The botanical name of Bottle gourd is Lagenaria siceraria. This is known as Churakka in Kerala. It is a great source of vitamin B and fiber. It has been found to be effective for the treatment of constipation and other stomach disorders. Its fruits are fleshy and in bottle shape.
Bottle gourd can be easily grown in homestead gardens. It is a disease resistant and pest free vegetable.
‘Arka bahar’, ‘Pusa summer prolific long or round, Pusa Manjari, Pusa Meghadhud’ are the best varieties of bottle gourd
Seeds are used for propagation. Main seasons of cropping are Jan-March, May-June and Sept-October. Seeds have to be sown in pits of 60cm diameter and 30cm depth. Use 3or4 seeds in one pit after mixing soil with cow dung powder or decomposed organic waste. Only one pit with one or two plants is enough for a family.
When plants start vining, spread dried twigs or coconut leaves on ground for trailing.Irrigate plants once in 4 days. It doesn’t need much manure. Give organic manure whenever necessary. Earth up during rainy season for better growth.
Only tender fruits can be used for vegetable purpose. So harvest should be done at regular intervals so as to avoid over maturity.