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Video: How To Grow Momordica
Momordica is a tasty and medicinal vegetable plant
Many exotic vegetable crops grow in our beds. One of them is momordica, a vegetable that belongs to the numerous pumpkin family.
Momordica has many popular names. It is also called donkey cucumber or Indian cucumber, yellow cucumber, crocodile cucumber, mad or bitter melon, Indian giant, etc. Momordica can be successfully grown not only in the open field, but also on the windowsill. Probably, this, as well as the exotic appearance of this plant, has made it very popular with gardeners lately.
The motherland of Momordika is China, Japan, the countries of South Asia. However, it can be grown not only in the south, but even in the latitudes of the middle zone of our country. Practice has shown that momordica can be successfully grown in greenhouses and greenhouses on a personal plot, as well as on a bright balcony and on a windowsill as an indoor culture.
Despite the tropical origin of this plant, momordica grows in our garden. Even a short summer is enough for its fruits to ripen. Her leaves are tripartite, flowers are simple, yellow. Male and female flowers differ in shape. The fruits have small papilla-shaped outgrowths. The color of momordica fruits is bright orange, yellow or white. Its fruit has an elongated shape, the length can be from 5 to 50 cm, depending on the variety and species. The taste of the fruit is close to that of a ripe pumpkin. The seeds are large, in the form of a turtle's shield, flat, rounded with lobed edges, have a very unpleasant odor.
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Anyone can grow momordica, because it is not at all difficult. However, there are still some features that must be taken into account if you take up this business. Before sowing momordica seeds into soil extract, they must be scarified by simply rubbing the sharp tip of the seed against a piece of sandpaper. And after scarification, the seeds must be disinfected.
After pre-sowing treatment: scarification and disinfection, Momordica seeds should be placed in a pre-moistened cloth or toilet paper and placed in a warm place (with a temperature of about + 25 ° C). Thanks to this, they will germinate much faster. Spending very little time treating Momordica seeds in this way will greatly increase their germination. Once the seed coat is cracked, it can be sown in seedling pots. The nutritious mixture for the Momordica is prepared "fatty".
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To do this, mix 10 kg (approximately a bucket) of garden soil with 10 kg of coarse sand and 5 kg of leaf humus or compost. The soil should not dry out until the seeds germinate, so always keep it moderately moist. Since momordica is a thermophilic plant, it should be planted in open ground no earlier than in the second half of May. We transplant young, still immature plants together with a lump of earth so as not to damage the delicate roots.
After transplanting, every 2-3 weeks we feed momordica with yeast nutrient solution, diluting 10 g of yeast in 1 liter of water. It won't be long after planting in the ground, and Momordica will thank you for proper care with a gorgeous look of its decorative foliage, bright yellow flowers smelling like jasmine, and a little later - exotic fruits.
Momordica's fruits are lumpy, as they grow, they change their color - from dark green and light white to bright orange, depending on the variety. But this is by no means the only feature. The main secret of the Momordica fruit is its shape, which changes as it ripens. Ripening, they open and outwardly become very similar to a crocodile, which has opened its mouth, from which bright crimson seeds, covered with dense jelly-like pulp, peep out. By the way, it is for such an amazing resemblance that momordika is also called a crocodile cucumber.
Types and varieties of momordica
Momordica varieties Taiwan White
Momordica balsamic is the most medicinal type of all momordics. For medicinal purposes, seeds, fruits, berries, leaves, and stems are used. Fruits are small, bright orange.
Momordica harantia - you can get up to 50 fruits from each bush. These fruits are of an original, round-fusiform shape, up to 15 cm long. Outside, they are covered with papillary projections. When fully ripe, the fruits acquire a bright orange color and crack into three lobes, revealing ruby pericarp with seeds.
Momordica is long - fruited - the fruits are strongly tuberous, resemble crocodile skin, in technical ripeness they are green, in biological ripeness they are orange, they are up to 20 cm long.
Momordica variety Japan Long - fruits up to 60 cm long, cylindrical, elongated. In technical ripeness they are green, in biological ripeness they are yellow. Inside the fruit is a berry up to 2 cm in diameter, very sweet, like a persimmon.
Momordica large-fruited - the fruits are round, large, when ripe - orange.
Momordica variety Taiwan White - fruits are round-fusiform, when ripening, their color gradually changes to orange, they are up to 20 cm long, large.
Read part 2. Healing properties of Momordica →
Valery Brizhan, experienced gardener