Botanical Name: Benincasa hispida
Varieties: KAU local:High yielding. Medium sized oval to oblong fruits with high flesh thickness and an average weight of 6-8kg.
Indu:High yielding. Tolerant to mosaic disease. Medium sized round fruits with high flesh thickness. Fruits have an average weight of 4-5kg.
Climate & Soil: Warm humid climate.Sandy loam soil.
Season: January-March, September-December and May- August.Though it can be grown throughout the year, sowing the crop in October can prevent mosaic to a certain level.
Seed rate: 0.75-1 kg/ha, 4.5X2 m
Seeds available with VFPCK: KAU local
Spacing: 4.5X2 m .Pits of 60 cm diameter and 30-45 cm depth are taken.Seeds are sown @ 4-5 per pit. After two weeks retain three healthy plants per pit.
Nutrient management : Apply FYM/ compost @20-25t/ha and NPK @35:25:25 kg/ha as basal dose. Apply N@35kg/N in two equal splits; at the time of vining and at the time of full blooming.
Crop Management: Irrigate at necessary intervels. Spread dried twigs or coconut leaves on the ground, for trailing to prevent the fruits from coming in contact with hot soil.Conduct weeding and raking of the soil at the time of fertilizer application. In the case of cucurbitaceous vegetables, more number of female flowers should be produced to enhance the yield. Spraying the crop with Ethrel at the rate of 3-3.5ml in 10ltr of water will increase the production of female flowers.
Pest Management :
Yield: 10-15 t/ha when harvested at mature stage
20 - 25 t/ha when harvested at immature stage
Post Harvesting: The fruits are to be handled carefully to avoid damage. The fruits are then graded and packed in cartons without causing damage.
Seed Collection: Harvest the crop after full development of waxy coating.