Ash Gourd

Pests and Management

Red Beetle (Aulacophora foveicollis)

Pests are in Red colour, hatches white coloured Grubs feeds on the roots, stem and fruits touching the soil. When grown eats leaf and flowers. Spray Malathion 50 EC 500 ml or Methyl Demeton 25 EC at the rate of 1.235 Liters per acre. Thoroughly plough the field immediately after harvesting and expose the field to sun to destroy hibernating pests. Collect adult beetles physically and destroy them.

Pumpkin Caterpillar (Diaphania indica)

Eggs are laid on lower side of the leaves Larva having Bright Green colour. Creates cocoons inside the leaves and feeds on the leaves. Later it eats into Flowers and bores into fruits and feeds on them. To manage this condition spray Malathion EC or Dimethoate or Methyl Demeton, at the rate of 1.235 Liters per acre. Collect and destroy Caterpillars at the early stage.

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies puncture the fruits and insert their eggs inside the fruits. Their Maggots feed on the fruits resulting in the fruits becoming damaged and rotten. To manage this condition it is preferable to use bait traps with Carbofuran granules with Malathion 50 EC at the rate of 2 ml per liter.

Epilachna Beetle

The pests and their grubs scrape the leaf surface and eats resulting in Skeleton formation of leaf and eventually they fall down. To manage this condition sprays Malathion 50 EC at the rate of 2 ml per liter. Collect the beetles and destroy.

American Serpentine Leaf Miner

Eats chlorophyll of the leaves leaving a white trail with snake like white lines on the leaves. To control this Neem Oil emulsion application at the rate of 2.5% per liter of water is required.

Diseases and Management

Powdery Mildew

Ash coloured spots appear on the surface of the leaf and stem, damaging both. To control this, apply Bavistin at the rate of 4 gms per liter and sanitize the field.

Downy Mildew

Yellow spots appear on the top side of the leaf. Similarly water soaked like spots of fungus appear on the bottom side of the leaf. To control this spray Dithane M 45 at the rate of 4 gm per liter of water and sanitize the field.

Mosaic Virus

Yellow and Green coloured mottled appearance of the leaf. To control this, it is necessary to control the carrier pests. Use of Mosaic Resistant varieties and Field sanitation has to be done.

Harvesting and Yield

Fruits are harvested after three months of sowing. Harvesting can be done at weekly intervals. Harvesting of fruits can be done at immature stage and at mature stage. It is advisable to harvest fruits at immature stage for food consumption. If fruits are harvested at immature stage at frequent intervals application of Fertilizers in splits as top dressing is advised. Mature fruits are harvested for long distance transport requirements which takes time an for seed extraction. The matured fruits will have developed with full waxy coating on the surface. We can get more tonnage if we harvest fruits at immature stage than after maturity, since keeping fruits in the plant for long time will hinder further fruit formation. For seed purpose the fruits are left unharvested till all the veins and stalks are fully dried.

Marketing

Ash gourd can be marketed through local markets or with an arrangement for marketing by a marketing agency. The fruits have should be kept in good condition avoiding bruises and cuts during handling. It can be stored for long time without any damage to the fruits. This is advantageous to the farmer since he need not have to sell this urgently in distress. For seeds extraction also it has to be stored at least for 3 months and can be marketed.

Post-Harvest Technology

Ash gourd can be stored for long time even upto 6 months without getting rotten. Provided it is kept in well ventilated and hygienic storage. The fruits since are heavy, have to be kept apart each other without any damage to the external of the fruits, like bruising, cutting marks. The Ash Gourd has many uses and can be processed for use as preparation of Juice which is medicinal for people suffering from Lung ailments like Asthma, Bronchitis etc.

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