Bitter Gourd Farming | Karele ki kheti

Today, we will discuss the topic of bitter gourd farming techniques, tips, new ideas along with cultivation practice.

Lets dive in deeper

Introduction of Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd is also known as bitter melon in different parts of the world. It is grown extensively through out the year in India. Bitter gourd has good medicinal value as well. Hence it is one of the most popular vegetable in India.

It is a plant that loves warm and humid condition so summers are ideal season for these plants. 

Botanical name of bitter gourd is Momordica charantia, family-Cucurbitaceae, genus-Momordica. Bitter gourd is called Karela in the Hindi language. Here are some local names of bitter gourd -

  1. Gujarati - Karelu
  2. Kashmiri - Karel
  3. Punjabi - Karela
  4. Marathi - Karli
  5. Konkani - Karate
  6. Bengali - Korola
  7. Assamese - Kerela
  8. Malyalam - Pavyakka and Kaippayka
  9. Odiya - Kalra
  10. Telugu - Kakara
  11. Kannada - Nagalakayi
  12. Tamil - Pagarkay or Pavakay
  13. Japanese - Nigauri

Verities of Bitter Gourd frequently used in India

COBgoH 1 (hybrid), Co 1, MDU 1, Arka Harit, Priya, and Preethi are mainly cultivated in India.

Which soil is used for Bitter Gourd farming.

Sandy, loamy soil are preferable but bitter gourd can tolerate any soil that provides a good drainage system. Soil with a pH ranging from 6.4 to 7.3 enrich with organic matter, like dried manure followed by compost. Day time temperature between 24° - 35°. The soil should be prepared by adding organic matter before planting. Soil temperature required for germination is at least 20° C to 25° C. 

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Temperature required for Bitter Gourd Farming

Bitter Gourd is a warm season plant, hence thrives in hot and humid climates. It is cultivated throughout the year in India except 2-3 months of winters. Hence, you can find bitter gourd in market almost every time. April to September are the months when they grows extensively due to the preferable temperature between 24 degree to 35 degree and the humidity. However, the the sowing time of seeds are different. 

Propagation Of Bitter Gourd

You can use two methods for propagation - direct seeding or propagation by transplanting 

Preparation of land for bitter gourd plantation - First you need to plough the field as usual and dig pits of 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm size at 2 x 1.5 m spacing and form basins. 

Time of Sowing Biter Gourd - The seeds can be sown twice or thrice in a year. It is divided in two seasons summers and rainy. The seeds are sown in January to March for summer season, June to 1st week of July for rainy season crop in plain areas. The sowing process takes place from March to June months in hill areas. 

Sowing Method of Bitter Gourd

You can use dibbling method for sowing the seeds at the spacing of 120 x 90 cm. It is good to sow 3-4 seeds in a pit at 2 to 2.5 cm depth. For better germination result you should Soake the seeds a day before. You can use the solution of 25 to 50 ppm GA  and 25 ppm boron then soak the seeds in the solution for 24 hours for enhanced germination process. In flat bed seeds are dibbled by the spacing of 1 meter x 1 meter.

Pollinating of Bitter Gourd

Insects like honey bees plays an important role in pollinating process for setting fruits. After six months bitter gourd needs insects like honey bee to carry out the pollinating process in a good manner. If it is difficult to find insects in your area then you can perform this process manually as well. And for that you should have the knowledge of male and female flower. 

Pick male flowers and start transferring pollens by face to face touching the centre part of the flowers to the female flowers. You can recognize female flowers by the fat section between the flower and vine stem. Remember this process should be done when flowering is active during the day time. 

The fat portion will grow into a full size fruit. If it does then surely the pollination process is successful. 

Irrigation of Bitter Melon plantation

bitter gourd

While talking about irrigation drip irrigation method is the most poplar method for the irrigation of various crops. While performing drip irrigation provide the gap of 50 cm and 60 cm with the spacing of 4 LPH and 3.5 LPH capacities respectively. 

You can use mulching technique in this technique beds are form. You can use line technique as well.

How to control excessive weed - You can use various sprays like ethrel 100 ppm (1 ml dissolved in 10 lt of water). You can start spraying your plant after 15 days because it is the crucial time when plant begins to grow and at the same time weeds can cover it and it may causes slow growth so removing of weeds is a necessary process for better growth of the bitter gourd plant. You should start spraying ethrel 100 ppm twice or thrice in a day after 15 days of your plantation. 

Disease control - Bitter Gourd

Your plant may suffer by various diseases so protect it by various sprays 

  • Aphids - You can use imidachloprid 0.5ml/lt
  • Powdery mildew - Use dinocap 1 ml/lt or carbendazim for controlling powdery mildew
  • Downy mildew - It can be controlled by using the spray called mancozeb or cholorothalonil 2 g/lt twice in the interval of ten days.
  • However, these are temporarily solutions for permanent solution you should move towards organic farming. 
  • You can also control all these with the help of organic methods. 
  • I have explained in detail about organic fungicides and how to make fertilizer at home etc in one of my post called organic farming information

I support organic farming.

Manure and Fertilizers Required for Bitter Gourd Plant

10 kg FYM per pit, 100 grams of NPK, 10 grams N/pit. Phosphobacteria 2kg/ha and Pseudomonas 2.8 kg/ha followed by neem cake 100 kg and FYM 50 kg before the last plowing. 

Organic fertilizers - Cow dung or manure, urine, dry straw, waste leaves including neem bark, fish waste and remaining water of fish pond, banana wrapper, lentils, copper etc. There are lot more things that can be used for making organic fertilizer and organic pesticides. 

If you want detail explanation on making of organic fertilizers and pesticides from home, please visit my another post organic farming information in which I have explained all the things step by step and in detail. 

Harvesting of Bitter Mellon/Gourd

Bitter Gourd takes about couple of months (50-60 days) to get ready for harvesting. Harvesting can be done when the fruits are green and young so it should be done in regular intervals of 2-3 days because they may turn red. The harvested fruits can be stored for 3-4 days in cool circumstances. The yield varies between 80 - 100 quintals per/ha.

Seed Production from Bitter Gourd - Some vines of the plant should be left so that bitter gourd can produce seeds. For this process leave some bitter gourds and allow them to turn red. When they turn reddish pick them, they are ready for producing seeds. They can deliver brown or white seeds after full maturity.

yellow karela

Can Bitter Gourd reduce belly fat

Yes bitter gourd are helpful in reducing belly fat if you are consuming it in daily basis. Bitter Gourd are low in calories and high in fibres that means low consumption of fat in our body hence helpful in reducing fat.

Can we eat bitter gourd daily

Yes, one should eat bitter gourd daily due to its health benefits. Although it's bitter in taste but very healthy due to its nutrient value. It is always suggested by doctors for diabetic patients. Moreover, it is helpful in reducing weight because it carries fewer calories and more fibres.

Can I drink karela juice every day

Yes it is good to drink Karela / bitter gourd juice daily as it cures lung problem, maintains blood pressure level. It is also helpful in reducing fats because it contains low calories and more fibres. But it is suggested to drink only one glass of fresh bitter gourd or karela for better health results. It may cause loose motion if taken in excess amount. 

Is it safe to eat raw bitter gourd - Yes it is used as salad and can be eaten raw as well but access of raw bitter gourd is not good infect access of anything is not good.  Even, access of sugar can create poison. 

How much investment is required in bitter gourd farming

Investment depends on various types of farming. In simple farming Rs 15-20 thousand is required, in mulching technique at least 50 thousand is required.

Bitter Gourd farming in Kerala, bitter gourd farming in Karnataka, bitter gourd farming in Maharashtra, biter gourd farming in USA  is already very popular. Although bitter gourd project report in India is very good. Hence bitter gourd farming in India is quite popular.

Production of bitter gourd in one acre land

One can produce at least 160-200 tonnes in one acre of land. 

Price of 1 kg bitter gourd

Price may vary according to variety location and season. Generally it carries the price of Rs 15-30, Rs 40-60 

Bitter gourd / Karela farming benefit in one acre land

Lets calculate the benefit by simple formula

1 acre - 150 tonne Bitter Gourd

150 tonne = 15 thousand kg 

Bitter Gourd 1 kg price = Rs 15 (I am taking minimum price, it may vary) 

15 x 15,000 = Rs 225,000 ( reduce your investment and that will be actual profit)

225,000 - 50,000 (investment) = Rs 175,000 Net Benefit  

Note - I have given just an example by using minimum values. You can put the actual market value and your actual investment cost, I believe profit will be much more. And remember one thing it is the profit of one acre and one time although it is done twice and thrice in a year.  

 

karela
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