Don’t limit yourself up to the traditional crops like Okras, Peppers, Pumpkins, and Squashes; try something different this year in your vegetable garden. We have formed a list of gourds that are easy to grow, read this article and choose whichever you want to try out.
All gourds are vine, having large flat foliage and beautiful yellow or white flowers that later become large plump fruits of various shapes and should be harvested green before ripening stage to use as a vegetable. You can also grow them in containers, for support climb them up on the trellis, railing or on the walls or if you have space, let them spread on the ground.
*If you grow gourds for ornamental purposes, grow them to eat for their delicious flavor and health benefits.
Also called as a long melon. Bottle gourd is one of the most productive vegetable crops. It needs a lot of space to spread, can be grown in the container though less productive than in grounds.
Rich creamy flavor, sweet taste and digestive. You can also make juice of it, just add tomatoes and pinch of black pepper for extra flavor. *Highly advisable in Yogic diet.
Attractive yellow flowers and lush green leaves, its vine can reach up to the height of 10 meters. It bears fruit prolifically within four months of planting that much that you have to share it with a whole lot of your neighbors.
Its bitter flavor makes it special, no other vegetable tastes similar to it. Make stuffed vegetable using spices and herbs and, tastiest Thai cuisines from it. *Its juice has the ability to control diabetes and blood pressure.
*You can grow bitter gourd and sponge gourd easily on your terrace, balcony or patio.
Sponge Gourd or Luffa
It’s mature fruit is used as a sponge in bathing and cleaning, but it’s more than that. It’s two varieties you can grow: Smooth Luffa (better one) has smaller fruit and smooth texture and Ridged Luffa, which has bigger fruits.
Eat it boiled or cook tremendous recipes from around the world. Sponge gourd is filled with nutrients. It’s a natural blood purifier, rich in water content and relieves constipation.
It has rounded-apple like shape, fruits not big like other gourds, also called as Indian round gourd or ‘tindey’ in the local language, cultivated widely in the parts of south Asia as an annual crop.
Used mostly in Punjabi cuisines in India. You can make spicy curries of it; its crunchy taste makes it special.
In warmer regions
If you live in a tropical or subtropical area, grow it as biannual. No offseason, though special care in summer from heat is required as the plant needs an excess of watering. Use black soil; keep it moist and thoroughly wet near root-ball especially.
*Always use a trellis or cage to guide vine’s growth.
In colder regions
You can grow gourd as an annual crop. Spring is the best month to start. Sow seeds in mid of April, when temperature stable up to the level of 12C (55F) or more and grow it till autumn. Keep the plant in full sun, do the regular watering, use clay-rich soil and it will thrive well.
Eating freshly picked gourds can be an amazing experience, used in Chinese, Indian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines frequently, they are easy to grow and have a lot of health benefits, plant them in your garden and enjoy.
All crops listed here have similar requirements— moist and slightly acidic soil, moderately warm temperature and full sun.