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56-63 Days to Maturity (after transplanting). Momordica charantia. Bitter Green Bitter Gourd Seeds. Non-GMO, warm-season, annual, hybrid. This bitter gourd produces a generous crop of large, heavy, and uniform fruits with distinctive vertically scored, shiny, and warty light green skin. It prefers warm, humid conditions. Fruit measure up to 12-13 inches and 3 inches in diameter. The leaves and young shoots are also edible; it is recommended as a healthy food by the American Diabetic Association. Approx 195 seeds / oz.
Other Common Names: African cucumber, alligator pear, amargoso, ampalaya, balsam pear, bitter cucumber, karella, bitter melon, daun peria katak, dau peria, foo gwa yip, fu gua, fu kwa, fwa kwa, jin li zhi, karawila, karela, kaveli, kho qua, ku gua, la kho qua, lao pu tao, maha, mara, muop dang, niga uri, palia, pare, pare pahit, paria, peria, peria katak, phakha, reishi, ssunoi, or tsuru reishi.
How to Grow Bitter Green Bitter Gourd
Plant outside when the risk of frost is past. Bitter gourd prefers temperatures of at least 65°F for germinating. Wait until it is consistently warm before direct sowing outdoors. For improved germination rates, pre-germinate seeds inside by soaking them in water for a day. Then, cover the seeds in a damp paper towel and keep them warm (75-85°F). For more detailed information, see our article and video about sprouting hard gourd seeds below.
Maintain moisture in the soil during the growing time. Add fertilizer if needed; train to climb a vertical support for more air circulation and an easier harvest. Hand pollination is a must. To lessen the bitterness, prevent pest damage, and slow the ripening process, shield the developing fruits from direct sunlight with a paper bag.
Harvesting Bitter Green Bitter Gourd
Harvest this variety when it is between 5 and 13 inches long. Cut the bitter gourds from the plant before they are ripe; they should still be firm but, ripening happens quickly.
These gourds are very bitter before being cooked. Remove the seeds and pith, and then cook the slices as desired. Bitter melons are stuffed and used in soups and stir-fries. The young shoots and leaves should be parboiled and then rinsed before being cooked like greens.
Tips From Our Gardeners
“Anyone who has spent significant time in Southeast Asia has a soft spot for bitter melon. Bring that nostalgia to your garden this year!”
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