White Petha or White Pumpkin is eaten in different ways in every part of our country. Some people like to eat its vegetable, while some people like its sweet dish. If we talk about health, then the name of white petha also comes in healthy foods. To stay healthy, it is very important for us to maintain our diet. We should include some such substances in our diet which are rich in nutrition and vitamin content. White petha is also rich in these qualities.
White petha is green on the outside and white inside and is known by many different names. Like Ash Gord, Winter Melon or Wax Gord. Actually, when the white petha on the vine gets ripe, a white powdery layer gets deposited on it, which sometimes looks like wax in appearance. Hence it has got names like Ash or Wax Gord.
Apart from India, it is also widely used in China. You can consume white petha as a normal vegetable or by making products like juice, sweets and snacks from it. Dietician Rachna Aggarwal from Sirsa, Haryana tells that eating white petha is also beneficial for health. Especially if you are working hard to lose weight, then you can include it in your diet. However, people mostly know about the sweet ‘Petha’ made from it. But it can also be used for vegetable or juice.
It is high in water content and low in calories, fat and carbs. Due to which it is very helpful in fitness. The composition states that it also contains some amount of fiber which helps in keeping the digestive system good. Which is good for losing weight. In addition, white petha contains nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous in addition to vitamins B and C. White petha has diuretic and laxative properties, due to which it protects the body from many diseases.
Diuretic refers to such things or medicines, which are called all those substances which help in the production of more urine. If someone has high blood pressure, then diuretics are given to them so that their blood pressure can be normalized. In this way, if someone is troubled by high blood pressure, then they can include white petha in their diet on the advice of the doctor. At the same time, laxatives are substances that relieve constipation. To keep your stomach clean, you can also include white petha in your diet regularly.
However, it is advisable that you consult a dietician before adding anything to your diet. And if you want to eat white petha in general, then try to eat only organic white petha. Because due to the pesticides used in agriculture, green vegetables which are considered good for health also do damage many times. That’s why Pratima Adiga, who lives in Bangalore, has been growing virtuous vegetables like white petha on the terrace of her house for four years.
grow white petha at home
Pratima tells that you can grow white petha very well in pots, grow bags or old plastic buckets on the roof of the house. If grown at the right time, with the right care, you will get good production. Also, you can store them for some time. You can grow white petha at home using only organic ingredients without using any chemicals. For this, first you need to collect good quality seeds. If you want, you can also store and use the white petha seeds brought from the market.
You can also buy seeds from any seed store or online. White petha grows on the vine and therefore you should plant it in a large pot or large grow bag so that the roots of the vine have a good space to develop. The better the roots develop, the better your vine will develop and produce good fruit. Pratima says that you can sow the seeds of white petha in the months of January-February or in the months of June-July. First of all, soak the seeds for 10-12 hours and keep them. Then sow them.
- If you want to prepare seedlings earlier, fill small pots or seedling trays with soil and cocopeat.
- Now plant seeds in it and water it from above.
- In about a week or 10 days, the seeds germinate and start growing.
- In two weeks the plants will be so large that you can plant them in large pots or grow bags.
Before planting plants in large pots or grow bags, check that they have a good drainage system so that water does not stagnate. Now fill in the normal soil by mixing equal quantity of cocopeat, dung manure and earthworm manure.
- If your pot or grow bag is deep as well as wide, then you can plant two or three plants at an equal distance in a bag.
- Planting the plants, you water them well from above.
- The vine will need good sunlight to grow, as well as some bamboo or rope support. So you can put some wood or bamboo in the grow bag and tie ropes on it.
- You can start fertilizing the plants about a month after planting them.
For compost, you can mix earthworm manure in the pot or you can also give water of mustard oil cake, water of onion peels, water of banana peels to the plants in between. Apart from this, to protect the plants from pests, you can also spray neem oil mixed with water twice a month. But insect repellent should always be sprayed in the evening.
- Keep giving regular water as per the need.
- When your vine reaches 6-7 feet, it should be slightly cut from the top end. After a few days, the vine starts growing into two separate branches from where you cut the vine. And after some time, cut both these branches from above.
- Male and female flowers begin to appear on these branches in about two months.
- If your flowers are naturally pollinated, that’s a good thing. Otherwise, you can do the pollination yourself by hand.
- After about three months, the white petioles on your vine will be ready for harvesting.
Pratima says that you can also use old buckets or tubs for planting vines. In the summer season, when the sun is very hot, you should put shadenet over the plants so that they do not get spoiled.
Editing – G N Jha
Also read: Home or Farm? By saving rain water, we grow 30 types of fruits and vegetables at home
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