Many cucurbitaceae gourds are annual plants. They love rich soil, and usually have flourishing vines. This is why trimming and fertilizing are top concerns of many farming beginners.
Principles of Trimming
There are two main benefits of trimming the vines of your gourd. It is good for the growth of the plant, and good for fruiting.
For the growth, trimming can result in better ventilization, therefore lowering the risks of diseases, while also encourage intake of sunlight for photosynthesis.
For the fruit, trimming allows concentration of nutrients to the fruit that you aim to harvest, better fruit setting, thus a tastier fruit or higher volumne of harvest.
However, it is important to remember that your trimming target are the lateral shoots. Do not trim too many leaves, otherwise it will also decrease the functioning of photosynthesis.
Principles of Fertilization
Gourds love nutrients! Especially Wax Gourd (Wintermelon). Apart from basal fertilizer, you are advised to side-dress your gourd in the following 3 stages: when it starts to develop roots after transplant, during its blooming period, and when your fruit starts to swell. You can apply fertilizer with small amount but frequently, except for Wax Gourd which needs relatively heavy fertilization.
Take a look at some of our tips from experience!
Pruning can prevent the risks of diseases
Moving On to Each Species
Our collections of watermelon is a seed breed collection cultivated in Southern China, thus are relatively tolerant to humid and rain.
- Trimming: Keep 2~3 vines, set fruit after 12th nodes. 2~3 fruits can be set with one plant.
- Side dressing: 2~3 times when your fruit starts to swell. Watermelon does not require heavy fertilizer
Same as watermelon, our pumpkin collection is also cultivated in Southern China, tolerant to humid and rain. Avoid too much light (including street light) for female flowers to bloom.
- Trimming: Keep 3 vines
- Side dressing: KaiKai and MeiMei may require side-dressing 1~2 times, LaiLai may require relatively less side-dressing if plently of basal fertilizer was applied.
- Wax Gourd Jasmine Trimming
Although Wax Gourd Jasmine can be set both on main or secondary vines, but it is advised to prioritize the main vine at the early stage of your plant. Remove all lateral shoot underneath the first female flowers (50-70cm). Allow nodes to stay close to the earth in order to develop more roots for nuitrients obsorption. Set fruit starting at 10~12th node, 4~5 fruits can be set
- Wax Gourd 162
Fruit set on main vine, set fruit starting at 10~12th node. A maximum of 2~3 fruits can be set
Basal fertilizer should be composed of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), with greater proportion of N and K, like our organic fertilizer. After plants recovered from transplant, you can apply thin layers of fertilizers for one to two times. Add P, K, and boron before blooming. 1~2 times of heavier side-dressing is recommended after fruit set.
Look out for the right time to save your gourds from fruit flies
Bitter gourd and cucumber are most susceptible to fruit fly
Female flowers of ridge gourd
Want to know more?
We are constantly updating our growing and seed stocking experiences. Check out our SEED BLOG. Let's talk about harvesting next time!