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The name of this plant is such due to its bitter taste of the fruit.

Though many people found this very

disgusting, Many people around the world like this plant for its unique flavour. Below are some of the
important facts about growing Bitter Gourd:
Soil: Though it can grow in any type of soil from sandy loam to clay loam, A fertile, well drained soil
with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal for growing bitter gourd. Add a bit of compost at the time of soil
preparation to feed the plant. Once the plant starts bearing flowering you need to add fertilizers to
tackle its voracious appetite. Bone meal, blood meal or some fish emulsion may be a very good choice
for this plant.
Weather: It is a plant of the humid weather condition, with day time temperature ranges between 70 to
80 degree F. 6 hours of direct sunlight is very much necessary for optimum growth of the fruit.
Planting: Sow 1 or 2 seeds at 2 cm depth. Though you can also use trays to germinate them, they
generally don't transplant very well. They are very fast growing vines. So give them something to climb
on to. It is best to plant the them near the fence.
Bitter gourd requires lots of water. Regularly water the plant and you will get flowing very soon (within
5-6 weeks). As a matter of facts with some of the varities you can get mature fruits within 3 months of
planting. are ready for harvesting
Care: little bit of pruning in the form of removing the growing tip of some lateral branches is required.
Doing so will stimulate the higher branches and will produce higher yield.
Fruits are susceptible to various rots. One of main ways to reduce the probem is to use trellis. Trellis
the veins, it will definitely reduce rotting problem. You will get hanging fruits and harvesting would be
much easier. In case you are not using them cover the soil with mulch of dry leaves to protect the fruits
from getting moist.
Harvesting: Bitter gourd is a member of the cucurbita family and like all other members of the family it
also bears male and female flowers. It is the male one which blooms first, followed by the female ones.
The degree of bitterness varies as per the maturity of the fruit. Smaller and immature fruits are more
bitter than the mature ones. Harvest them when they are 4 to 6 inches long. while they are green. You
have to pick the fruit when they are still green and firm. Fruits which become spongy or yellow are
over rippen.
Store them in a plastic bag inside a refrigerator. For more tips on storing of vegetables use this link.
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