Ash gourd is a highly cultivated vegetable throughout India, especially in Kerala. However, this vegetable is entirely native to Japan and Java.
Apart from the name Ash Gourd, this vegetable is also known by the name 'Wax Gourd' or 'Winter Melon' and is used extensively in the confectioneries and variety of dishes.
One can easily grow vegetables at home including exotic veggies too as it requires no particular knowledge but only care and love for plants.
Local Names for Ash Gourd
Indian states come with diverse cultures and languages. Thus, they provide their own names to the fruits and vegetables, which defines their purpose and nature. Similarly, for Ash Gourd vegetable, there are several names by which the locals recognize it. They are –
- Winter Melon
- White Gourd
- Safed Petha, White Petha
- Wax Gourd
- Boodida Gummadikaaya
Climatic and Soil Requirements for Ash Gourd
As Ash Gourd is grown mainly in the South Indian states. It grows well between 24 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius and that too requires humid and heavy rainfall, which are the apt place for them to grow well. But when it comes to the frost regions, this plant gets susceptible.
Ash Gourd can survive in different soil conditions. However, it grows best in sandy loam soil, which is well-drained and has a pH range from 6.0 to 6.5.
The Best Sowing Season for Ash Gourd
The best months for sowing Ash Gourd are January to March and September to December.
Medical Benefits of Ash Gourd
There are many herbs and veggies that help in making strong immunity. Ash Gourd has many health and medical benefits too, making it an excellent vegetable to consume, especially during the season. Let's have a look at them.
Detoxify the kidneys
The intake of ash gourd boosts the secretion of fluids in the kidneys and helps the body eliminate the waste and toxins through the excretory system. After all, this leads to the body's hydration at the best level.
Augments weight loss
If someone is determined to lose weight, ash gourd is an excellent dietary element for them as it accelerates weight loss. Ash gourd's nutritional fibers reduce cravings and make the stomach complete for some time. Ash Gourd for diabetes is quite great as it maintains the body functioning, keeping it energetic, without creating much insulin.
Enhances the Digestive System
The fiber content in the ash gourd prevents bloating, constipation, and cramps which usually arise due to unnecessary and over-eating. Moreover, it regulates the bowel movement inside the stomach, easing the discomfort in the gut.
Regulates the Heart Functions
Ash gourd doesn't come with any kind of cholesterol content, making it safe to consume, even for heart patients. However, it is not necessary to finish it boiled. You can add this vegetable to your different dishes, making it tastier and healthier for your body and cardiac muscles too.
Planting and Irrigation of Ash Gourd
Ash Gourd plants may seem strenuous to be planted, but they are not. While planting or sowing the seeds, you need to keep a few things in mind.
- Sow the seeds in the soil 1 to 2 cm deep.
- Once the seeds are sown, 2 weeks later, go through unhealthy or ingrown plants. Remove them and retain new ones if needed.
- Once the dried twigs start to appear, let them spread on the ground. Ensure that there is enough spacing.
Try going for the planting as per the mentioned steps, and you will definitely get healthy ash gourds growing in your garden. However, you must use 3 to 4 months old seeds for successful germination of seeds.
Once you have sown the seeds, it is time for the irrigation. It is essential to go for irrigation every 3rd or 4th day during the initial stages. When the plant starts bearing fruits and flowers, you must try to go for irrigation every alternate day. There are usually two types of irrigation one can go for. They are –
- Furrow Irrigation
- Drip Irrigation
Protecting Ash Gourd from Weeds, Diseases, Fertilizers, Manures, Pests
For weed control on ash gourds, there is a need for hand weeding, which requires raking up the soil. However, when the crop is grown, one can go for mulching also.
To protect the plant from the different insects, spray malathion or dimethoate. If you find some parts of the fruits and crops to be infected, remove them immediately and put oil of neem in their place. This will prevent fruit flies from damaging other fruits.
Usually, the diseases associated with this plant are downy and powdery mildew, and to protect the plant from them, you need to use the following medicines.
- Dinocap or Carbendazim for powdery mildew.
- Chlorothalonil or Mancozeb for downy mildew.
Harvesting of Ash Gourd (When and How?)
In 90 to 100 days of sowing, the fruits of the ash gourd are ready to be sown. However, sometimes it may take up to 150 days. It all depends upon the local market. According to the need, there are two types of harvesting – immature and fully matured. In the immature stage, the fruits are harvested in 1 week of anthesis, and in the fully grown step, the fruits are exported once they develop a waxy coating on their surface.
Ash Gourd Seeds Buy Online from Urja Seeds
Urja Seeds deals in high-quality ash gourd seeds exporting them to the various areas of the country. It is a trusted brand and is an integral part of Urja Agriculture which is providing high yield seeds online.
You can buy ash gourd online from Urja seeds at a much reasonable rate and of different varieties also. Here varieties of vegetable seeds, flower seeds, micro green seeds along with exotic & herb seeds are also available.
Q1: How to keep ash gourds fresh?
If you want to keep ash gourd fresh, you need to store it in refrigerated conditions. If you find some part of the vegetable to be cut, wrap it with a newspaper and keep it nicely in a cold place.
Q2: Ash gourd alkaline or acidic in nature?
As this vegetable comes with moisture content, it is alkaline in nature.
Q3: Is ash gourd good for kidney stones?
Yes, an ash gourd can quickly help cure kidney issues, including kidney stones. Eating this vegetable will enhance the metabolism and secrete essential fluids in the kidneys, breaking the stones and throwing them out of the body.