If you live in an area with a predominantly Asian population, you've undoubtedly seen bitter melon. As its name suggests, bitter melon is a fruit that is part of the watermelon, cucumber, and squash family, and, is also extremely bitter. If left to ripen for too long, the bitter melon becomes too bitter to even eat, and that is why it is harvest when it is younger and usually pickled, stuffed, or sliced into a variety of different culinary items. Today we'll show you how to grow bitter melon in your own garden so you can reap the benefits of this very exotic fruit!
How to Grow Bitter Melon in Your Garden
Wanna know how to grow bitter melon? You've come to the right place! Today we'll go with you step by step and show you exactly how to grow bitter melon, care for it, and harvest it! So let's roll up our sleeves and get to planting!
Bitter melons are mostly grown in tropical and subtropical climates but can grow in almost any type of soil!
Planting Bitter Melon:
- Before planting, make sure to have a trellis ready as bitter melon has rapidly growing vines.
- Make sure that each trellis is at least 6 feet tall and 4-6 feet apart.
- Grown as an annual crop, bitter melon seeds can be purchased either online or at your local nursery.
- Start planting when all danger of frost has gone.
- Plant seeds directly into the ground in any type of soil. Bitter melons DO prefer deep, well draining, sandy or silt loam though.
Caring for Bitter Melon Plants:
- Bitter melons are susceptible to the same type of diseases as squash and cucumbers are, so make sure to keep a close eye on them.
- Water regularly.
- Make sure the trellis is high enough for the vines to climb.
Harvesting Bitter Melons:
- Harvest BEFORE maturity.
- Harvest 12-16 weeks after planting, or once the fruit reaches 4-6 inches in length.
- Fruits should look pear shaped with light green skin and a few yellow streaks.