage. The plants are trained over pandal specifically erected for growing snake gourds.

The seeds are sown in pits filled with rich organic manure. Two seeds should be sown in each pit dug at an espacement of 1.5 meters by 1.5 meters. Regular watering and proper weeding should be done. The pests can be kept at bay by taking up plant protection measures using botanical insecticides as and when needed. The variety responds well to organic amendments, and it will also bring down the cost of cultivation.

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Baby: It is a high yielding variety with small, uniformly white coloured fruits and average fruit weight of 474 g. The crop starts yielding in about 55 days from sowing, and it has a potential yield of 57 t/ha.

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TA-19: Greenish fruits with white streaks running along the length. Medium sized fruits measuring 60 cm in length. Average yield is 30-40 t/ha.

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Manusree: High yielding snake gourd variety, which yields attractive medium-sized white fruits. The improved variety is a selection from local farmers collection from Kurupanthara, Kerala. It is recommended for growing in the warm humid tropics. This early variety produces uniform medium-long (65 to 70 cm), attractive white fruits with green stripes at the pedicel end. On an average each fruit weighs between 750 and 800 g.

Early harvesting: Another desirable feature is that it is ready for harvest at least fifteen days earlier than other popular varieties.

In large-scale field demonstrations conducted in farmers' fields, 'Manusree' recorded yields up to 60 tonnes of fruits a hectare. The seeds of this variety can be sown in pits at a spacing of 2 m by 2 m, and about 2500 plants can be accommodated in a hectare. A seed rate of 4 kg is prescribed to cover a hectare.

In each pit about four seeds should be sown, and after germination, only two vigorously growing healthy seedlings should be retained.

(*conventional farming methods)
*It responds extremely well to modern management practices. Liberal application of farmyard manure (20 to 25 tonnes per hectare) and 35 kg of nitrogen and 25 kg each of phosphorus and potash is recommended per hectare as basal dressing.

Pest resistant: *As top dressing 35 kg of nitrogen should be applied when the crop is about 20 days old. The vines are to be trained in pandal, raised at a suitable height. The crop should be irrigated once in three days in hot summer months. Major pests and diseases in all the places where it was field-tested did not affect this variety.

The male flowers appear on the vines by the sixth week, and the female flowers in seven weeks after sowing. The crop is ready for first picking in the eighth week. Under sound management conditions, as many as 17 fruits, weighing 13 kg, can be harvested.

On an average each fruit will grow to a length of 67.22 cm and will attain a girth of 23.66 cm. Average flesh thickness is 7.6 mm. Each fruit will produce about 70 seeds, and 100 seeds will weigh about 32 g.

Harvesting may be done at an interval of 4 to 5 days and about 20 pickings are possible. The total duration of the crop is around five months. It has been widely preferred by the growers as a summer crop in the rice fallows. The attractive fruits with good taste are readily accepted in the markets.

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Haritasree:

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Eating sustainably

The most sustainable way to eat is to be vegan and choose organic, local and seasonal produce. The varieties, season, seedrate and spacing of crops are given in following table.
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Organic farming is a crop production method respecting the rules of the nature, targeted to produce nutritive, healthy and pollution-free food. It maximizes the use of on-farm resources and minimizes the use of off-farm inputs. It is a farming system that seeks to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Commitment to protect and preserve nature is a pre-requisite for practicing organic farming, the entire ecosystem (plant, animal, soil, water and microorganisms) is protected. Organic cultivation improves structure and fertility of the soil through balanced choice of crops and implementation of diversified cropping system. The consumers prefer natural/ethnic foods, particularly organic foods across the world and are ready to pay premium prices for such foods. The demand for organic agriculture products is on the increase day by day.

Notes:

  1. Farmers practicing organic farming are encouraged to prepare the organic inputs in their own farm and use only permitted external inputs.
  2. The pests collected by using fruit traps should be disposed of safely without posing any hazards to environment and human beings. Dispose the contents of traps with insecticide outside the cropped area after its use.
  3. According to the scientists of National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (NBAII), Bangalore, the most widely used fungal antagonist in India, Trichoderma viride is actually Trichoderma asperellum or its cryptic species T. asperelloides.
  4. The organic liquid formulations are safe to environment, crop production and human health.
  5. The specifications of vermicompost, organic manures and bio-fertilizers are adopted from the “Fertilizer Control Order, 1985” (as amended upto February 2017)
Sowing/Planting

Seed rate: Approximately 3-4 kg of seeds are required for cultivating one hectare of land.

Spacing: 2 meter x 2 meter

Planting January-March and September-December are the ideal seasons for growing (commercial cultivation) snake gourd. For the rain fed crop, sowing can be started after the receipt of first few showers during May-June.

Prepare the soil to a fine tilth by ploughing and harrowing. Pits of 60 cm diameter and 30-45 cm depth are taken at a spacing of 2m x 2m. Well rotten FYM or other organic manure (12 t ha-1) is mixed with topsoil in the pit and seeds are sown at the rate of 4-5 per pit. Soak the seeds overnight in water for better and quicker germination. Seeds should be treated with Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 2 gram per 1 kg or 5 ml per 1 kg seed. Soaking seeds in Pseudomonas fluorescens (@ 2 gram per 1 kg or 5 ml per 1 kg seed) for 6 hours and drying in shade reduce the attack of soil born fungus. A pre sowing irrigation 3-4 days before sowing is beneficial. Sow four or five seeds in a pit at 1-2 cm depth. Deeper sowing delays germination. Irrigate with a rose can daily. The seeds germinate in about 4-5 days. Unhealthy plants are removed after two weeks and only three plants are retained per pit.

In high range zone, seedlings can be raised in greenhouses to ensure good germination and are later transplanted to the main field. Sow two or three seeds in small plastic pots filled with potting mixture. Transplant 15-20 days old seedlings into the field at 2m x 2m spacing.

Manuring
Irrigation
After cultivation
Staking and trellising
Pruning
Pollination
Hormone application
Weed control

Plant protection

Pests

Fruit fly (Bactrocera sp.) 

Bactocera cucurbitae

Fruit fly is the most destructive insect pest of snake gourd. Fruit fly maggots feed on the internal tissues of the fruit causing premature fruit drop and also yellowing and rotting of the affected fruits. This fly is difficult to control because its maggots feed inside the fruits, protected from direct contact with insecticides.

Control: Bury any infested fruits to prevent the build up of fruit fly population. In homestead gardens, covering the fruits in polythene, cloth or paper bags covers help to prevent flies from laying eggs inside the fruits and ensure mechanical protection. Breaking of soil to expose pupae, and burning the soil in pit by dried leaves are also effective. Remove and destroy affected and decayed fruits. It can also be effectively controlled by the use of banana fruit traps coupled with the removal and destruction of infested fruits. Traps are to be set at a distance of 2 meter after a border row and they may be replenished after 7 to 9 days. Start bait trapping just before flowering. Apply Neem cake 250 kg ha-1 (100 gram per pit) at planting and one month later. Use any of the following fruit fly traps:

  1. Fish meal trap: Place 5 g dry fish in coconut shell, moisten and add 0.5 gram cartap hydrochloride. Put coconut shell inside a polythene cover. Make holes on the cover above shell and hang the cover from pandal (trellis).

  2. Trap adult fruit flies using cue lure plywood blocks containing 6:4:1 mixture of ethyl alcohol : cue lure : Malathion. Reset traps at four months interval. Hang plywood blocks with pheromone @ 1 trap per 15 cents (land area).

  3. Trap adult fruit flies using food baits. Make a pulp of 20 gram banana, 10 gram jaggery in 100 ml water + 0.2 ml malathion at 2.5 meter spacing. Change traps after 3 weeks. Red banana, Robusta, Njalipoovan and Palayankodan fruits can be used.

  4. Drench Beauveria bassiana 20 g l-1 @ 10 l and apply 40 ml during fruiting stage.

Note: Dispose the contents of traps with insecticide outside the cropped area after its use.

Snake gourd semilooper: Anadevidia peponis

Green coloured semilooper caterpillar cuts the edge of leaf lamina, folds it and feed from with in. It is a specific pest of snake gourd.

Control: Hand pick the caterpillars and destroy them. In severe cases (*conventional farming method) spray insecticides like quinalphos (0.05%).

Epliachna beetle: Epilachna spp.

The yellowish coloured grubs and adults of the beetle feed voraciously on leaves and tender plant parts, and the leaves are completely skeletonized leaving only a network of veins. When in large number, the pest causes serious defoliation and reduces yield.

Control: Remove and destroy egg masses, grubs and adults occurring on leaves. (*conventional farming method) Spray carbaryl 0.2%.

  1. Remove and destroy egg masses, grubs and adults occurring on leaves.
  2. Use predator (Chrysocaris johnsoni) of larvae and pupae.
  3. Apply Beauveria bassiana @ 10 g l-1.
  4. Spray leaf extract of ailanthus and cashew (10%).
  5. Neem oil + garlic emulsion spray (2%) 


Leaf feeders and sucking pests

Collect and destroy larvae. Spray a mixture of 1 liter cows urine + 10 gram bird chilli + 9 liters water. Spray 2% talk-based formulation of Beauveria bassiana + 0.1 % teepol at fortnightly intervals for the management of pumpkin caterpillar, leaf footed bugs and plant lice.

(*conventional farming methods: Spray 2% talc based formulation of Beauvaria bassiana + 0.1% teepol at fortnightly intervals for the management of leaf feeders. In severe case of infestation of pumpkin caterpillar, apply chlorantraniliprole 18.5 SC @ 30 g ai/ha)
 

Plant lice or aphids - Aphis gossypi

Aphids in large number congregate on tender parts of plant and suck sap resulting in curling and crinkling of leaves. Ants carry aphids from one plant to another.

Aphids are small sap-sucking insects and members of the superfamily Aphidoidea. Common names include greenfly and blackfly, although individuals within a species can vary widely in colour. The group includes the fluffy white woolly aphids. A typical life cycle involves flightless females giving living birth to female nymphs without the involvement of males. Maturing rapidly, females breed profusely so that the number of these insects multiplies quickly. Winged females may develop later in the season, allowing the insects to colonise new plants. In temperate regions, a phase of sexual reproduction occurs in the autumn, with the insects often overwintering as eggs.

The life cycle of some species involves an alternation between two species of host plants, for example between an annual crop and a woody plant. Some species feed on only one type of plant, while others are generalists, colonising many plant groups. About 5,000 species of aphid have been described, all included in the family Aphididae. Around 400 of these are found on food and fibre crops, and many are serious pests of agriculture and forestry, as well as an annoyance for gardeners. So-called dairying ants have a mutualistic relationship with aphids, tending them for their honeydew, and protecting them from predators.

Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions. In addition to weakening the plant by sucking sap, they act as vectors for plant viruses and disfigure ornamental plants with deposits of honeydew and the subsequent growth of sooty moulds. Because of their ability to rapidly increase in numbers by asexual reproduction, they are a highly successful group of organisms from an ecological standpoint.

Control of aphids is not easy. Insecticides do not always produce reliable results, given resistance to several classes of insecticide and the fact that aphids often feed on the undersides of leaves. On a garden scale, water jets and soap sprays are quite effective. Natural enemies include predatory ladybugs, hoverfly larvae, parasitic wasps, aphid midge larvae, crab spiders, lacewing larvae, and entomopathogenic fungi.

An integrated pest management strategy using biological pest control can work, but is difficult to achieve except in enclosed environments such as glasshouses. Apply 1.5 % fish oil soap. First dissolve soap in hot water and then make up the volume.

Aphids don’t like garlic, chives, onions, lavender and mint. So, if you plant aphid-attracting plants alongside aphid-discouraging plants, it will help you to have less aphid attacks.
 

Pumpkin caterpillar (Diaphania indica)

Apply Metarhizium anisopliae @ 5 gram l-1. It significantly reduces the damage and increase the yield. 

Methanol seed extracts of Cerebera odollam, Annona glabra and dry leaves extract of Premna serratifolia and Samadera indica (10 %) are effective in controlling Diaphania indica larvae in cucurbits and Epilachna grubs Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata in bitter gourd.

Pumpkin beetle: Aulacophora fevicolis, A. cincta and A. intermedia

Adult beetles eat the leaves, make hole on foliage and causes damage on roots and leaves. Grubs cause damage by feeding on root. It also feeds on flowers and bores into developing fruits that touch the soil.

Control: Destroy grubs and pupae.

Stem gallfly: Neolasioptera falcata

Damage caused by maggots by boring into distal shoots. Thickening or galls are seen on shoots or stem.

Control: Apply insecticides like quinalphos  

Nematode

The nematodes or roundworms are a diverse animal phylum inhabiting a broad range of environments. Depending on the species, a nematode may be beneficial or detrimental to plant health. From agricultural and horticulture perspectives, the two categories of nematodes are the predatory ones, which kill garden pests such as cutworms and corn earworm moths, and the pest nematodes, such as the root-knot nematode, which attack plants, and those that act as vectors spreading plant viruses between crop plants. Predatory nematodes can be bred by soaking a specific recipe of leaves and other detritus in water, in a dark, cool place, and can even be purchased as an organic form of pest control.

Rotations of plants with nematode-resistant species or varieties is one means of managing parasitic nematode infestations. For example, marigolds, grown over one or more seasons (the effect is cumulative), can be used to control nematodes. Another is treatment with natural antagonists such as the fungus Gliocladium roseum. Chitosan, a natural biocontrol, elicits plant defense responses to destroy parasitic cyst nematodes on roots of soybean, corn, sugar beet, potato, and tomato crops without harming beneficial nematodes in the soil. Soil steaming is an efficient method to kill nematodes before planting a crop, but indiscriminately eliminates both harmful and beneficial soil fauna.

Application of Purpureocillium lilacinum (cfu 2 x 106) @ 2.5 kg + Pseudomonas fluorescens (cfu 2 x 106) @ 2.5 kg along with 2.5 tonnes of FYM ha-1 reduces nematode population and increase yield in bitter gourd.

Soil ecosystems: About 90% of nematodes reside in the top 15 cm of soil. Nematodes do not decompose organic matter, but, instead, are parasitic and free-living organisms that feed on living material. Nematodes can effectively regulate bacterial population and community composition — they may eat up to 5,000 bacteria per minute. Also, nematodes can play an important role in the nitrogen cycle by way of nitrogen mineralization.

One group of carnivorous fungi, the nematophagous fungi, are predators of soil nematodes. They set enticements for the nematodes in the form of lassos or adhesive structures.
 

Diseases 

Downy mildew: Pseudoperonospora cubensis

Cottony white mycelial growth is seen on the leaf surface. Chlorotic specks can be seen on the upper surface of the leaves. It is severe during rainy season.

Initial symptoms of downy mildew:

  1. Small,faint, light yellow, angular spots. Sometimes dark sporulation is visible on the underside. Leaf veins form the edges of many spots because they create a physical barrier for the pathogen growing in the leaf.
  2. Tiny white spots often with a yellow border and/or dark (necrotic, dead) center visible upon close examination.
  3. Small, orange-yellow, angular spots.

Symptoms of downy mildew are the angular-shaped spots on the top side of the leaves with dark, fuzzy growth of the pathogen on the opposite side of the leaf. Initially the spots are yellow, then they turn dark brown. Spores of the pathogen were observed with all of the angular spots. The white powdery growth is powdery mildew. It is severe during rainy season.

Foliar spraying of Pseudomonas fluorescens 2 % (20 g l-1) thrice at fortnightly interval on the appearance of symptoms will control the disease.

(Control in *conventional farming method: Complete removal and destruction of the affected leaves. Spray 10 % solution of neem or kiriyath preparation. If the disease incidence is severe spraying mancozeb 0.2 % will be useful.)
 

Powdery mildew: Erysiphe cichoracearum

The disease appears as small, round, whitish spots on leaves and stems. The spots enlarge and coalesce rapidly and white powdery mass appears on the upper leaf surface. Heavily infected leaves become yellow, and later become dry and brown. Extensive premature defoliation of the older leaves resulting in yield reduction.

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants. Powdery mildew is one of the easier plant diseases to identify, as its symptoms are quite distinctive. Infected plants display white powdery spots on the leaves and stems. The lower leaves are the most affected, but the mildew can appear on any above-ground part of the plant. As the disease progresses, the spots get larger and denser as large numbers of asexual spores are formed, and the mildew may spread up and down the length of the plant.

Can be controlled by spraying Trichoderma viride 2 g l-1 or neem oil 2 % as 3 foliar sprays at 14 days interval on symptom appearance.

(Control methods in conventional farming: Control the disease by spraying Dinocap 0.05%.)
 

Mosaic: (Cucumber Mosaic Virus)

Mosaic disease is characterized by vein clearing and chlorosis of leaves. The yellow network of veins is very conspicuous and veins and veinlets are thickened. Growths of plants infected in the early stages remain stunted and yield of the plant get severely reduced. White fly (Bemisia tabaci) is the natural vector of this virus. 

This virus infects more than 150 types of plants, including many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. It is characterized by leaves mottled with yellow, white, and light and dark green spots or streaks.

  • The leaves are mottled with yellow, white, and light and dark green spots, which appear to be elevated. This gives the leaves a blister-like appearance.
  • Plants are often stunted, or they grow poorly.
  • Plants may have other deformities and their leaves may be crinkled or wavy. 

Mosaic viruses are mostly spread by insects, especially aphids and leafhoppers. You can try covering your plants with a floating row cover or aluminum foil mulches to prevent these insects from infecting your plants.

Control your weeds. Some types may serve as hosts for the disease.

Uprooting and destruction of affected plants and collateral hosts. Spraying Neem based insecticide (2 %) controls the vector.

(Control methods in *conventional farming methods): Control the vectors by spraying dimethoate 0.05% or phosphamidon 0.05%. Uprooting and destruction of affected plants and collateral hosts should be done. 
 

Leaf blight

Field sanitation and foliar application of Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 20 g l-1.
 

Harvesting

Normally, it takes 15-20 days after fruit set or 90-120 days from planting for fruit to reach marketable age. At harvest, the fruits should be light green, thick and juicy, and the seeds should be soft and white. Harvest once in every 2-3 days using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut the fruit stalk and 8-10 harvests are possible in a crop life. If a fruit remains too long on the vine, it will turn spongy, sour, yellow or orange, and split open.

Yield can vary depending on vari­ety and crop management. Under average management snake gourd yields 30-40 t/ha. Fruits of snake gourd do not keep long and should be sold in the market immediately. Remove dam­aged and deformed fruits. Store the fruits in a cool place at 12-13°C with 85-90% relative hu­midity. Under this condition, fruit storage life can be extended 2-3 weeks. Snake gourd is chilling sen­sitive and damage may occur if kept below 10°C. Keep harvested fruits away from other fruits (such as banana, pineapple and apple) that release large amounts of ethylene, a ripening hormone. The fruits should be washed thoroughly in water before cooking.

Pests

  • Bactrocera sp. flies
  • Epilachna varivestis
  • Leaf feeders and sucking pests
  • Leaf feeders
  • Plant lice
  • Plant lice
  • Plant lice
  • Diaphania indica
  • Diaphania indica
  • Nematodes
  • Downy mildew
  • Downy mildew

Tips for vegetable seed production

General principles 

The seed production programme envisages to produce genetically pure quality seeds and to store them in a viable condition for a reasonable period of time, until it reaches the farmers. The seeds should have genetic purity, uniformity in size and shape, high germination and vigor. The seeds should be free from mechanical damages, insect and fungal infestation and other crop and weed seeds. A commercial seed production programme has three aspects - seed production, seed processing and seed storage.

 

Cucurbits (General)

An isolation distance of 800 m for FS and 400 m for CS is required between varieties and related species. Remove off-types, wild cucurbits and plants infected by designated diseases. No objectionable weeds are permitted in the seed production plot. Maximum level of off-types and plants infected by yellow vein mosaic diseases is 0.1 per cent each. Seeds should have a minimum purity of 99% and germination of 60%. Maximum inert matter content permitted is 1%. No seeds of other crops or weeds are permitted and maximum moisture content should not exceed 7%.


Bitter gourd

Taking two vegetable harvests and then leaving the crop for seed production is economical. Ripe fruits of 24 days maturity in Preethi, when the whole fruits turn to bright orange colour, can be harvested for seed extraction. Seeds may be dried in the sun, avoiding peak sunshine hours of 12 noon to 3 p.m. Seeds can be stored in 700 gauge thick polythene bags.
 

Snake gourd

Fruits can be harvested for seed extraction 36 days after anthesis (in TA 19), when yellowing of fruits start from the stylar end. Big and medium sized fruits (above 85 cm length and 2 kg weight in Kaumudi) give maximum quantity of quality seeds.
 

Oriental pickling melon
Harvest fully ripe fruits with deep orange colour (30 days after anthesis in Mudicode Local), when the vines wither. Select big and medium sized fruits (above 1.25 kg in Mudicode Local) for quality seeds.

Machine extraction (without fermentation of pulp) and drying under shade for one day and then in sun avoiding peak hours (12 noon to 3.00 pm) to 8 per cent moisture gives good quality seeds.

 

Ash gourd
Ash gourd fruits of 70 days maturity after anthesis are suitable for seed extraction. At this stage the vines wither and the sticky thick ashy coating on the fruits dries into white powder, which can be removed on rubbing. Fruits of medium and large size (above 5 kg in KAU Local) give bolder, quality seeds. It is advisable to have a post-harvest storage of fruits for three months to get higher germination.
 
Manual extraction of pulp from the fruits and fermenting the pulp for 48 hours is better to get quality seeds without mechanical damage. 

Acid treatment of pulp using 2 per cent HCI (1:10) for 30 minutes followed by drying under shade to 8 per cent moisture also gives good quality seeds. 

Pre-storage treatment of seeds with captan @ 2.5 g kg-1 and storing in sealed polythene bags of 700 gauge thickness is the best for seed storage. 

Water melon
Manual extraction with acid treatment using 1% HCl (1:10) for 30 minutes and drying under shade for one day and then in sun, avoiding peak hours (12 noon to 3.00 p.m) to 8% moisture gives good quality seeds.

Read 248 times Last modified on Saturday, 19 January 2019 18:54
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