Gourd Seeds - Bitter Melon

(Momordica charantia) Annual. 70 days to maturity.

Bitter Melon is a tropical vine with origins in Africa and Asia. This is an excellent, open pollinated, Asian Bitter Melon that produces fruit up to 8" long and 3" in diameter. This is a HEAT LOVER! It has green skin with large smooth warts. The leaves and leafy shoots are also edible. Bitter gourd is also called bitter melon, karalla, and balsam pear.

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Important Growing tip: Bitter Gourds like warmer temperatures. Plant only in late spring or early summer when risk of frost is well past. Bitter gourd seeds require temperatures of (18 C) to germinate, but for best results wait until it is consistently warmer than that before direct sowing outdoors. 

Seeding: Prepare fertile, well-drained soil. In warm areas, sow seeds in late spring/summer after last frost in a sunny location. For better germination, sprout seeds indoors by soaking in water for 24 hours. Wrap in wet paper towel and keep warm between (23-29 C). Plant when seeds sprout. Keep soil moist. Fertilize as needed. Train to climb a vertical support for better air circulation and ease of harvest. Low soil temperatures may result in low or no germination

Harvesting: Harvest bitter melon about 12 to 16 weeks after planting and 8 to 10 days after blossom drop when the fruits are 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) long. 

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