Smooth Bitter Melon
Mướp đắng, or Bittermelon, is one of our most important medicinal foods packed full of nutrition and ancestral magic. It is a staple in Southeast/South Asian cuisine and has its roots in Africa. In our garden, we grow a long smooth variety and a smaller spiky kind. We do not isolate the different varieties far enough to prevent cross-pollination - we are OK with this as it creates our own Resilient Roots bittermelon. These were taken from our long, smooth ones.
Days to maturity: 60-70 days
Seeds per pack: 20
Planting / harvesting notes
Direct sow outdoors after the last threat of frost has passed, or get a head start and sow indoors a couple weeks beforehand. For better germination, soak seeds overnight before planting. The plant will use as much trellising as you give it!
Seed keeping notes
Seeds are ripe when the fruits turn a fiery orange-red. If you wait too long to harvest, they will pop open and drop their seeds, which are covered in a sweet, red gel. Remove the seed coat and dry the seeds in a well ventilated place away from direct sunlight. I have found that smooshing the seeds in a cloth bag will help remove the seed coat more efficiently.