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Vegetables : Bitter gourd, snake gourd and ridge gourd in 1 acre
seeds sowing
plant harvest
Irrigation : Drip irrigation
Layout : Farm Yard Manure application in raised bed
Row spacing : 12×14 feet
Rabi season
Crop spacing : 5 feet
Sowing : 2 or 3 seeds at horizontal position per hole
 Drip irrigation : 20 minutes/acre
Ploughing : Yearly once
Basal fertilizers : Farmyard manure, Poultry manure, vermicompost
Insect protection : Using light traps, pheromone traps,  Trichogramma parasitoid, herbal insecticide, Panchakavya, Jeevamirtham, Amirthakaraisal- 3G mix (garlic, ginger and green chilli)
Steps in Trellis based Vegetable cultivation

Mr. K.V.Palanisamy adopted the following practices to sustain the soil health, to give poison free food and to enhance the natural resources of land to produce higher yield and more income.


Primarily the field is ploughed using 5 tine or 8 tine tractor plough. After the secondary plough, bunds are prepared with a row spacing of 12×14 feet in the North- South direction. Further rectification of beds and channels are done manually. About 9 tonnes of farmyard manure is applied to the field and a thin layer of soil is spread over it.  Again 2 kg of Azospirillum, 2 kg of Phosphobacteria and 2 kg of Pseudomonas are mixed with 25 kg of cow dung or ash and broadcasted to the field. Vermicompost is applied and pit humps are raised to ¾ feet height to form pits for every 5 feet distance to facilitate drip irrigation.


The seeds are selected based on the soil type. The seeds are treated with cow dung slurry for 24 hours prior to sowing.

Crop Varieties/ Hybrids
Bitter gourd 1024, Poly F1, Nayan 23
Snake gourd Local variety (snake gourd- dwarf)
Ridge gourd NS 3, WS 4, SR 20 and Neelam
Lab lab NS, Mallika and local variety
Cucumber Kanone F1 and local seeds
Bitter gourd seeds (Variety – Rider)
Direct sowing of bitter gourd seeds
Direct sowing

Sowing should be carried out based on biodynamic calendar. About 500-550 pits/acre are prepared and only 2 seeds/pit are sown horizontally. As a precaution to overcome poor germination, indirect sowing is also followed.

Note: Biodynamic agriculture is a method of farming that aims to treat the farm as a living system which interacts the environment, to build healthy, living soil and to produce food that nourishes and vitalizes and helps to develop mankind.

Indirect sowing

Single seed is sown in 150 ml capacity plastic cup containing a mixture of coconut coir waste and cow dung or ash for about 200 cups. The seedlings are irrigated using rosecane. The sapling starts to emerge after 9-10 days. Panchakavya is sprayed at 300ml/10 litre of water after 14-15 days of sowing. These seedlings are transplanted to ungerminated pits.


Irrigation should be done daily either in the morning or in the evening. The watering should also be carried out twice, if the temperature rises beyond 40°C. For an acre, 15-20 minutes of irrigation is ideal. Irrigation should be continued till the end of the harvest.

pandal rope Growth

Two plastic pipes of ¾ feet height are buried in each pit after 18 days of sowing. One end of the rope is tied to the stick and the other end to the trellis. The emerging creepers are spread over the rope for enhanced growth and production.

Plant growth regulator

Manual weeding is followed on 18-20 days after sowing and the field is allowed to dry for two days. Jeevamirtham is prepared and mixed with 20 kg of neem cake extract and poured into the pits. To maintain the soil health, fishmeal, arappu powder +buttermilk mixture and neem cake or castor cake is applied at 15 days interval.

On 70th day, 5 kg of farmyard manure is applied to each pit. This will increase the production of earthworm in the soil. At 20 days interval, panchakavya is applied regularly.

light trap
Setting up of light trap in bitter gourd field
Setting up of pheromone tap in coccinea field
Crop protection

Four light traps and 3 pheromone traps are placed in the field after 60 days of sowing.Early in the morning, the insects are removed from the pheromone traps and burried.  For better flowering, arappu powder +buttermilk mixture is applied on full moon day.

A mixture of neem oil, pungam oil with resin soap mixture is applied at 20 days interval. At alternated hot and cold period, a mixture of traditional cow buttermilk and unripened coconut water is applied.

By using light and pheromone traps the mother insects are destroyed. Biopesticide @ 8-10 ml/ 10 litre of water is sprayed at 12-15 days interval.

Butter milk solution preparation at his field
Panchakavya preparation at his field


Waste materials from kitchen is collected and applied to the pits to avoid direct sunlight and to maintain the soil moisture. Black plastic sheet can be spread on the field to reduce weeds and moisture loss.


  • Vegetables start emerging at 60-65 days of sowing.
  • Harvesting should be carried out before 9.30 am at 3 days interval.
  • The harvesting continues until 90-100 days.
  • The harvested crop can be stored for 7 days without any damage.

The crop wise yield is mentioned below:

Crop Yield (t/ha)
Bitter gourd 20-25
Snake gourd 40
Ridge gourd 15-17
Lab lab 15-17
Cucumber 25-28
snake gourd
Field photo of organic Snake gourd
ridge gourd
Field photo of organic Ridge gourd
bitter gourd
Field photo of organic Bitter gourd
Field photo of organic Coccinea
bottle gourd
Field photo of organic bottel gourd
Field photo of organic Lab lab

Marketing: The produce is sold based on market price. Proper post harvest practices and transport facilities helps to expand his market and get higher returns.

snake gourd
Harvested coccinea in gunny bag ready to sale
Bittergourd packed for marketing

New strategies for higher vegetable production:

  • Groundnut cake 10 kg, coconut cake 10 kg, cotton seed cake 10 kg, neem cake 10 kg are soaked in water separately and allowed to ferment for four days. Mix these solutions and add 1.5 kg phosphobacteria, 1.5 kg azospirillum and 1.5 kg humic acid into it. Spray this solution to the plants at 20 days interval to get more yield.
  • Mix 200 ml of sour buttermilk and 100 g of Pseudomonas in 10 litres of water and spray this solution at 20 days interval.
  • Spray 3G-solution (ginger, garlic and green chilly solution) at 20 days interval.

Cost of cultivation (per acre)

I. Trellis cost:

Pillar cost:

Pillar height 8 feet, pillar-to-pillar distance 12.5 feet, pillar distance inside the fence 25 feet.

No of Pillar outside trellis : 70
No of Pillar inside trellis : 42
No of Pillar in the corner : 8
Total no of Pillars : 120




Cost of 1 Pillar = Rs.335
Total Pillar cost = 120 x 335 = Rs. 40,200/-

String cost

String for outside trellis (4 gauge)

String length : 420 feet
String Width : 420 feet
Stay string : 1300 feet
 Total : 2140 feet
  • One kg =18 feet string (Approximately 120 kg string required)
  • 1 Kg string = Rs.70/-
  • Total cost for 2140 feet string (120 Kg)=120×70=Rs.8, 400/-
String for inside trellis (8 gauge)

South-north direction : 3740 feet
East-west direction : 3740 feet
Total : 7480 feet
  • One kg =32 feet string (Approximately 235 kg string required)
  • 1 Kg string  =Rs.74/-
  • Total cost for 7480 feet string (235 Kg)=235×74=Rs.17, 390/-
Netting cost for inside trellis (16 gauge)

South-north direction : 32130 feet
East-west direction : 32130 feet
Total : 64260 feet
  • One kg =200 feet string (Approximately 350 kg string required)
  • 1 Kg string  =Rs.74/-
  • Total cost for 64260 feet string (350 Kg)=350×74=Rs.25,900/-

Total Cost for trellis construction:

  • Total string cost= Rs. 91,890/-
  • Labour cost for trellis construction: Rs.25, 000/-
  • Total trellis construction cost: Rs. 1,17,000/-

II. Drip irrigation cost:

Number of pits per acre = 550
2 inch PVC pipe 240 feet- 12 length size = 40 kg
1.5 inch PVC pipe 240feet – 4 length size = 10 kg
One kg = Rs. 53
Total cost  (50 kg x Rs.53) = Rs. 2650
16 mm lateral hose  (780m x 4) = Rs. 3120
12 mm lateral hose (240m x3.25) = Rs.780
8 mm lateral hose (200 m x1.50) = Rs .300
16/8 mm T & 12/8 mm T (600 x1.30) = Rs. 780
8 mm tap (600 x1.00) = Rs. 600
2 inch ball valve (4 x125) = Rs. 500
Other fitting cost = Rs.1000
Total cost = Rs.10,000
  • Trellis cost:  Rs. 1,17,000
  • Drip cost: Rs.10,000
  • Total cost for trellis: Rs.1,27,000/-

Trellis: An amount of Rs.1,27, 000 is required for preparing trellis using pillar stone and fencing trellis including drip cost.

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