The Bitter Melon Diary

This has been one difficult year for the bitter melon seeds to germinate. I have tried three different times in a month hoping some seeds can crack open the tough shell. Finally, some germinated. Today we had a plant-the-seeds ceremony. Five seeds were ready to go in the pot. We called the first seed Mr. Kwan. So funny.

After planting the seeds, it is important to keep the potting soil moist but not too wet. We take the pots out in the sun during the day and take them back in the evening. Now we wait and let nature do its thing.

Six more seeds are ready to go in the pot. We are going to have bitter melon seedlings.

We only grow Chinese long beans and bitter melons from seeds. We buy vegetable seedlings at the store. This year we have two tomatoes (Sweet 100 & Celebrity), four Jalapeño peppers, and ten Chinese long beans. They were planted in the ground about two weeks ago, doing good. Our garden is just behind the house. The seedlings are quite safe even if the weather gets bad.

I took this shot this morning. See the new leaves? Are they pretty or what? Next week we can put them in the ground. They should be bigger and have more leaves by then.

We will keep the best five seedlings and give the rest away. I have a couple Chinese friends who would love to receive some bitter melon seedlings. They too were having problems with the seeds. That’s so weird. I didn’t have any problems with the Chinese long beans. The seeds germinated in five days.

The day finally came, we are putting the seedlings in the ground. They have two big beautiful leaves. Yes, the seedlings are ready.

Lynard wants to plant six seedlings in case some of them don’t make it. That will make the garden a little too crowded in the summer, but that’s Ok. At least we don’t have to worry about not having enough bitter melons. We delivered the rest of the seedlings to my friends’ house so they can grow bitter melons in their garden. What a beautiful day for planting.

Three bitter melon plants are starting to have vines. Mr. Kwan, the biggest one, is already grabbing the trellis. See the vines on the top?

It is hard work to grow bitter melons. They take a long time to germinate and a long time to grow. People are so frustrated, almost want to give up. Last year the weather was really bad. We lost all four bitter melon plants due to the extreme hot summer, and no rain.

So far so good this year. We are going to have plenty of bitter melons by August. I can’t wait.


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