The name itself says that cutting down 1st and 2nd generation branches and obtaining yield from 3rd generation branches is known as 3G cutting. In better terms, it can be explained as ‘ a scientific process to get higher production from plants by increasing numbers of female flowers in the plant by practices like trimming and pruning of 1st and 2nd generation branches’. Generally, 1G branches and 2G branches have more no. of male flowers than female (approx. in the ratio of 14:1) whereas this ratio goes up to 1:2 in 3G branches.
Now, what is 1G, 2G and 3G?
Basically, 1G refers to the primary branch of the plant whereas 2G refers to secondary branches and 3G refers to tertiary branches. So, when growth of 1G and 2G branches is deprived, it leads to the growth of tertiary branches which consist of good numbers of female flowers.
Why 3G cutting?
Obviously, the answer to this is clear. We all know fruits develop from female flowers. That doesn’t mean there is no need of male flowers but male flowers are required for pollination and one male flower is enough to pollinate many female flowers. So, to increase the numbers of female flowers and to increase production 3G cutting is the best scientific technique for farmers.
Generally, 3G cutting is most popular and successful in cucurbits plants like; cucumber, sponge gourd, bitter gourd, pumpkin, bottle gourd etc. as well as in plants like eggplant, chilli, lady finger.
When to do it?
In this,we talk about when and how to do 3G cutting in cucurbits plant.
1. Plant must be allowed to grow to a height of 6-8 feet. 2. Any branches that grow before the 5th leaf stage of the plant must be pinched off. (to ensure good strength of plant)
3. When the plant reaches the required height, the tip must be pinched off to support growth of 2G branches.
4. The tip of 2G branches also should be pinched off when they have 12 leaves. (cause it supports optimal female flower growth) 5. After a few days, 3G branches start developing from 2G branches and further after a few days, we can see flowering in 3G branches. In which, the number of female flowers are generally more or equal to male flowers of the same branch.
*For small plants, plants should be of height of 6-7 inches.
Cut surfaces may be attacked by fungal diseases but growth of fungus should be checked out and if required fungicide should be used.
Plant may be bushy, which doesn’t allow sunlight to pass properly. So, unnecessary growth of 2G branches should be checked and trimmed if necessary.
We must check out for pollinators. Because unless there is good pollination, production won’t be high. We can also do hand pollination.
This practice is hard to do on large farms. As it requires well care and management.
It requires experienced labor.
May cause death of plants due to fungal infection.