I love growing bitter gourds. Why??… because they are the easiest vegetable to grow. They do not demand much attention and are fuss free. All that you have to do is use good soil, water them daily and keep them in a place where they will get plenty of sunlight….. and they are sure to reward you with good yield.
Steps to follow while growing bitter gourd in pots/ containers:
- Take a medium sized pot with three or four holes at the bottom of the pot. The holes help in proper drainage of water. Place small stones on the holes. This is to prevent the slipping of soil through the holes.
- Fill the pot with soil and compost in the ratio of 1 : 1.
- Sow the seeds and cover the seeds with soil. In a medium sized pot, 2 seeds can be sown.
- Sprinkle some water over the soil.
- Water the seeds daily and in a week to 10 days, the seeds will germinate and will soon grow its initial leaves.
- Water the plant daily. Don’t allow the soil to dry. The soil should be moist.
- Bitter gourd plant is a climber. Hence, once the plant has grown about 5 to 6 inches long, it has to be provided with a support to climb on.
- The plant produces beautiful yellow flowers. There are two types of flowers – male and female. The female flower has the fruit growing at the base of the flower. Male flowers fall off in a day or two. Female flowers produce fruits.
- You can harvest bitter gourd roughly around two and half months from sowing the seed.
- Add organic compost to the plants every three weeks.
Bitter gourds are pollinated by insects and bees. But at certain times, the female flower dries off without forming fruits. At such times, we need to hand pollinate the flowers. Pick a male flower and transfer the pollens to the female flower by touching the pollens to the centre part of the female flowers.
Just by following these simple steps, you can grow organic karela (bitter gourds) in your own garden, in pots.