Oct 25，2023 by gardenerstars
How to grow apple bitter melon?
Apple fruit Bitter Melon, the fruit is shaped like an apple. When mature, the skin is relatively white, the fruit surface is crystal clear, the taste is crisp, sweet and juicy, and the sugar content is high. It can be eaten directly as a raw fruit or as a vegetable. Apple bitter melon is rich in nutrients and has many health care effects. It can regulate blood lipids, lower blood pressure, and enhance the activity of human insulin cells. It is a new health-care fruit in the new era with a huge market and broad prospects. The following is a detailed introduction to the cultivation methods of apple bitter melon.
1. Germination: For apple bitter melon planting, blanch the seeds in warm water at 50-55℃ and stir continuously. Take them out and soak them in clean water for 36 hours. Then take them out and drain them. Wrap them in a wet towel and place them at 30-35℃. For germination, wash once a day with clean water at about 25°C. The seed coat of apple bitter melon is slightly thinner than that of ordinary bitter melon, and it usually takes 4 days to germinate.
2. Temperature: Before apple and bitter melon emerge, the temperature should be maintained at 25-30°C during the day and 18-22°C at night. After the seedlings are unearthed, pay attention to lowering the temperature to prevent them from growing too much. During the day, 20-25℃, and at night, 15-18℃. The optimum temperature for the flowering and fruiting period is around 20-25°C. Note that temperatures above 30℃ and below 15℃ are detrimental to the growth of bitter melon.
3. Field preparation: Apple bitter melon does not have strict soil requirements. It grows well on fertile, loose, water- and fertility-retaining loam and has high yields. It is recommended to apply more organic fertilizers that have been decomposed by farmers. If there is insufficient fertilizer and water in the later stages of growth, the plants will be weak, there will be fewer flowers and fruits, the fruits will be smaller, the bitterness will become stronger, and the quality will decrease.
4. Frame: Use a round arch frame for planting, using bamboo poles with a diameter of 2-3 cm as the arch and wooden sticks as the pillars. The arch is 4-6 meters wide and 2 meters high, and the length depends on the field. The distance between arch poles is 80-100cm. The distance between the middle crossbars is required to be within 25 cm.
5. Planting: Plant one row at each end of the bamboo pole in the round shed. The planting method is: make a ridge of 30 cm wide and 20 cm high on the inner surface of the round shed 30 cm away from the bamboo pole. Plant bitter melon seedlings on the border ridges, water enough to set the roots, and cover them with mulch. Root fixing water can be a mixed solution of 600 times carbendazim and 0.2% potassium dihydrogen phosphate.
6. Pruning: Apple bitter melon has strong branching and many side vines, and some side vines bear melons. In order to create a good growing environment with ventilation and light transmission and reduce nutrient consumption, all side branches below 1 meter should be removed, and 2-3 branches above 1 meter should be led up to the bamboo poles of the round shed with ropes. No more pruning after the mid-term, but old and yellow leaves should be removed to facilitate ventilation and light transmission.
7. Lead the vines：When the apple bitter melon vines are more than 50 cm long, bend a section of the vines and press them into the soil (on the ridge), and continue to lead the vines to the shelves. It can increase the adventitious roots of bitter melon and increase the yield.
8. Management: The root system of apple bitter gourd likes moisture and avoids water accumulation. Pay attention to digging drainage ditches at ordinary times. If there is a storm, the water in the field should be removed in time. During high-yield periods, add sufficient nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizers with water. Pay attention to the principle of "apply a small amount and apply frequently" when applying fertilizer. Timely watering is required during hot and dry seasons. It is best to spread wheat straw on the compartment surface to retain moisture, and at the same time, pay attention to prevent water accumulation.
9. Weeding: There should be no grass in the open space of the apple and bitter melon fields, surrounding field ridges, or ditches. Weeding should be done physically or manually as much as possible.
10. Pruning: Timely remove old, yellow and diseased leaves at the lower part of the shed, as well as melonless branches hanging to the lower part. If possible, upper branches without melons or female flowers should also be removed. Diseased and insect-infested fruits should also be removed in time. All picked leaves, branches, and fruits should be bagged and shipped away for destruction.
11. Bagging：When the apple and bitter gourd fruits are the size of a finger, bagging them in black paper bags can effectively prevent damage by pests such as fruit fly, melon borer, melon thrips, and prevent the invasion of some pathogens.