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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Homestead Vegetables-Bitter gourd (An Anti Diabetic Fruit)

Bitter gourd is bitter vegetable that belongs to cucurbits. It contains many nutrients especially iron and vitamins. According to ayurveda, having one glass of bitter gourd juice daily reduce the blood sugar of Diabetic patients. Bitter gourd is mainly used for preparing side dish. It can also be used for making fry by drying in sunlight. For making this, fruits are cut in to pieces and get dried in sun light after adding required salt.

As Bitter gourd is a trailing vegetable, suitable area should be selected in homestead. Usually it is grown in round basins/pits of 30 cm depth during summer. Main seasons for planting Bitter gourd are Jan-March and Sept –December. Rainy season is not suitable for growing this vegetable.
For a family consists of 3-4 members 2 pits of Bitter gourd plants are enough. Before sowing seeds in pits it should be manured with cow dung powder or compost and raked well. Add 200 grams of fertilizer mixture of urea,super phosphate and Murate of potash  mixed in proportion of 7:10: 5.   4 seeds may be sown in each pit. Keep moisture in pit till germination of seeds. Then irrigate in alternate days in initial stage of growth.
Bittergourd trailing on Pandal
Provide trailing materials when plants start vining. 100 grams of urea may be applied in each pit in 3-4 times in an interval of 15-20 days.

Fruit fly is the main pest of Bitter gourd crop. It destroys the fruits very quickly. To control this pest, fruits may be covered with polythene, paper or cloth bags till maturity. Fruit trap is also seen very efficient against this pest.

Harvest can be started two months after sowing
Ripe fruits for seed

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