Organic Kitchen Gardening and my personal musings

This blog is about my experiments with Organic Kitchen Gardening and sometimes about other personal experiences of my life… Please leave a comment about anything that touched you. Comments help to keep the blogger motivated to keep blogging :)

First Harvest and growth story of Bottle Gourd January 9, 2010

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 2:42 pm

In my earlier post on 21st Dec i had written about the bottle gourd plant that’s growing in my kitchen garden. I had also written about how these kind of creepers just take off and grow very rapidly after a certain stage.

As if to justify what i have already bloged, my bottle gourd has obliged me with it’s first harvest in record time.Here are few pics sequenced by date.

Pics taken on 28th,29th and 30th Dec from left.

I have been applying panchagavya almost regularly on this plant (once in a week that is). I wonder if it’s mainly because of this.

Pics of 31st Dec, 1st Jan, 2nd Jan, 3rd Jan (Day of Harvest)

It weighed little over 0.5 kg and along with few bitter gourd was close to make my family of 2 self sustainable in veggies for a day 🙂

Bottle gourd and bitter gourd

At the moment for every bottle gourd that is growing healthy there are at least 5 or probably 10 which are getting eaten up by the dreaded green caterpillar. The green caterpillar eats up foliage as well as the fruit mostly when it’s tender. Once the fruit crosses a critical growth stage then it’s less prone to attack.

One of the key aspects of organic Gardening is to not fight the pests with chemicals. It’s always advisable to try and pick the pests and dispose them before trying other methods of home made organic solutions (like the garlic paste solution etc…). I am trying my best to live by it. Here is the link to a video i have taken while dealing with one of the caterpillar who annoyed me no end. Enjoy!

But it’s always hard to manage pests like these, even in a kitchen garden and it’s definitely not scalable. Hope to do more search and reading on how to deal with these little fellows by home made organic solution in future. For the time being am just looking forward to more harvest of bottle gourd. Happy Gardening!!


17 Responses to “First Harvest and growth story of Bottle Gourd”

  1. Revathi Says:

    It is amazing how fast the bottlegourd grows in size.
    How do you apply Panchagavya to the veggie plants – do you spray or apply near the root?


  2. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raj:

    The bottle gourd looks really yummy! Such a delicious feeling you must be having while harvesting the same… I too have planted cucumber which is 40 days old and which is bearing both male and female flowers currently! Cucumbers occupy me even in my dreams now!

    I read that garlic spray is effective for caterpillars: Ingredients are garlic (2-3 bulbs), chilli powder (1-2 tbs), liquid detergent (2 tbs),vegetable oil (1tbs) and water (7 cups). You can put them all in a blender , mix and then strain through muslin, a coffee filter or similar. Pour what you need into a spray bottle for use. Kerosene also has the ability to burn pests.

    BTW, I managed to get in touch with a farmer in Krishnagiri who has supplied me PG. He is willing to distribute in small lots to Kitchen garden/terrace garden enthusiasts.

    Meena K

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Meena,

      It was surely very yummy!

      I had tried the plan garlic and pepper paste combination, but didn’t work well, in fact the leaves too were burnt. Will try out your suggestion today.

      Regarding PG, how does the fellow plant to distribute and arrange the logistics part? Is it possible for him to come and deliver at some fixed place ?

      • K. Meena Says:

        Hi Raj:

        Pls visit I am in touch with Hari Prasath, MD of this company. He came to Bangalore in person and delivered PG to me. I am meeting him again this Sunday, will get more details about the logistics part from him and keep you updated.

        Meena K

  3. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raja :

    I am delighted to update you that we harvested our first cucumber today. The feeling was just too wonderful.

    I have a couple of doubts. I transplanted some seedlings as I noticed 100% germination rate and the seedlings were crowded. Well, the ones that are not transplanted are really generous in growth and are very healthy , while the transplanted ones have dull green leaves, show stunted growth , and generally look weak. Is there any way I can help the latter out?

    My second doubt is how I do I know when the life cycle ends. I sowed the seeds on Dec 1st , fyi.

    I have not succeeded in bottle gourd. Any suggestion where I can get good seeds?

    Also, for the Panchagavya foliar spray, did you do it weekly or fortnightly?

    Meena K

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Meena,

      am delighted to hear the new of harvest. look out for aphids though! to answer your questions:
      1. What could be wrong with the transplanted ones – Cucumber are known to be hard to transplant. Take special care of watering and sunlight for them. For recently transplanted ones arrange for some shade.
      2. Towards the end of their life, the vine will start to dry and the produce will reduce significantly. so, it’s should be easy to spot.
      3. I do the panchagavya spray once a week mostly.


  4. A patient gardener that you are, Raja, are kind with those pests, but when my garden space was conquered by the pests, I had to resort to cruel means…

    • rajapanda Says:

      Thanks Chandramouli,
      Being a apartment dweller and kitchen gardener for the sake of hobby gives me that luxury i guess 🙂


  5. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raj:

    A couple co cucumber related queries from me :

    1. The cucumber plants , with seeds sown on Dec 1st and first flowering on Jan 13th, have yielded well so far (35 great cucumbers from 6 plants). Now, the plants have stopped flowering completely, is it a signal of shutting down? There are still small cucumbers present. I thought cucumber’s life span is 3 months. Isn’t it too early? It is some other problem, could you let me know what can be done to promote flowering?
    2. The cucumber leaves also show a lot of patterns, and they are turning slightly pale. I applied a foliar spray of Garlic/chillies/baking soda thinking it could be fungal problem. I will e-mail the pictures to you. If you could tell me what the problem is, it would be very helpful.

    Meena K

  6. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raj:

    Wanted to share some good news on bottle gourd. I had two plants, about 3 months old now, they have yielded 8 bottle gourds, each averaging 1.5 kgs. It was lovely to see them grow after hybernating for some time. One grows on a permanent trellis and it has adapted very well; it is still going strong. The second one, which I tired taking horizontally using ropes, did not grow so profusely. It was fun , doing hand pollination as the flowers bloom late evenings.

    Meena K

    • rajapanda Says:

      That’s really very heartening update Meena.
      I am now growing cucumber, they are just starting to yield.


  7. Laxmi Chandra Jain Says:

    How to controll bitterness problem in Spongue Gourd.

  8. jaspreet Says:

    all of you folks are crazy like me, i also support a kitchen garden and totally become obsessive compulsive with it, i grow bhindi, ghia, kerela,cucumbers etc etc, depending on the season.

  9. Juliet Says:

    Hi, I came across your page when I was searching for the different stages of growth of the bottle gourd. After reading everyone’s comments, I feel like I have to leave a comment even though I know you folks are living in a totally different area than me. I just started a raised vegetable garden in my backyard and seeded both bitter gourd(melon) and bottle gourd in July this year. Since my soil is bad (limestone), I purchased several bags of top soil, chicken manure, perlite, peat moss and black gold (earthworm castings) and mixed them up in the raised garden. I’ve read a lot about earthworm castings but I have not used them in large amounts until now. What is very amazing is that there has been no weeds growing (its been 2 months now) among both the vines and I don’t see any pests except for a few tiny spiders. Both plants (I seeded more than 10 of each) are growing extremely healthy and in record time, flowered and a few days later, I see little gourds already! I am certain the “trick” here is the BLACK GOLD. Its the best thing for your garden, acting as fertilizer and pest control and best of all, its totally organic. I also seeded okra (in Asia we call it “ladies finger”) and the plants are amazingly healthy and again, no weeds, no pests! Try it – you’ll be amazed with the results as well.

  10. Munazza Says:

    Hi Raj,

    Even i have started growng bottle gourd…can u share what kind of nutrients do you add to the soil.
    Thanks Munazza

  11. greg Says:

    is it true that if you leave the bottle gourd fruits on the plant, the whole plant will die? do we really have to harvest the fruit to avoid the plant from dying?

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