HORDI Crop – Bitter gourd

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Bitter Gourd

Momordica Charantia

Bitter gourd is one of the popular vegetables in Sri Lanka. This crop is having high medicinal value with anti diabetic and anti cancer propertis. Because of higher nutricious and medicinal value this crop is becoming a higher demanding crop

Released Varieties

Climate requirements/ Areas suitable for cultivation

Can be successfully cultivated up to above 1200 m of sea the level.

Soil

Well drained soil with more compost content and pH range from  5’5 – 7’5 is suitable.

Seed requirement

6 kg/ha

Nursery Management

Nursery can be prepared in sand trays or beds. Seeds can be directly placed in nursery with well supply of water and sunlight. Plnta can be directly transferred from nursery to field directly within 10 days. If need more days, plants can be transferred to pots for another two weeks.

Land preparation

Plough 30 cm depth and make fine soil structure with small particles and hills should be 30m x30 x30m in size prepared filled composition with compost and surface soil.

Planting

Maha season : October to November

Yala season : April, May

Year round cultivation can be allowed for suitable areas

3 seeds per hill in 2-3 cm depth for direct seeding with recommended spacing. Prepared nursery plants can be established in the field with better time selections.

Trellising:  Three weeks after planting growing  plants can be trained to a mesh or stakes. Lateral branches at lower parts of the plants can be pruned.

Spacing

1.5 m x 1 m

Fertilizer

Time of application

Urea kg/ha

TSP kg/ha

MOP kg/ha

Basal

75

200

60

After 4 weeks

75

60

After 8 weeks

75

60

Water supply

Need to keep crop with sufficient amount of soil water content. Water lodging will damage the plants. It is suitable to use soil cover to protect soil moisture during dry periods.

Pest Management

Disease Management

  • Fungal diseases
Causal organism: Podosphaera xanthii Symptoms:
  • First appears as pale yellow spots on older leaves
  • These spots enlarge as the white, fluffy mycelium grows over leaves surfaces
  • Severely attacked leaves become brown and shrivelled and defoliation may occur
Management:
  • Use recommended fungicides at initial stage of disease development (Refer: Pesticide recommendation DOA, 2019)
  • Distraction of infected plant debris after harvest

 Causal organism: Pseudoperonospora cubensis 

Symptoms:

  • Angular yellow spots that are limited by the leaf veins on the upper surface of the leaves.
  • Leaves become chlorotic and finally necrotic and host plant cells die

Management:

  • Use recommended fungicides at initial stage of disease development (Refer: Pesticide recommendation DOA, 2019)
  • Distraction of infected plant debris after harvest

Causal organisms:  Sclerotium spp., Fusarium spp.

Symptoms:

  • Initially the plants show temporary wilting symptoms
  • The leaves yellowing, loose turgidity and show drooping
  • Eventually, the plant dies.
  • Vascular bundles in the collar region become yellow or brown.

Management:

  • Destroy infected plants with soil
  • Improved drainage
  • Use recommended fungicides at initial stage of disease development (Refer: Pesticide recommendation DOA, 2019)

Causal organisms: Didymella bryoniae

Symptoms:

  • Lesions on leaves and fruit usually begin as spreading water-soaked areas
  • The former these may have a chlorotic halo, become light brown and irregular in outline
  • Dark cracked sunken lesions on fruit
  • Plant collapse where sunken, girdling cankers
  • Spots on stems often elongate into streaks and gummy exudates may occur from cracks
  • Dark brown to black fruiting bodies (pycnidia) can be seen on fruit, stem, or leaf

Management:

  • Crop debris should be ploughed deeply immediately after harvest to reduce fungus survival
  • Use recommended fungicides at initial stage of disease development (Refer: Pesticide recommendation DOA, 2019)
  • Bacterial diseases
Causal organism: Ralstonia solanacearum Symptoms:
  • Sudden drooping of leaves
  • Whole plant finally wilts
  • Leaves become brown, dry
  • Vascular discoloration (Brown)
  • Permanent wilting
Spreading of pathogen by;
  • Infected soil,  water, plant debris, Nematodes and insects ,pruning, Weeds as host plants
Disease Diagnosis: slimy viscous Bacterial ooze comes out from cut end of affected parts when immersing in clear water. Management:
  • Destroy infected plants with soil
  • Crop rotation with non- susceptible crops (okra , maize)
  • Mixed cropping with cruciferae crops
  • Avoid movement of equipment from infected fields to non- infected fields
  • Viral diseases
Transmitted by white fly (Bemicia tabaci) Symptoms:
  • upward curling, shortening, and distortion of leaves
  • Plant stunted and fruits deformed.
Transmitted by aphids Symptoms:
  • Mosaic and mottling of leaves
  • leaf distortion
  • Malformation of fruits and reduction in fruit size
  • In severe infections, oily patches on the fruit surface

Transmission: Seed borne, through sap

Symptoms:

  • Green mottle, leaf deformation
  • Green spot on fruits, turn bright yellow and decaying fruit
  • fruit malformation.

Symptoms:

  • Stunting, yellowing, necrosis (occasionally), mosaic, leaf deformations (blisters, shoe stringing)
  • Fruit discolorations and deformations
  • Pytoplasma Disease
Disease symptoms Smaller, thickened and yellowish green leaves Shortened internodes and stunting of  plants Witch’s broom symptom Greening of flowers Disease Transmission Through leaf hoppers Through infected seeds Disease control Remove infected plants Control vectors (leaf hoppers) using a recommended insecticide

Harvesting

Yield

Average 20 t/ha for OP varieties and 20-30 t/ha for hybrid variety