During third week of July, when I was breathing Gardening down the family’s neck, I had planted few seeds of Bitter gourd. This was one plant which germinated without giving any trouble. The plants thrived in four pots. I placed them in the southwest corner of the terrace. Though we had rains in plenty, we had to face a lot of heat during the day time. The plants would stress in the heat, forcing me to use mulch. Learning about mulching was another experience that led to my experiment with Compost. (Ha …another post).
Here the ridge gourd plant is also creeping into these vines.
I was learning about how to use fertilsers, the necessity of giving support, and use of organic pesticides. I was using neem oil spray often, and sometimes I used garlic spray too. The flowers came, but they also dropped off. I felt sad, but let it be. Again another batch of flowers and then, the bees took care to pollinate. The coconut trees (20 years old) took care to provide enough bees for pollination. And eventually the young karelas
made their appearance.
I know, dear reader, you are not going to believe me, when I say that the karelas were not bitter at all! :-) My relatives too have confirmed that it is not bitter and is good. The vines are giving fruits on and off, not as much as expected, but I don’t’ mind. You can’t eat karela daily!.. Only problem is the leaves are getting brown , kind of rust formation. may be due to lack of steady supply fertilizers.