Futo Spindle" a.K.a bitter melon, karalla, and balsam pear. Asian vegetable

Bitter Gourd

$ 2.94 

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Gourd
Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia)
Also known as:
African cucumber, alligator pear, balsam pear, bitter cucumber, bitter gourd, bitter melon.
Overview
Bitter Gourd is one of the most popular vegetables in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, India and the Philippines. Bitter Gourd, also called Bitter Melon, has an acquired taste. The plant is grown mainly for the immature fruits although the young leaves and tips are edible. Bitter Melon seed has hard skin and needs warm/moist soil conditions during germination. It may fail or take a long time to germiante if the soil temperature is too low. Bitter Melon is a long-season, high-humidity and warm-climate vine plant and needs to grow along supports.
NOTE: Bitter Melon needs insects to carry out the pollinating process for setting fruits. If the insects are not available in your area, the pollinating process can be done manually, by picking up male flowers and transferring pollens (face-to-face touching the center part of flowers) to femal flowers. Femal flowers have a fat section between the flower and vine stem. This process should be carried out when flowering is active during the daytime. If the pollination is success, the fat portion will grow into full size fruit.
This Japanese variety is an easy and vigorous grower. The large climbing vine produces yellow flowers and 6-8" dark green fruits with heavily warted skin. The vine can grow 12' long and has a high tolerance for heat. Young leafy shoots can also be harvested. Widely grown in Japan and other tropical Asian countries. Bitter gourd is also called bitter melon, karalla, and balsam pear.
Warm season annual
Maturity: Approx. 70 days
Planting season: Spring/summer.
Culinary tips: Bitter melons are excellent in soups and a tasty addition to stir-fries. Try them stuffed with pork, seafood or cooked with fermented black beans. Recommended as a healthy food by the American Diabetic Association.
Cultivation: Prepare fertile, well-drained soil. In warm areas, sow seeds in spring/summer after last frost in a warm, sunny location. Low soil temperatures may result in low or no germination. For better germination, pre-sprout seeds indoors by soaking in water for 24 hours. Wrap in wet paper towel and keep warm. Plant when seeds sprout. Keep soil moist. Fertilize as needed. Train to climb a vertical support for better air circulation and ease of harvest.

Materials:

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