Wednesday, May 12, 2010

bitter gourd making a comeback

Suddenly new plants appear one after another. First cucumber, cheerfully germinating, followed by pineapples and now bitter gourds. The first two are first timers, something I never grow before. But bitter gourd is third generation here. 

I was cleaning the gardening shelves one day, and saw a plastic bag full of bitter gourd's seeds collected last year. The fresh seeds are of light yellowish brown  in colour. As they age, the colour develop into darker brown. They looked too powdery on the surface that I thought they were useless. I threw them at the edge of former ulam raja garden bed. Then the other day, as I was preparing the said bed to receive three seedlings of cucumber, I saw little bitter gourd's seedlings, all cramped up, fighting for space. Some were in sorry state... some are struggling ... some were just popping up. 

I was wrong in assuming that bitter gourd seeds have gone beyond the expiry date. Even when the seed coats had changed colour, the cotyledon, shoot apex, root apex and the endosperm were all in tact, ever ready to kick.

I took a few seedlings , and placed them on a new vegetable bed closest to Zephyr Lilies . Bitter gourds are slow, really taking their own sweet time to grow and climb. A simple trellis is already up to persuade them to grow and climb. I remembered the leaves last year, that light yellowish green leaves are pleasing to the eyes. It was fun to see exotic looking fruits hanging down, dangling from the trellis. This is going to be a nice rerun.

bitter gourd
little seedling

bitter gourd
little seedling

bangchik
putrajaya malaysia

12 comments:

  1. You may have gourds of a different color. Wait and see.

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  2. It's a good thing the bitter gourds can't read expiration dates. I love it when the garden gives wonderful surprises like that!

    Christine in Alaska

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  3. It is a very healthy plant as we are researching at the university of Hawaii

    Aloha from Waikiki


    Comfort Spiral

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  4. It is nice to see tiny seedling already forming the actual leaves. I hope it is a fast growing plant. I like bitter gourd. Btw glad you didn't give up on their seeds earlier. Have a great day!

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  5. I have never tried growing them in our vege patch at home, but now am tempted to... after reading your post :) Good luck with them.

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  6. Yuck bittergourd. But good luck in growing it into a beautiful plant!

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  7. when you harvest your bittergourd, I will coem and pick some.

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  8. I love bitter gourd when cook with sambal tumis n prawns

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  9. How fun- I see that you're trying pineapple too! I grew a "snake" gourd last year and saved some of the seeds - I hope to put them in soon.

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  10. ~rainfield61
    Yes Rainnie... I will have to wait.

    ~Christine B.
    Seeds are meant to last for ages. Never underestimate their endurance.

    ~Cloudia
    I love to read the research findings. Grandmother used to say about plants with bitter taste. Most have medicinal properties it seems.

    ~Stephanie
    Thanks steph. I hope they grow and bloom.

    bangchik

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  11. ~Ever Green Tree
    A very interesting plant to grow. First, their leaves are beautiful with light yellowish green. The fruits are exotic!

    ~AaronVFT
    I would suggest if you dont quite like the bitter taste, mix bitter gourd slices with asam jawa or tamarind, the taste will be more tolerable.

    ~Ann
    You are most welcome.

    ~p3chandan
    Yes, that has been the way Kakdah treat bittergourds.

    ~JGH
    Have fun with your snake gourds....

    bangchik

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  12. My bitter gourd is just fruiting too! So excited as this is the first time I'm planting bitter gourd but I let it creep up to my belimbing tree. You have wonderful hands with plants. Love all your plants.

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