Petha is cultivated as a pumpkin category crop. It is also known as Kumhra, Kushmanda and Kashiphal. Its plants spread in the form of vines. In some species, the fruits are found 1 to 2 meters long, and a light white powdery coating appears on the fruit. Vegetables and ripe fruits from the raw fruits of Petha are used to make Petha.
Apart from this, Chyawanprash is also made from it, by consuming mental power increases, and minor diseases do not appear. It is more profitable farming at less cost, due to which farmer brothers prefer to cultivate Petha. Moreover, for its production Swaraj 963 is used. It comes at an economical range.
Petha Production in India
Petha cultivation in India is mainly done in western Uttar Pradesh state. Apart from this, Petha is cultivated in almost all of India, including Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
Soil, Climate & Temperature
Petha can be cultivated in any fertile soil. Loamy soil is considered suitable for its good yield. It can be quickly grown on the land with proper drainage. The P.H. of the land in its cultivation.
A tropical climate is required for the cultivation of Petha. Therefore, summer and rainy seasons are suitable for its cultivation. Still, the cold temperature is not ideal for its cultivation because its plants cannot grow properly in cold weather.
Petha plants initially grow well at average temperatures, and seeds germinate correctly at 15 degrees. After seed germination, a 30 to 40-degree temperature is required for plant development. The Petha plant is not able to develop ideally in high temperatures.
Field Preparation & Fertiliser
First, the field’s soil is deeply ploughed with turning ploughs. After pressing, leave the field open like this because the sunlight gets appropriately in the field’s soil. Then the first ploughing of the field, 12 to 15 carts of old cow dung manure have to be given per hectare in the form of natural fertiliser. After applying manure in the area, two to three slant ploughs are done, due to which the dung manure gets adequately mixed in the field’s soil. This, water is applied to the area, and when the water of the field dries up, it is once again ploughed with a rotavator, due to which the soil of the field becomes friable.
After this, for planting seedlings in the area, Dhorenuma beds are prepared at a distance of 3 to 4 metres. Apart from this, if you want to use chemical fertilisers, you need 80 KG DAP. Therefore, spraying is to be done based on per hectare at the time of the last ploughing of the field. After this, 50 K.G. nitrogen has to be given along with plant irrigation.
Petha seeds are planted in the form of sources. Before planting the seeds, please treat them with an appropriate amount of Thiram or Carbendazim. About 6 to 8KG seeds are required in a one-hectare field. These seeds are planted in ready-made beds in the area, and the seeds are produced at a distance of one to one and a half feet at a depth of 2 to 3 cm. And for planting methods, a Swaraj 742 is suitable.
Summer and rainy seasons are suitable for planting Petha (pumpkin) seeds. Apart from this, germs can also be produced from February to March. In hilly areas, sowing of sources can be done even after March.
Petha plants require moderate irrigation. No initial irrigation is needed if the crop is planted during the rainy season. But the plants must be watered if there is no rain on time. If the seeds have been planted in the summer, the plants need more irrigation. During this, the plants must be watered twice a week, and due to this, the plants develop properly.
Weed control is more needed in Petha crops. Since its plants grow in the form of creepers, many diseases are seen in the plants. This disease affects the yield more. Therefore, the natural method is used for weed control. Its initial weeding has to be done 20 to 25 days after transplanting, and the subsequent weeding has to be done at an interval of 15 days. Its plants require only three to four hoeing.
The fruits of Petha are harvested for two types of use. If you want to break the fruit to make a vegetable, you can gather it raw, and ripe fruits are harvested to make various things. After harvesting the fruits, they are sent to sell in the market. About 400 to 500 quintals are obtained in one hectare of field. The market price of Petha is also excellent, due to which farmer brothers can easily earn one to two lakhs from its one-time crop.