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Bitter Melon Seeds

Useful gardening information

A mainstay of local oriental produce markets, especially during the warm summer months, bitter melon is a common vegetable consumed by millions around the world -- not only in the Far East, but also in many Central and South American and Caribbean countries. In the western hemisphere, it seems to be better known as an annual ornamental vine than as a food, with lovely, deeply cut leaves and bearing pretty fruits called balsam pears that ripen to a dramatic orange red.

Its bitterness comes from the high concentration of quinine it contains, which incidentally, is the reason why it is regarded by Asians, as well as Panamanians and Colombians, as a valuable drug for preventing and treating malaria.

The vast majority of Americans who have tried bitter melon probably found the experience quite unpleasant, not something they would ever want to repeat. But really, bitter melon is a delicious vegetable -- when cooked right and when latent taste buds on the tongue are given the chance to become acquainted with the most misunderstood and maligned of the five primary flavors. Moreover, it is immensely nutritious.

Rich in iron, bitter melon has twice the beta carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, twice the potassium of bananas, and contains vitamins C and B 1 to 3, phosphorus and good dietary fiber. It is believed to be good for the liver and has been proven by western scientists to contain insulin, act as an anti-tumor agent, and inhibit HIV-1 infection.

Sowing Instructions

Direct seed melons in hills 4 ft. apart each way after soil temperature has reached at least 65 degrees. Plant 8-10 seeds per hill, later thin to 4 plants per hill. Cover with 3/4-1" of soil.

Informative articles found on the web:

What is Bitter Melon?
National Bitter Melon Council
Medicinal Properties of Bitter Melon
Bitter Melon Recipes

1A119 Common Foo Gwa
(Momordica charantia) Tasty mild bitter fruit gives delicious flavor to stir-fries and Oriental dishes. 5”-8" white-green colored bumpy fruit turn a beautiful deep orange. When overripe they pop open. The seeds are covered in a good amount of bright red jell, that tastes like cherry candy. Ornamental vines give good yields. They thrive in hot weather and are not bothered by insects or wilt. Aka Balsam pear, it has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. Can be hard to germinate.
  5 seeds $1.95
W223 White Pearl Hybrid
(Momordica charantia) This hybrid variety grows beautiful white bitter melons that are very marketable in the marketplace, attractive in your backyard and tasty on the dinner table. Tender and high quality fruits with slightly bitter taste are very popular in Taiwan, for stir-fry, salad, stuffing and soup. Fruits are 6-9 inches long and about 3 inches in diameter. In Taiwan, fruits are often protected and covered using paper sleeves, by closing the top end but keeping the bottom end open, to block the sunlight exposure and to minimize skin scratch during the fruit growth, to obtain beautiful fruits.
  5 seeds $3.95
W211 Small Baby
(Momordica charantia) This is a unique bitter melon, very popular in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Small fruits in size of 40-60 grams are ideal choice for stuffed food and gourmet cuisine uses. Plants grow vigorously in warm climates and are very productive.
  5 seeds $2.95
IP147 Green Queen Bitter Gourd
(Momordica charantia) Green Queen is a new hybrid variety of Indian long green bitter melon. Long fruits (20-25 cm) have dark green skin with sharp and scattered tubercles. Plants are very vigorous when growing in warm and rainy climates. This variety starts to producie fruits in 45-50 days after sowing. Very popular in subtropical and tropical Asia
  5 seeds $2.95
W224 Hong Kong Green
(Momordica charantia) This spindle-shaped fruit has dark green and relatively smooth skin. Fruits are 8-10 inches long and about 1 Lb. in weight. This variety is very popular in Hong Kong and widely grown in Canton, China and Southeastern Asia.
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W225 India Baby Hybrid
(Momordica charantia) This hybrid is developed recently by a leading seed company in India. This small size bitter melon, ( about 3 inches x 1.25 inches long ) and just over an ounce in weight, is very popular for making stuffed cuisines. This vine plant is strong tolerant to heat and rain, suitable for growing in tropical climates. Plants grow vigorously and first fruit pick can be obtained 50 days after sowing. Dark green fruits are very delicious.
  5 seeds $3.95
JF139 Large Top
(Momordica charantia) This Bitter Melon is very popular in southern China. Fruits are in top shaped with large square shoulder. Dark green skin Bitter Melon can grow to reach 400-450 grams in size. The plant grows vigorously in warm climates and is resistant to rain, suitable for growing in tropical regions.
  5 seeds $3.95
IP145 Baby Doll
(Momordica charantia) This is a new hybrid variety of small baby bitter melon developed by a leading seed breeder in Thailand. Dark green fruits are only 30 grams in weight, ideal size for stuffed gourmet food. Plants grow vigorously and begin to produce fruits, 45 days after transplanting, and continue to bear lots of fruits for a long time. Easy to grow, excellent variety for home gardening and fresh markets.
  5 seeds $2.95
IP146 India Long Green
This is a typical variety of Indian Bitter Gourds and is very popular for Indian cuisines. An unique appearance of Indian Bitter Gourds is teeths on the fruit skin. This variety produces long green skin fruits, 8-12 inches in length and about 1/4 Lb. in weight. The plant grows vigorously in warm climates and bears lots of fruits for a long time.
  5 seeds $2.95

Wax Gourd Seeds

Sowing Instructions

Direct seed melons in hills 4 ft. apart each way after soil temperature has reached at least 65 degrees. Plant 8-10 seeds per hill, later thin to 4 plants per hill. Cover with 3/4-1" of soil.

Wax Gourd, also called White Gourd, is a fast-growing, long-season, warm-climate vegetable. The plant produces fruits on vines, like the pumpkin on ground, which can grow up to 50 pounds. Fruits can be stored in a cool place for months and used later in the winter season. Thus this gourd is called Tong Qwa, meaning "Winter Melon" in Chinese. The unopened fruits can be kept fresh for a long time, but the flesh shall be used in cooking within a few days once the fruit is cut into pieces.

Note: Wax Gourd needs insects/honey bees to carry out the pollinating process for setting fruits. If the insects are not available in your area, the pollinating process can be done manually, by picking up male flowers and transferring pollens from male flower to female flowers (by face-to-face touching the center part of flowers). This process should be carried out when flowering is active during the daytime.

Informative articles found on the web:

Tips on Growing Wax Gourd
Recipe: Wax Gourd Stir Fry
Recipe: Wax Gourd Corn Sparerib Soup
Recipe: Stuffed Wax Gourd
W222 Wonder Wax
(Benincasa hispida) Wonder Wax is a high yielding hybrid variety. Plants are very vigorous in warm climates, producing large fruits in 110 days after sowing. Fruits are oblong in shape, 5-6 Kg in weight and greenish white in skin with waxy coating at maturity. Pure white flesh is very tender and delicious.
  5 seeds $2.95
3439 Long Giant
(Benincasa hispida) This variety produces large size Winter Melons, up to 30 pounds. Large fruit has green skin without wax and pure white flesh inside for vegetable uses. This is one of the most popular Winter Melon varieties in southern China and subtropical Asia.
  5 seeds $2.95
3440 Large Round Tong Qwa Hybrid
(Benincasa hispida) This variety produces large size Wax Gourds, 15-20 pounds, that are very popular in Japan. Very productive and easy to grow. Seeds are in thin/flat shape and relatively light in weight.
  5 seeds $2.95
JF148 Thai Small Hybrid
(Benincasa hispida) This is a new small size hybrid wax gourd developed by a leading seed company in Thailand. Fruits with light green skin and white flesh are uniform in shape and weight, 1.0-1.1 Kg. Plants grow rapidly in warm climates and first fruit can be harvested in 65 days after sowing. This high yield variety adapts well to various soil conditions.
  5 seeds $2.95