Ridge gourd popularly known as angled gourd or sponge gourd is a tropical annual climbers, cultivated for its edible young fruits. A ridge gourd also commonly known as Turai or Turiya is a native of India and also seen grow as ornamental plant in many parts of the world. It is a dark green, ridged and tapering pretty vegetable useful to grow as a vegetable. It has white pulp spongy flesh containing a gelatinous compound called luffein and has medicinal importance.
Gourds are warm-season crops, requiring lots of sun and good drainage to develop optimally. Gourd plants should be planted in full sun and provided with ample soil moisture
General care and maintenance
Gourd plants sprawling and require plenty space to grow. Vines can be trained to grow on a trellis or fence. Plants also require a continuous supply of water and where drip irrigation is not being used, plants should be watered deeply once per week, providing at least an inch of water
Gourds can be direct seeded or sown indoors and transplanted. If direct seeding, seeds should be sown after the last frosts and when the soil has warmed to at least 15.6°C (60°F). Sow 1–2 seeds 1.3–2.5 cm (0.5–1.0 in) deep, at least 90 cm (~3 ft) apart if growing bush varieties and 120–150 cm (4–5 ft) apart if growing vining varieties. Allow a further 1–3 m (6–10 ft) between rows depending on the variety
Common Pests and Diseases
Powdery Mildew (Sphaerotheca fuliginea): This disease is favored by high humidity and tends to occur on older leaves first.
Fusarium Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum): Initially the plants show temporary wilting symptoms, which becomes permanent and progressive, affecting more vines. The leaves of the affected plants show yellowing, loose turgidity and show drooping
Downey Mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis): It is prevalent in areas of high humidity, especially when summer rains occur regularly.
The fruit become ready for harvest from 55 – 60 days of sowing. The full grown tender fruit should be harvested at weekly interval by cutting them with a knife.
Health benefits of Ridge Gourd
Ridge gourd is quite lower in saturated fats as well as calories. It really is abundant with dietary fiber, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron, as well as magnesium. A few of the health advantages linked to the ridge gourd shows up below:
- Excellent blood purifier 2. Possessing laxative properties 3.Cure for jaundice 4. Beneficial for diabetes5. Aiding weight loss 6. Anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic 7. Fortifying the immune system. 8. Skin care 9.Good for stomach