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Green Skin Bitter Melon

Momordica charantia

A delicious gourd with health benefits!

AKA Chinese bitter gourd. The fruits are excellent in broths, soups, or stir-fries, and the leaves and shoots are also edible. Bitter melon is high in quinine, which gives the fruits their distinctive, mildly bitter taste. It is also used in traditional medicines for treating diabetes and digestive issues. This variety grows 8-10" inch long, green, thin-skinned fruit on vigorous vines. The slightly warty fruits should be harvested green and when under 8" long and 3" in diameter; once they begin to turn orange and ripen, the taste is less pleasing. Fruits are best prepared by removing the inner pith and seeds, then slicing into half moons or rounds, tossing them in some salt, and letting them sit for 30 to 45 minutes to help draw out some of the bitterness and excess liquid.

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Sow indoors 2-3 weeks before last frost, or direct sow after last frost and when soil has warmed significantly. Provide fertile soil, a sturdy trellis, and plenty of space. Harvest fruits when they are 4-8" long and 2-3" in diameter, before they turn orange.

Days to Germination 10-20
Days to Maturity 70
Planting Depth 1"
Spacing in Row 9"
Spacing Between Rows 36"
Height at Maturity 108"
Width at Maturity 24"
Sun Preference Full Sun

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