First time try, I was not very successfull. Actually I planted it wrong time, just before my summer holidays. I could not take care of it, still happy with the results. I could harvest about five. My hardwork paid off.
Snake gourd, also known as serpent gourd, is a tropical vine plant that is commonly grown in South and Southeast Asia. Its scientific name is Trichosanthes cucumerina, and it is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes other plants such as pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons.
The fruit of the snake gourd is long and cylindrical, resembling a snake, hence the name. It can grow up to several feet in length and is usually green or white in color. The fruit has a tough, waxy skin and a hollow, spongy interior filled with seeds.
Snake gourd is a popular ingredient in various Asian cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, and Filipino. It is often used in curries, stir-fries, and soups, and can be cooked with other vegetables and meats. The fruit is also believed to have medicinal properties and is used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, such as fever, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, snake gourd is also grown for ornamental purposes, as the long, twisted fruit can make for an interesting and unique decorative piece.
How to Grow Snake Gourd?
Snake gourd is a climbing vine that produces long, cylindrical fruits that are commonly used in Southeast Asian and Indian cuisine. Here are some general tips on how to grow snake gourd:
- Climate and soil: Snake gourd thrives in warm climates with temperatures ranging between 25-35°C (77-95°F). It prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The pH level of the soil should be between 6.0 and 7.5.
- Seed preparation: Soak the seeds in water for about 24 hours before planting to help soften the seed coat and promote germination. Alternatively, you can also scarify the seeds by nicking them with a sharp knife or rubbing them gently with sandpaper.
- Planting: Sow the seeds directly in the soil, about 1-2 cm deep and 60 cm apart. If you’re starting the seeds indoors, plant them in biodegradable pots or seed trays about 4-6 weeks before the last frost.
- Watering: Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Snake gourd needs plenty of water to grow, especially during the flowering and fruiting stages.
- Fertilizing: Snake gourd responds well to organic fertilizers such as compost, manure, or fish emulsion. Apply a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
- Training and support: As a climbing vine, snake gourd needs support to grow properly. Install trellises or stakes to provide support and guide the vines as they grow.
- Harvesting: Snake gourd takes about 60-70 days to mature from seed. Harvest the fruits when they are about 30-60 cm long and still tender. Do not let the fruits become too large and tough, as this will affect their taste and texture.
With proper care and attention, snake gourd can be a rewarding crop to grow in your garden or farm.