3G Cutting in Plants

Different types of intercultural operations are essential to get optimum performance of plants in terms of growth, development and production. 3G cutting is one of them which has been found to directly improve the plant’s performance in terms of production.


Introduction: 3G cutting technique

3G cutting is a revolutionary technique for increasing your yield per plant especially cucurbits such as cucumber, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, pumpkin etc. even in a small patch of land. It has also been identified to be fruitful in some other plants like brinjal, chilly, tomato and okra.

Plants relating to cucurbitaceae family are hermaphrodite i.e. they produce male and female flowers. The number of fruit set depends on the ratio of male to female flowers. Higher the number of female flowers higher will be the fruit set which in turn gives higher production. The ratio of male to female flowers can be maintained by an easy handy procedure called 3G cutting which will increase your yield to a greater extent.


What is 3G cutting?

3G means 3rd generation in any crops. This is the procedure to maintain 3rd generation (tertiary) branches on plant by eliminating the 1st (primary) and 2nd generation (secondary) branches by cutting or pinching. The stem that develops as main branch since the seed germination is referred as 1st generation. When the 1st generation branch produce other branches those branches are referred as 2nd generation branches. Further when 2nd generation branches produce branches those are referred as 3rd generation branches.

Different studies suggest that the 1st and 2nd generation branches of cucurbitaceae family tend to produce more male flowers than female flowers almost at the ratio of 14:1 (male: female). Therefore, fruit set is seen very low in these branches despite of heavy flowering. Whereas, 3rd generation branches tend to produce more number of female flowers than male flower. Hence, application of 3G cutting techniques along with adequate pollination conditions set more number of fruits per branch and plant leading to higher production.


 Procedure for 3G cutting (Steps of 3G cutting)

1. The plant should be allowed to grow up to the height of 6-7 feet. The primary branch produced from the seed should not be allowed to produce any secondary branches i.e. within 5-6 lower leaves and if produced should be removed by pinching them off. This makes the base of the plant strong.

2. Then, the apical portion of the growing branch is cut. This will break the apical dominance and plant is induced to produce the secondary branches.

3. Now, these secondary branches are allowed to grow up to 2-3 feet by keeping their number up to 3-4 branches.

4. When the secondary branches reach the height (2-3 feet), they are again cut along the tip of branch. This process induce the production of tertiary branches.

5. Finally the tertiary branches are allowed to grow and set fruit.


Special attention

  • Plant should be at proper sun shining area during 3G cutting.
  • Soil should be adequately moist during the procedure.
  • Plant may be prone to diseases due to the cut, which can be easily minimized by maintaining sun exposure and moisture.
  • Suckers should not be allowed to grow till the plant acquires the required height. Such suckers should be pinched off at their initial stage.
  • Keeping the number of branches to the minimal helps easy sun penetration and airflow which is essential to keep the plant healthy.


Drawbacks and challenges of 3G cutting

1. Requires technical manpower with technical capabilities for this sort of intercultural operation (3G cutting).
2. Tedious job as it requires regular attention and cutting.
3. Cutting wound posses high risk of diseases infestation.
4. Production is slightly delayed despite ensuring high production.




Barsha Bhandari

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