Wednesday, March 24, 2010

F1 Hybrid White Bitter Melon

Plant Description
The scientific name for bitter melon is Momordica charantia. Climbing plant resembles a cucumber vine, with a sprawling growth habit, curly tendrils, and bright yellow flowers. The fruit is white color and can grow up to 20-25 cm long. It is less bitter than normal green bitter gourd.

How to grow
Bitter gourd is a fast-growing fruiting vine that grows well in hot, humid climates with daytime temperatures of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers well drain soil and full sunlight location. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours prior to planting. Sow two to three seeds together at a depth of 1/2-inch deep. Water the planting area immediately after sowing. Bitter gourd seeds will germinate in two to three days. Manually pollinate the plants if insects are not available in the area. Flowers will appear on the plant five to six weeks after planting. Touch the male flowers to the female flowers to transfer pollen. A successful pollination will result in large portion of the flower growing into a fruit.

Tips: The fruits are often protected and covered using paper sleeves, by closing the top end but keeping the bottom end open, to block the sunlight exposure and to minimize skin scratch during the fruit growth, to obtain beautiful fruits.

Maturity & Harvest
Days to maturity is 80-90 days.

Nutrition Info
Rich in Beta Carotene, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamins A, C, B1 to B3, Phosphorus and good dietary fiber

Health benefit and Uses
Lowering blood sugar levels, effective herbal remedy against diabetes.

Cooking info
Stir fried with egg, broiled with soup, Stew with chicken meat or stuffed with meat.