Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon Oriental Greens Seeds 2565. Heirloom Vegetable.
Approx. 7-10 seeds/pkt (5-7 seeds/gram)
Originated in Africa. Mature in 75 days, weather dependent. Bitter Gourd is definitely an acquired taste. Fruit has thick white flesh and 8 cm to 25 cm fruit–contingent on warm enough weather. Grows 1-2 m in height. Harvest the fruit when young. Grow the same as for cucumbers. Very tasty in stir fries and chicken biryani.
How to Grow
Bitter Melon is a tropical vine. If you have hot summers, Bitter Melon will perform well. Soaking and scarification are required for optimal seed germination. In early June, pre-germinate buffed seed by soaking them in warm water for 24 hours. An alternate method is to dampen a cloth, lay out the seed on it, roll the cloth up and place it in a dark, warm, ventilated area for 3-5 days. Directly after the pre-germ time is complete plant the seed. Bitter melon can also be started indoors in a soil-less mix using plantable peat or paper pots 3 weeks before planting out – remember to pre-germinate the seeds when starting indoors as well. Outdoors, plant seed in a rich organic soil in a very warm, sunny site after the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed – often this is early to mid June. Note: Optimum soil temperature range at planting is 25°C to 35°C. (Very warm indeed.) Sow seed 2.5 cm (1″) deep and 2.5 cm (1″) apart in rows spaced 90 cm (36″) apart. Thin to 30 cm (12″) apart in the row. Plants can be allowed to grow on the ground, but it is preferred to grow the vines on a trellis or other upright support. Water plants only when necessary as they do not like overly wet soil. Harvest fruit early in the morning and cut them from the vine rather than twisting or pulling. Attractive vine and flowers.