These writhing, snakelike gourds hang from the trellis, waiting for harvest. Grown as an annual, the snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina var. Anguina) is local to India. This uncommon gourd is harvested, cooked and eaten whilst the fruit is still immature. A member of the pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae), the snake gourd grows quickly once its tough-shelled seeds germinate.
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Cracking the Seeds
The outer shells of the snake gourd’s seeds are strangely hard, making them tough to germinate. Even underneath ideal situations, the seeds may additionally require a month to germinate, and up to forty percentage of the seeds fail to sprout. To growth the germination charge, carefully crack the tough shell with pliers, just like you’d crack open an almond shell — area the pliers’ jaws at the ridged seam that joins the seed’s halves and press lightly till it cracks open. Do this carefully, because in case you weigh down the shell and damage the endosperm inner, the seeds might not sprout.
Soaking the Seeds
After breaking the seam that holds the shell together, soaking the seeds for two to 12 hours allows activate the germination system. Simply area the cracked seeds into a bowl of warm water and location it on pinnacle of the fridge or in another warm location. After soaking the seeds, plant them in a moist seed-beginning blend in big flowerpots or peat pots. Cover the pots with plastic wrap to preserve the moisture in. When the sprouts seem, usually within 10 days, put off the plastic wrap.
Paper Towel Method
Some gardeners opt to use wet paper towels to germinate the seeds. Place a heat, wet paper towel on a plate; then upload the cracked seeds and cowl them with another wet paper towel. Keep the seeds in a warm region, inclusive of on pinnacle of the fridge or on a seed-sprouting mat set at 80 to 90 levels Fahrenheit. Monitor the seeds and hold the paper towels moist. The seeds commonly sprout inside two weeks.
After the seeds germinate, among 10 and 30 days after planting, the seedlings require regular watering. Once you plant them inside the garden, water twice per week or while the soil is dry to the touch. Adding a aspect dressing of compost 3 weeks after planting the seedlings gives extra vitamins because the gourd vines develop. The snake gourd flora require a big trellis to assist their four half- to six-foot-lengthy end result. In addition, adding a small light bulb to the structure attracts moths to pollinate the night time-blooming flowers. Harvest the gourds three months after the seeds germinate.