How To Grow Bitter Melons

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Often I get bored with just growing the traditional vegetables, so I decide to try something exotic to spice things up. In cases where I need more of a sub tropical climate, I make use of one of my greenhouses such as when I decided to grow mangosteen. Lately, I have been doing some research on how to grow bitter melons.Ho

Momordica charantia, some people know them as bitter gourd or balsam pear, they are more commonly used for cooking in Asia. As suggested by the name, the fruit is bitter and the darker it is the more bitter the flesh becomes. It is also believed to have medicinal benefits which include uses as a digestive stimulant or even a hypoglycemic. The best way to cook it is probably to slice it and then parboil or soak in salty water in order to counteract the natural bitterness.

How To Grow Bitter Melons
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Here’s What You’ll Need:

Although they can thrive in pretty much any type of soil, they do better in deep, well drained, sandy or silt loam soil. There is no need to start seeds indoors or in trays, just direct plant the seeds into the soil after the last frost. The vines grow very rapidly, so try spacing your plants at least 4 to 6 feet apart. Also make sure that you make use of a relatively tall trellis system for support.

As far as diseases and pests are concerned keep an eye out for mosaic virus as well as powdery mildew and sometimes fruit flies. The best time to harvest the fruit is between 12 to 16 weeks from planting. It should be light green in color, pear shaped and about 4 to 6 inches long. Aim to harvest it before it is fully matured otherwise it becomes too bitter to eat. Store in a cool dry area for up to 21 days after harvest.

You can get more information on the Gardening Know How blog, here…

How To Grow Bitter Melons

You can watch the video below on growing bitter melons…

You can watch the video below on how to grow bitter melons from seeds…

You can watch the video below on how to grow bitter melons in containers…

You can watch the video below on how to grow bitter melons in UK & colder climates…

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