Bitter Gourd (Momordica Charantia)
Garden Box Size: 30cm(W) x 45cm(L) x 33cm(H)
Overall Height (from base of Garden Box): 119cm(H)
- Bitter Gourd is a vining plant.
- It has deeply lobed leaves and grows in a fashion similar to squash, cucumbers, and watermelon producing vines 13 to 16 feet long if left unpruned.
- Fruits are oblong and either smooth or warty, usually, about 8 inches (20 cm) long but fruits can vary in length between 2 and 10 inches (5-25 cm) long.
- The fruit shifts in color from green to yellow to orange as it ripens and over-ripens.
- The flesh has a watery, crunchy texture, similar to a cucumber.
- Its common names are Bitter gourd, balsam pear, karela, bitter cucumber, bitter squash, African cucumber, alligator pear, ampalaya, goya.
- Plant bitter melons in compost-rich, well-drained soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.7.
- Prepare growing beds in advance of planting by adding aged compost and aged manure.
- Bitter melons can tolerate less desirable sandy- or siltly-loam soil but good drainage is essential.
- Aged compost will feed melon plants.
- You can also add a slow-release organic fertilizer such as 5-10-10 around plants early in the season.
- Side-dress plants with aged compost during the growing season to add nutrients and to help retain moisture in the soil.
- To give plants boost water with compost or comfrey tea every third week during the growing season.
- Bitter gourd thrives in late spring when the summer is just picking up.
- The crop should receive a minimum of six hours of bright sunlight every day until the seeds germinate.
- Keep bitter melon planting beds evenly moist; regular water is essential for fruit development and growth.