Archive for the ‘harrowing’ Tag

POLE SITAO CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

Pole sitao grow well in lowland areas with temperature range of 35’C. It can manage to grow in the areas with low and high distribution of rainfall. The only problem is that the plant is disadvantageous during water-logging and dry season. It can grow in all types of soil from sandy loam to clayey soil  even in acidic soil.

Prepare the land thoroughly. Plow and harrow 3 times. Plow the soil with the deepness of 16 centimeters. Make furrows spaced 1.5 meters between rows to facilitate space for mechanical cultivation.

Let the soil analyzed to determine the correct pH level for the basis of fertilization. The common rate of application to the soil without any soil analysis is 5 bags of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) per hectare. Cover the applied fertilizer with thin layer of soil 3 centimeters thick. Add chicken manure and compost to have a better soil composition.

Plant 3-4 seeds per hill. Make a spacing of 40 cm. apart between hills and 1.5 meters between rows in open areas.  But in areas with available shade (trees or bamboos) make a wider spacing. Estimated to use 4.5 kgs of seeds per hectare.After 10 days from sowing when the seedling started to emerge, do the thinning of weak seedlings and retain only 1-2 plants per hill.

With abaca or plastic twines webbed in between or crisscross to whatever post installed around the plants to support its stem and foliage.

You can do the hand weeding or use animal-drawn implement two weeks after the seedling emergence, during flowering stage and fruiting period. This is to eradicate all types of weeds that may affect the growth of the plants. It is also to allow the soil to aerate during the cultivation making the soil soft and manageable.

Additionally, use mulching to preserve moisture in the soil especially during dry season. Use rice straw or cogon grass.

Water the plants during the onset of dry weather regularly or anytime if urgently needed. Plants needs enough water for their growth and development. During rainy season, there should be enough irrigation canal to control water-logging.

There are many kinds of harmful insects and destructive fungal diseases. Necessary control is needed when detected early. There should be a periodic application of pesticides and fungicides depending on the degree of infection under manufacturer’s direction about the rate of chemical for application.

There are other methods more safe and economical, a  non-chemical controls. Doing crop rotation every  end of the harvest is a good idea. A local systemic control of hot pepper extract to be sprayed to the plants is also helpful to keep beanfly away from the plants one week after planting and next week depending on the degree  of damaged. Aphids can be controlled by the use of soap spray or green-labeled pesticides. Do not use yellow and red label pesticides during the onset of pod bearing. It is not safe for consumers’ consumption. Practice botanical pesticides using hot pepper.

Harvest green pods (tender and soft) 8 to 10 days after flowering.  If it exceed the ideal harvesting period, the pods become fibrous and not palatable for consumption. Pick the pods every 2 to 4 days. To store the harvested pods for a longer time, use coconut water. It can extend its shelf life.

In preparation for the next planting, prepare seeds by harvesting dry pods (matured). Extract the seeds out from the pods and then dry it until the moisture content is only about 10%. Protect the seeds by treating it with insecticides. This is to prevent or disinfect any decay-causing organisms and those insects harboring in the seeds during storage. Secure the seeds by placing it in a sealed container with charcoal to help decrease moisture content.

SUGAR CANE CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   1 comment

There are many varieties of sugarcane. Select a variety that can give better productivity during the crop season. It is also important that the variety you choose is a drought-resistant variety.

Have a good planting materials. Carefully select only those with good quality cane points. It should be a fresh cut. Do not use planting materials that you found to be diseased, very thin, over-aged and some sign of damaged to the cane.

All cuttings of cane points should be treated with fungicides 2 days after to control the disease that will emerge during the growing period. A ratoon cane is more tolerant to dry season because it uses the root system of the preceding cropping to have the necessary moisture for the soil in the first few months of its growth.

If you select a deep-rooting planting. Plow the field deep up to 45 centimeters to break or loosen the soil. Plant the cane points immediately after plowing to minimize the loss of moisture in the soil. Harrow the field, make furrows and start planting. Don’t allow the plowed field to be exposed to the sun while waiting for the schedule planting. It should be done immediately and promptly.

Any leaf-over grass and other trash materials in the field from previous cropping should not be burn.  This will form part as organic materials when decayed. This is to improve fertility of the soil and its soil composition.

While preparing the land, mix cane trash with the soil during the plowing. Incorporate all other waste cane materials like bagasse that started to decompose and organic manure (animal) to improve soil’s ability to hold enough moisture in the soil.

Mulch ratoon with cane trash materials. It helps to reduce loss of moisture through evaporation. In order to have an immediate germination of cane points, plant if there’s enough moisture in the soil especially during occasional raining. It is good to prepare the land and planting activities during the period of wet condition so that enough water can be absorb by the field. If irrigation is needed, do as necessary.

Limit your plant density according to the allowed space distance. Increasing density of the plants will only lead to competition in getting moisture in the soil. Plat the cane points deeply. Place the canes horizontally in deep furrows 30 centimeters from the top of the ridge to the bottom of the furrow. Cover it with fine soil 15 centimeters deep and compact the soil.

Apply basal fertilizer by broadcasting at the bottom of the furrows based on schedule. Don’t apply 100% of fertilizer requirements during planting. Share only part of such requirement. Follow the schedule of basal application.

For ratoon cane basal fertilizer application, it should  be done along the cane row to cover the fertilizer with soil application can be done even if the soil is dry. Top dress the plant only if soil moisture is enough for cane growth.

Minimize tillage of the soil to avoid moisture loss but frequent inter-row cultivation may help to improve moisture of the soil. Proper weed control minimize moisture loose in the soil. Use chemical herbicides in addition to manual weeding to assure that the plants will grow solely without any competition.

Hill up the soil along the cane row. This is to cover the applied fertilizer with soil. During drought period, you should have enough irrigation equipment to do the flooding and sprinkling. You can use drip irrigation to restore rapid water loss due to drought.

BUNCHING ONION CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

A perennial herb cultivated as an annual or biennial. It has a small, elongated bulb. It grow slender, elongated pseudostem forming vigorous clump. Suited in a temperature without too much cold or heat or excessive rainfall.

Use seeds as planting materials. Prepare seedbeds of 1 meter. Mix the soil of animal manure, rice hull in the seedbed. The seedbed should be 1 meter wide. The rice straw above the seedbed is one way to control harmful micro-organisms by burning.

Line sow 3-4 kilograms seeds in rows set across the bed 5 centimeter apart. Distribute seeds lightly with compost. Mulch the area with cogon grass or rice straw to maintain and conserve moisture in the soil. Don’t water the plants in the seedbed too much. Protect the seedbed from direct heat of the sun or heavy rain by using plastic sheets or nylon nets. Protect the plants by using temporary shade against sunlight.

Plow and harrow the land 3 times. Harrow it crosswise to remove all weed seeds and existing weeds from the field. One month before land preparation, apply 30 centimeters layer of rice hull to the entire field. After 2 weeks, burn it. Mix soil with the burnt hull during plowing and harrowing.

With burnt hull, it reduces the occurrence of diseases and weeds. It also improve the soil composition adding fertility to the soil. Apply 10 tons of animal manure to the land before bed preparation. Fertilize it according to its soil requirements. Mulch with rice straw before transplanting.

Water the seedbed thoroughly to soften the soil easy to uproot the seedling to avoid the root to be damage. The field need 7 bags of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) as basal fertilizer. Trim top portion of the leaves before transplanting to reduce transpiration and great chance of plant’s survival.

Transplant  the seeds to the field at the distance of 15 centimeters. Use marker to determine the correct spacing. Use point object to make holes. Plant it deeply to protect the root system. Press the soil lightly to compact it to protect the stem of the plant. Protect the basal portion of the plants. Ensure that the root of the plant is in contact with the soil. Irrigate the plants before and after the transplanting.

Apply the soil with 3 bags of urea (46-0-0) 3 weeks after transplanting. Repeat application 2 weeks from the first application especially if the soil is very low.

Irrigate the soil regularly to give adequate moisture to the soil to make the plants to have a healthy growth. During dry season, watering the plant is urgently needed.

Purple blotch and downy mildew is the common disease of the plant. Take appropriate measures for its prevention.

-Irrigate properly to control excess humidity.

-Remove all decayed plant materials from previous cropping.

-Remove all infected leaves to stop contamination.

-In every planting season, alternate with crop rotation.

-Spray with compost tea, a fermenting compost of 14 days then spray to control foliar disease.

-Practice strict sanitation and cultivation.

The control of pests can be done by spreading rice hull ash to the field.  You can also spray hot pepper extract. If infestation is severe, spray it with commercial fertilizer.

Harvest the plants 2-1/2 months after planting.

BLACK PEPPER CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

Black pepper is a long climbing shrub. A stem with aerial roots at the swollen nodes. The flowers are white and spike. It has a hanging spikes 4 to 12 cm long. It has a color of dull green. It turned into red when ripe or in maturity stage. If already dry, the ripe berries will be black and wrinkled. It has leaves that are ovate, pointed,thick and green. It has many cultivars depending on the  places of production and  location.

It can be grown anywhere in all types of soil. Suitable in loam soil that are well-drained with warm humid climate.

Black pepper can be raised through propagation by seeds or stem cutting. Planting materials through cuttings is most popular because it can be raised easily and fast.

Prepare an area for your black pepper production. Plow and harrow the land thoroughly 2 times to loosen the soil. You need stake support posts for the clinging vines. Plant it at the distance of 2.5 meters x 2.5 meters apart. You can use bamboo poles or other hardwood trees.

Use a distance of 30 cm for the erected post. Put 2 seedlings opposite to each other. To compact the soil, to prevent exposure of roots and prevention of weeds around the plants, cultivate the land as necessary. This is part of the maintenance work to ensure that the plants will grow healthy and bear berries early.

Monitor the growth of the plants. When the seedling reach the height of 1 to 2 feet high, nip off the tips of the vines to induce branching. Nipping of the vines will stop when it reaches to the top of the posts.

Remove any unnecessary branches to give chances of the lateral branches to grow on the main vines. Continue pruning by removing unproductive branches. Apply fertilizer to areas in your growing plants with poor soil. This is needed for its capability to grow fast. Use complete fertilizer (14-14-14):

100 grams – after 6 months

200 grams – after 1 year

600 grams – after 2 years

Use leaves of trees to serve as mulching. Spread it on the surface of the soil. This is the alternate option to further fertilize the soil to have enough nitrogen. Apply pest control immediately for any visible sign of population of nymphs and blue hopper or other insects that feed their young with leaves and young stem. Use contact insecticides at the applicable rate of 1 tablespoon for 1 gallon of water.

If mealy bugs started attacking the young leaves and young berries spray it at the rate of 3 teaspoons per 5 gallons of water.

Control infection of plant diseases like powdery mildew and anthracnose during rainy seasons when humidity to the soil is high. This infection will start at the tip of the leaves by drying out, the leaves will drop early. One way of control is to remove all infected plants and burn it.

The presence of virus to the plants is indicated in the clearing of the leaf veins where the leaves become thickened, undersized, mottled and deformed and stunted leaves. There will be a premature death of the plants if the root system is damage and become rotten due to high humidity. The only solution to avoid the damage of the root is to soak the seedlings in a 2 tablespoons of fungicides before planting to designated areas.

Harvest only those spikes when the peppercorn become cherry red, or from dark green to shiny yellowish green. Twist the spike in one hand while the other hand is holding the peduncle. The spikes be placed in an open container. Using baskets or sacks will do. Harvest only during dry weather to avoid damaging the berries. Harvest once a week.

Place the ripe berries on the mats in preparation for sun-drying. To have a uniform dryness, turned the berries frequently in 3 hours of drying. As soon as the berries become black, it can now be threshed, winnowed. The clean berries will be stored in an ideal airtight container free from foreign materials or to become moist. Keep it dry at all times to avoid molds to affect the pureness of the peppercorn.

AMPALAYA CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   1 comment

Look for an ideal place to plant your bitter gourd. The field should be plowed and harrowed twice to pulverize and level the soil. If the result of the soil analysis indicated lower than 5.8, you have to apply lime one month before sowing the seeds. The rate should be between 1,000 to 3,000 kilos per hectare.

Before sowing the seeds, soaked it in tap water overnight and keep it in the moist cloth up to 4 days.

In order to conserve moisture in the soil, plastic mulch is the answer. This materials is to cover the beds in the field. You have to punch a hole in the plastic sheet based on the planting distance of 50 centimeters between plants in the row and 3 meters between rows.

The advantages of using plastic mulch is that it can prevent seepage of too much water into the plants during rainy season easing mortality rate of the plants. It will preserve moisture in the soil during dry season. With plastic mulch, it serves as repellent to insects hiding under the leaves. It becomes effective especially if the sunlight reflects directly to the plastic mulch. Application of fertilizer will be preserve from leeching as the plastic mulch becomes a barrier. One important aspect of prevention by using mulching is to be free from soil erosion.

Use plastic mulch by stretching it over the plant beds. Hold the edges down by using thin bamboo slats stapled into the soil every 20 centimeters distance.

Sow the pre-germinated seeds to a deep of 2 centimeters. Put one seed per hill. Another option is to use seedlings in the plastic bags. If the seedlings is ready in 15 days then do the transplanting. To protect the seeds sown in plastic bags, it should be sprayed with insecticides. Plant the seeds in the cellophane bag with the measurement of 4 inches in height and 2.5 inches in diameters. Use mixture of soil (sand, garden soil).

Whatever will be your choice, either by direct seeding or transplanting, the growth of the plant will depend on the use of fertilizer. Use organic fertilizer (manure and compost) to the field. The rate should be 10 tons per hectare. Put fertilizer in the hills of the plants or in the planting rows. Mixed it with the soil in the field.

By using seeds, 10 days after emerging from the soil, apply 10 bags of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) per hectare. Use 20 grams of the fertilizer per hill. The fertilizer should be 10 centimeter distance from the base of the plant. Be sure to cover it with soil.

After 3 weeks of emergence, sidedress it with 2 bags of urea (46-0-0) per hectare or 20 grams per hill. Sidedress it every 3 weeks.

As ampalaya is a climbing vines, trellising is an important object in the life of the plant. Put trellis when the plants is already 15 centimeters high. The trellis should be 6 feet high. Use hardwood trees as main post of the trellis. It should be buried 2 feet under the soil. Make interconnection from one post to the other by the use of GI wires. It should be a secondary support (brace) of the post to make it firm and avoid to collapse from the weight of clinging vines.Use fish nets as your side trellis or for overhead trellis. Tie it to the GI wires.

For better growth and development of the plants don’t allow the plants lacking the needed water. A canal is helpful is to avoid water logging. The plants should be in a raised beds when using a furrow irrigation especially during dry season. With furrow irrigation, any excess water can be drain out from the field and plants. Irrigation should be done every 5 days.

Application of insecticides and fungicides is a must. Some insects lay their eggs on the leaves of the plants or to young fruits. When the eggs become a worm, it started eating the plants. If left unchecked and without any prevention the result is that the fruits become deformed. There will be a hole inside the fruits, yellowing prematurely due to infestation. Apply insecticides under manufacturer’s requirements. Spray it during the night when insects were feasting with the plants.

But if you want that the plants is pesticide-free then wrapping the young fruits with newspaper or using plastic bags is the safest way.

The same attention should be given when disease attack the plants. If they are not prevented with the most effective fungicides there will be a reduced yield and unhealthy plants.

MUNGBEAN CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

Mungbean can be grown in a balance distribution of weather (wet and dry). It can be planted whole-year round. Mungbean cannot give good yield if it falls on continues wet season or in the period of drought especially during its flowering and pod development.

It can be planted in any types of soil. A deep and well-drained fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 is most favorable although mungbean can grow in an acidic soil  but the only problem is that it affect the growth of root module bacteria because of the absence of essential nutrients.

Prepare the land thoroughly. Plow and harrow twice. Do four passing in one harrowing. A furrow of 75 centimeters is needed. This is in preparation for dry and wet season. Before planting the seeds, be sure to inoculate it properly using 100 grams of inoculant in 6 kilos of mungbean seeds. Add a little water to the seed and mix it with the inoculant. Coat them thoroughly. Do this before planting. Avoid the seeds to be expose to sunlight.

Planting rows in the space of 50-70 centimeters. Use 30 seeds per linear meter. You need 25 kilograms of seeds in one hectare. Fertilize the plant in the ratio of 30-30-30 kilograms of N,P,K per hectare or 4 bags of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) during planting and sidedressing when the seeds emerge after the period of one week.

During dry season, the plants need enough water. Irrigate the plants during the flowering and pod development. In severe drought, mulch the plants with rice straw in order to conserve moisture.

Remove all weeds in the field 2 weeks after the seedling emerge. Hand weeding is best to use. Hill-up the soil around the plants from 3-4 weeks.

Aphids and leafhoppers are the most notorious insect pests in the life of mungbean seedlings. White pod borer is the pest during the flowering to podding. The attack of this pests cause the flower to drop early reducing the development of seeds. Failed to develop pods was due to insect damage produces low quality seeds. Application of insecticides can control the insect populations in the field.

A powdery mildew can seriously damage the plants in the field. The  soil-borne pathogen is common during wet season. Once the roots is affected the plants slowly dies during high humidity and very cool temperature. The use of fungicide will help to control its spread.

Harvest the plants if the pod almost fully mature. If 80% of the pods dried fully, harvest the pods by hands. The first harvest should be done 60 days from planting. Harvest again after 15 days after the first harvest.

Dry the harvested pods in the sun. If mechanical thresher is available, threshing the pod is easy and fast. Beating the pod by using sticks inside a jute sacks can also be used. Dry the threshed seeds 3 days with moisture content of 12% to be able to store the seeds longer in your storehouse.

TOMATO CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

Tomato can grow in any type of soil. Best in a fertile, well-drained soil. A friable soil with pH level of 6.7.

Select an area suitable for tomato production. The area should be free from soil-borne diseases.

Tomato is more preferable in a warm climate without extreme heat or too much rainfall. A temperature of 29’C in the day or 20″C during the night is the best. Too much humidity affect good yield of the crop. It will develop too much leaves and less fruiting because of excessive drops of flowers. Too much soil moisture can invite soil-borne organism. It reduce aeration of the soil important to the growth of the plants.

There are many varieties of tomatoes. Select a variety that can withstand in dry and wet season.

Tomato is propagated by seeds or cuttings but seeds is the most popular method of raising planting materials. Seedlings can be grown in seedbeds or seedboxes. If seedbox is used, the measurement should be 45 x 30 x 7.5 centimeters. If commercially raised by seedbeds 1 meter wide and 5 meters long.

Use fertile soil mixed with 1 part sand, 1 part compost and 1 part ordinary garden soil.  Sand make the soil porous, absorb enough air and drain the water easily. The compost improves fertility of the soil. The garden soil make the roots hold the plants upright with enough strength.

Treat the seeds before sowing. Sow seeds thinly in shallow furrows to have a uniform distribution of the seeds rather than broadcasting it. Use paper pocket by tapping it gently so that it will drop the seeds evenly. Cover it with fine sand then press the soil to prevent exposure of the seeds during watering.

Water the seedbed or seedbed twice a day to have enough moisture for the seed to germinate fast. It is expected to germinate 4.7 days after sowing. If the seeds already germinated, water it once every 2 days to prevent attack of fungi on young plants.

Hardened the seedling 10 days before transplanting. Expose the seedlings gradually to strong sunlight in the field. The plants will become thicker and less succulent.

Plow the field thoroughly. Harrow it crosswise to make the clods soft. Let the field rest for 7 days to allow weeds to decompose and new weeds  to germinate. Plow and harrow again to bury the decomposing weeds and germinated seeds and allow new weeds to sprout. Plow the field 3rd times and harrow it finally to level the surface of the field.

Fumigate the soil of any sign of nematode infestation within 2 weeks before transplanting. The field should have enough fertility. Mix manure, compost and organic matter and soil before plowing the field.

Transplant seedling if already 3 to 4 weeks old. Apply a starter solution 6 to 7 days before transplanting. Dissolve 4 tablespoon of 16-20-0 fertilizer with one bid container of water.

A day before transplanting, water the seedbox or seedbed thoroughly so that the seedlings can be pulled out easily without harming the roots.

Transplanting seedling anytime of the day. To reduce stress to the plants, do the transplanting in the late afternoon. Irrigate the plants after transplanting.

The ideal spacing should be 40 to 50 cm between hills and 80-100 centimeters between rows. Apply inorganic fertilizers 240 kilograms of nitrogen, 130 kilograms phosphorus, 98 grams potassium. Sidedress nitrogen (120 kilograms) and 48 kilograms of potassium one month after transplanting.

Water the plants regularly especially during the time of less moisture to the soil. Water is very important during plant’s early growth, flowering stage and fruiting stage. At the same time, irrigate the field before harvesting to soften the soil and easy to pull-out.

Tomato plants need constant shallow cultivation. Do it close to the row 2 to 3 times during the growing period especially if the plants are still small. If the plants are already large, do cultivation occasionally to avoid harming the roots.

Use herbicides to control weeds that will affect the growth of the plants. Using hand weeding or shallow cultivation were mostly selected by many farmers. It is the cheapest method of weeds control.

Another way of controlling weeds is by mulching. It prevent sunlight to penetrate the ground preventing weeds germination. Many alternatives are: rice hull, rice straw, cogon grass, sawdust to serve as mulching materials. This will be spread around the plants 2-3 inches in thickness.

After 30 days of transplanting, support tomato stems with stakes and trellis to protect the fruits from bruises and soil-borne diseases. The measurement of stakes 3 meters of bamboo or tree posts, in pairs along the rows 5 meters interval. Use string to the stakes to support the plants.

Spray the plants while growing to prevent insects. If attack by pests especially the fruits to rot and fall-off. Spray it with insecticides regularly. Check the leaves for any presence of beetles. Spider mites suck the plant juices, the reason for the leaves to decay. This is the cause of stunting growth. Follow dosage under manufacturer’s instruction.

The wilting of young leaves and yellowing of older leaves are due to bacterial wilt, causing the root to decay. Apply fungicides. Follow instruction on the fungicides bottle.

Harvest tomatoes when they become mature green, pink or ripe red.

If the farm to market is far from the area, harvest the tomatoes when still mature green. Harvest tomatoes on weekly basis. Avoid harvesting over-mature fruits not ideal for selling to market. It can easily rot while on its way. Harvesting be done late in the afternoon.

In order to lengthen the shelf life of ripe tomatoes, use rice hull as medium in order to prevent rotting. Store only those green but mature fruits. Check that it is free from insect infestation

EGGPLANT CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

It can be grown from low to mid-elevation field. It is best suited in a sandy loam soil but other types of soil like the clayey soil or clay loam will do. Eggplant is raised by seeds.  Prepare seedbed. Line sow 250 grams of seeds in one hectare. Fertilize the seedbed 1 part animal manure and 1/2 part rice hull charcoal. This is to condition the soil to be more fertile and free from nematode infestation.

Make sowing line 10-15 centimeters apart. Water the seedbed before and after sowing. Watering the seedbed will enable seeds to germinate quickly. Mulch the seedbed with rice hull or rice straw to keep weeds to germinate. For the protection of the seedlings, make a partial shade made of coconut leaves.

Water the plants regularly until the time of transplanting. One week before transplanting, remove your temporary shade and expose the plants to full sunlight. This is to let the seedlings have firmness in its stand. Do the transplanting 4 weeks from sowing.

Prepare the land by plowing and harrowing twice. Make furrows 1 meter apart. Spread manure along the rows or hills at 2 handfuls per hill. Then apply complete fertilizer (14-14-14) at 15 grams per hill. Cover the fertilizer with soil lightly.

Irrigate the prepared area before transplanting the seedlings. There should only be one seedling per hill. The distance should be 1 meter long. Irrigate the furrows every 14 days. Sidedress it with urea 10 grams per hill every 4 weeks during its vegetative stage. Use equal parts urea at the start of the fruiting. Weeding be done 2-3 times during the growing period or if necessary.

Mulch the planting area to minimize growth of weeds and to keep enough moisture in the soil.

In order to assist the plants to survive from insect pests, plant the area with insect-repellent plants like garlic, marigold or lemon grass. Their smell discourage the insects to be near the eggplant area.

If attack by tip borer even with the necessary precaution already been done, remove the affected plants with damage shoots and burn them with the insect larvae. Spraying insecticides at the start of its growing period is an assurance that attack from pests can be controlled, minimize or totally eradicated.

Harvest the plants while still in soft condition and shiny in appearance. Harvest as many times as needed. It can reduce the damage of the fruits from fruit borers. Don’t leave defective, deformed, diseased fruits in the plants. Remove them all to prevent is spread to other good fruits.

Harvesting can be done to last 3-6 months or even more depending on the kind of varieties. There are varieties that can still give fruits less than 1 year if properly cultivated.

Make selection of the fruits harvested according to marketability. Pack it in wooden crates to protect it from bruising that will reduce its price. Support and protect it by using banana leaves as packing materials. Place the fruits in the area that is not high in temperature. A cool and airy environment is best suited for temporary storage.

Bury all defective fruits. Or you can use it as compost for the next planting season to serve as compost materials.

BOTTLE GOURD CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   1 comment

A herbaceous, annual climbing plants. It has a long tendrils and simple leaves. Fruits are globular or any other shape depending on the varieties planted. It has hard rind. It has different sizes and form. As vegetable, good to be boiled or stewed.

Plow and harrow the field thoroughly to remove all weeds in the field including those that started to germinate. You need 2 kilograms of seeds enough for 1 hectare. To germinate the seeds quickly, soak seeds in water for 24 hours. Wrap it in moist cloth until it breaks the seedcoat. Sow 2 seeds per hill. Cover the sowed seeds with soil thinly enough to protect it from rain or heat.

Sow the seed in a distance of 1 meter between hills and 4 meters between rows. The soil should be fertile with good aeration capacity. To further enrich the soil composition, apply 20 grams per hill during the planting. Further, sidedress by the application of 10 grams/hill of urea (46-0-0) during the vining of the plants. Apply 2 parts of urea and 1 part of muriate of potash (0-0-60) as sidedressing at the rate of 10 grams per hill after 15 days.

As gourd is a plant vines; it should be accommodated by putting up trellises to protect the fruits from deformation and rotting. The design should be to construct vertical and overhead trellis by using bamboo poles, or wood posts or hardwood trees with connecting materials from post to post with the use of G.I. wires, abaca twines and straw twines. The interconnection will be the concrete support for the plant during its vining and fruiting stage.

Pruning is one way of removing unproductive vines. Let the vines climb in the vertical poles serving as ladder until it reaches the overhead trellis as home during their growing and fruiting stage and support the weight of its foliage and fruits. Prune the lateral (lower) branches of the main stem to have a good branching and fruiting ability.

Make it a point to have an adequate drainage of the field to control waterlogging especially during rainy season.

During dry season, provide enough mulch to conserve moisture in the soil. This is also an adequate because there will be a lesser watering of the plants.

The popular insect pests of gourd plant is leaf folder, yellow beetles and fruit fly. The common diseases were mildew, leaf spot.

It is important to check the plant daily and regularly to see their condition and what necessary steps to be done of any sign of disease infestation and pest problem.

A good sanitation habit is important to control pest and disease. It is important to have a schedule application of pesticides and fungicides during the growing and fruiting period of the plants.

Once the plants started fruiting, utmost attention is needed to harvest the fruits reaching marketable size within 15 days  from fruit set to avoid over-mature of fruits. Harvesting be done as often as needed. Use sharp knives to cut the peduncle 5 centimers from the fruit base.

SQUASH CULTURAL MANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

Squash need a good climate, relatively dry, or warm climate for better growth of the plants. It should have an optimum temperature of 30-C.

Squash can be grown in any types of soil. It is best suited in a sandy loam soil. It should be well-drained free from population of nematodes and bacterial wilt. It is important to select a suitable place to start planting.

Squash can grow in a less cultivated plant. Plow and harrow the field 3 times to remove all existing weeds and new germinated seeds that may affect the growth of the plant later on. This is also to soften the soil, friable and have a good soil composition. Harrow it crosswise twice to assure that emerging weeds is completely remove.

Make furrows of 16 centimeters deep to provide a drainage canal to control waterlogged areas.

Squash can be raised either by transplanting or direct seeding. Most recommended time to plant is during rainy season. Plant seeds in a mound or raised hill. During dry season, plant the seeds on depression when preparing the land. Sow seeds 2-3 pieces per hill. Any weak and disease plants should be remove to be done 3-4 weeks of emergence. It is best if only one healthy plants is raised per hill for fast growth.

If raised by transplanting, prepare a seedbed. Make sure that the soil in the seedbed is fertile, friable with sand as compost.

Transplant the seedling to the thoroughly prepared field. Transfer it 2 weeks after sowing when leaves already develop fully. Harden the seedling by slowly decreasing watering quantity. Expose them to the heat of the sun to reduce shocks during the transplanting to have a good seedling stand. It can also promote better survival of the plant after transplanting. Press the soil gently around the plants’ root. Water it immediately and regularly for 1 week until they are fully established.

The spacing should be 3 meters x 3 meters between plants and rows if planted during wet season. If planted in dry season, the spacing should be 2.5 meters x 3 meters.

Mix animal manure and compost to that of the soil at the rate of 2 kilograms per hill with complete fertilizer (14-14-14) at the rate of 10 grams per hill during planting the seedling. Side-dress with urea 1/2 tablespoon per plant, a month after planting. You have to sidedress it with potash, 1 tablespoon per plant after last cultivation or 2 weeks after the first sidedressing. Side-dress with urea and potash every 15 days.

Mulch surface of the ground to conserve moisture and weeds control during dry season. During wet season, it controls erosion of fertile top soils. It also protect the fruits away from the ground to avoid being damage. Use rice straw or rice hull, cogon grass or bagasse.

Water the plants during its growing period. Apply water by using furrow irrigation.

Spray the plants under designated schedule of application to control pests and diseases at the early stage especially during growing, flowering and fruiting stages.

Strict sanitation habit can prevent insect population and disease infestation. Remove all weeds that will affect the life of the plant. Use hand weeding to protect the crawling vines. It can be done by hilling-up inter-row cultivation. Avoid deep cultivation to protect the root. Minimize application of insecticides during flowering stage to avoid killing insect pollinators that make the flowers into fruits.

Harvest fruits when fully ripe or the peduncles is dried up. Cut the fruits with sharp knife leaving a little portion of stem near the fruits.

Squash can ber stored sufficient or longer time in a dry environment because of its thick rind. Avoid storing bruise fruits. It will start rotting when stored a longer period of time while waiting for a good price  in the market.

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