Momordica instead of cucumber
Momordica, or bitter melon, goya, belongs to the pumpkin family. It grows well in the steppe and forest-steppe zones, but in hot summer conditions you can get ripe fruits and seeds also in Polesie.
This is a plant with a long period of fruit ripening, preferring warm areas with good lighting. Momordica develops a strong root system and forms a large above-ground mass - the length of the vine sometimes reaches 3.5 m. Therefore, the soil for the plant must be high in nutrients, well-drained.
They grow a plant, clinging to its antennae, on supports, nets, plant it near fences, arbors. The leaves of momordiki are unusually decorative, up to 12 cm in length. In favorable conditions it grows rapidly. In closed soil, in the room, the momordica blooms even in winter, but needs to be pollinated. During the growing season, the plant is regularly fed with organic and mineral fertilizers, watered, avoiding drying out and overmoistening of the earthen coma. Momordica can also be grown in sheltered soil and on the balcony.
The seeds of momordica are rather large, mustard in color. You can sow them first in pots or cassettes measuring 8 × 8, 10 × 10 or 12 × 12 cm. For cultivation in closed soil, this can be done already in late January – February, and open soil in March – April.
First, you need to disinfect the seeds of momordica in a pink solution of potassium permanganate (20-30 minutes), then spread them between layers of wet tissue and soak for 1-3 days. To seed sprout, carry out scarification, that is, damage the shell. This is best done with sandpaper or a file, but be careful not to damage the contents of the seeds. Then the seeds are again spread between the layers of moist tissue and put to germinate in a warm place (about two weeks). When the seeds of momordica give roots and are released from the outer shell, they are carefully planted in prepared pots with the following earth mix: grass peat and humus or humus and sod land (3: 1).
Sown to a depth of 2-3 cm. Sprinkle on top with moistened earth or sand and cover with a film. It is kept at a temperature of 25 degrees until emergence, after which it is transferred to the light, gradually lowering the temperature to 18-20 in the afternoon, and at night to 14-18 degrees, in the future the temperature is maintained at 18-22, and at night - 12-14 degrees . When feeding momordiki seedlings, you can use fertilizers for indoor plants. Seedlings are grown in greenhouses, small greenhouses, on a warm windowsill.
In the south, seeds of momordica can be sown directly into the soil after May 15. The sowing depth is 5 cm. Then cover with lutrasil, plastic wrap or put plastic bottles. Remove the shelter after the formation of the first true leaves.
Mammordiki seedlings are grown up to 30 days of age, so as not to outgrow or stretch. She has been tempered in the last week. When the temperature of the soil at a depth of 6-10 cm reaches 16-18 degrees, you can plant in open soil. This is usually done after May 23-25, when the threat of frost passes. Momordica is planted in a sunny place, the distance between plants should be 100 cm. It is enough to plant one plant on the balcony, having prepared a large capacity for it, for example, a tank from an old washing machine. In the early days, plants are protected from direct sunlight.
Soil for momordica requires loamy, fertile. In the fall for landing make 1 square. m 5-10 kg of fresh manure or spring 5 kg of humus, dig. When the plant begins to grow intensively, support should be established. In the first stages, he needs to help catch on the support with a mustache.
Momordica loves moisture very much, so at first it is watered daily, and then periodically with water heated in the sun - about a bucket of water per plant. For fertilizer, it is better to use a fermented mullein diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10 or chicken droppings in a ratio of 1:20. They are fed once a week, 1 liter of solution is needed per plant.
The healing properties of momordiki
Momordika is loved by the long-livers of Japan. The bitterness in its fruits is due to the alkaloids of the cucurbitacin group. But this healing bitterness. It promotes digestion, and also good prevention of diseases of the liver, diabetes, cancer, gout, rheumatism, spleen.
The green fruits of momordiki are used as cucumbers by soaking them in salt water. Also, young fruits are salted and pickled. Ripening, they do not become as bitter as at first, and the red shells of the seeds are very pleasant, sweet. They are also therapeutic - improve digestion, strengthen the heart. For the treatment of hemorrhoids, the skin of the fetus is used.
However, momordica is not advised to be used by pregnant women, and patients with diabetes should be monitored for sugar levels. Leaves can also be consumed, they are used to prevent kidney disease, stomach ulcers and inflammatory processes.