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Bitter Gourd

 Scientific Name : Momordica Charantia L.
 Family : Cucurbitacea
 Colour : Light Green
 Common names : Bitter gourd, Bitter melon, Bitter cucumber, Karela (Hindi), Balsam pear, Balsam apple
 Best Season : Throughout the year
 Nutritional Value : 44 kcal, 5.6 g protein, 290 mg calcium, 5 mg iron, 5.1 mg vitamin A, 170 mg vitamin C per 100 g serving.
RECIPES  
Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd is a fast growing warm seasonal climbing annual, native to South Asia. Considered one of the most nutritious gourds, the plant has medicinal properties. A compound known as 'charantin' present in the bitter gourd is used in the treatment of diabetes to lower blood sugar levels. The plant also has a rich amount of Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, phosphorus and carbohydrates. There are several varieties available, having fruits 3-4 inches to even 12inches in length.

This vine has a slender hairy stem with numerous branches and dense foliage. The plant grows up to 6 feet tall and develops small, yellow flowers both male and female, on the same plant. The fruits are green usually oblong, has an irregular surface with warts and 8-10 vertical ridges. When ripe, the fruits turn yellowish orange in colour.

Propagation and Planting :

Mainly a warm season plant, bitter gourd thrives in hot and humid climates. Propagation is through direct seeding and transplanting. The best medium for the seeds is a fertile, well drained soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.7, enriched with organic matter, such as compost or dried manure. But it will tolerate any soil that provide a good drainage system. The soil must be prepared well by adding organic matter before planting.

Two or three seeds can be sown together in a pit 1/2 inch deep. Water lightly. For better results soak the seeds in water 24 hours before sowing. The seeds will germinate in 2-3 days. The germinated seeds can be replanted on raised beds 18-20 inches apart. Transplants should be done in such a way as to avoid disturbance to the root system. As the plants grow, place poles 2m.high and give wire or twine supports in rows across the poles.

Regular watering with plenty of water is essential for its growth. Flowers will start appearing in 5-6 weeks and fruition will occur between two to four months. Mature fruits are ready to be picked within3 months from planting and they will be light green and juicy with white flesh but bitter. Pick the fruits every 2-3 days when they are still at the tender stage. Regular picking is important as fruits will become more bitter as they mature and it can also hamper the growth of new fruits.

Leave some fruits to reach full maturity if they have to be reserved for subsequent crops. When fully mature, the fruits will break open on its own and release brown or white seeds which can be collected.

Problems and Care :

Vines should be pruned at the tips when female flowers start developing to encourage branching and fast bearing. Regular fertilizing is essential for its growth. Water immediately after applying fertilizers.

Bitter gourd is susceptible to many diseases and insect pests. It is susceptible to watermelon mosaic virus, other cucurbit viruses and powdery mildew, which can be controlled by sulfur dust. Rust disease is controlled by spraying foliage with oxycarboxin. The fruits are subject to attack by various fruit flies and fruit rots. Pests attack on fruits can be prevented by wrapping fruits with newspapers, when  they are about a few centimetres long.

 Bitter Gourd recipes

Bitter Gourd Pachady   Bitter Gourd / Pavakka Recipe
Stuffed Bitter Gourd   Pavakka (Bitter Gourd) Mezhukkupuratti
Bitter Gourd Dishes    
Questions of
 Questions & Answers
 1.  Posted on : 20.8.2013  By  :  Shibu Daniel , Jaleeb Al Shoukh View Answer (2) Post Answer
 

WHAT TYPE OF CLIMATE IS SUITABLE FOR CLOVES TO GROW?

 
A1: 

how long will it take to grow plant

  Posted By :Sumaiya , vijayanagar | On 8.3.2017
A2: 

Cloves generally require a humid, warm tropical climate. you could get more details from the following link

https://www.webindia123.com/garden/herb_spi/clove.htm

  Posted By :Rhea , Kochi | On 13.5.2015
 2.  Posted on : 28.8.2012  By  :  Srinivas , Hyderabad View Answer (2) Post Answer
 

Ever time i grow ladies finger plants, they are stunted, they dont grow more than 1 feet height, they just flower poorly and dry. Does it specifgy any nutrional deficiency??

 
A1: 

Use indian cow dung and urine as fertilizer. You should get good result. Also use non-hybrid seeds.

  Posted By :Kiran , Pune | On 23.2.2015
A2: 

Request you to kindly purchase good quality of seeds, pls verify your soil is ok or not, if not pls mix soil & compose approx 70/30 share and put ur seeds 3days in sunlight before panting.

  Posted By :Alok Kayal , Secunderabad | On 2.1.2013
 3.  Posted on : 17.1.2012  By  :  Gangadhar , Secunderabad View Answer (0) Post Answer
 

Am planning to cultivate pumpkin and thinking to sow seeds in january month end is there any risk and what will be the average yeild per acre at maturity.

 
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