What are the pros? Tasty, challenging, healthy
What are the cons? low germination slow sprouting
I TRY to grow bitter melon/gourd it almost every season. It can be a challenge to get the seeds to sprout. Soak your seeds a day or so in a zip lock bag , in a very warm place, before planting the seed in a large peat pot filled with a good starting mix. And patience-it will still take quite awhile for the seed to germinate. Look online, you can find ways to start the seed. Bitter melon needs heat.
The first time I actually got the seed to start, the vines took off, growing fast and lovely in a half a whiskey barrel planter. They need warm weather just like gourds, pumpkins, ect. When I got fruit...I only got 2 from several plants-I didn't know to pinch the vine back then (stimulates side growth-and female flowers).
In the kitchen, try par-boiling the bitter melon in salted water a little before using it. It accents other flavors and while it is an acquired taste, you just might find you like it pretty quickly!
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