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.