What exactly is a winter melon? Today we’ll give you a little crash course on how to grow winter melon as well as what exactly it is and how to care for it! Winter melons are also called white gourd, white pumpkin, Chinese watermelon, Chinese preserving melon, Benincasa, Hispida, Doan Gwa, Dong Gwa, Lauki, Petha, Sufed Kaddu, Togan, and Fak. Basically, each region that grows this fruit has a different name for it! So with so many names, what is a winter melon? Winter melons are grown in warm regions, specifically Asian and south Florida and are a variety of musk melons. One of the largest fruits ever, the winter melon is about a foot long and can weigh up to 40 pounds.
The outer layer is hard and waxy and grows on curly vines, much like watermelons. The sweet, edible flesh, is white with tiny little seeds and can taste a lot like zucchini squash. The really interesting thing about winter melon is that once harvest, can keep for 6-12 months when stored in a dry, cool area.
Keep reading to find out how to grow winter melon in your garden and reap the benefits of this extremely interesting fruit!
How to Grow Winter Melon in Your Garden
Planting Winter Melon:
- Winter melons have a long growing season and are usually harvested in late fall.
- To get ahead, you may sow seeds indoors and transplant once soil temperatures have reached 60F.
- If sowing directly outside, sow seeds in good quality potting soil once the temperature has reached 60F.
- Choose a sunny spot.
- Do not put up a trellis: winter melons love to spread all over the ground so make sure you have enough space!
- Water your winter melon on a regular basis, and make sure it has enough sun.
- Other than that, winter melons are pretty non-fussy!
What to Do With Winter Melon:
Winter melons have a multitude of uses in the kitchen, so many so in fact, that they truly could be unlimited!
- Use in soups and stews
- Stir fryes
The possibilities are endless!