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The cultivation of exotic plants is incredibly popular among summer residents. Momordika feels great on domestic household plots. In addition to its original appearance, the plant has healing properties.
- What is Momordica
- Germinating seeds
- Care and harvest
- Diseases and pests
- Momordica in cooking
What is Momordica
An annual liana from the pumpkin family grows in subtropical and tropical climates. In total, there are about twenty types of culture. In natural conditions, it can reach 5 m in length. During flowering, the vine smells fragrant with the scent of gardenia. The flowers themselves are yellow, with long legs. After pollination, ovaries are formed, the fruit has an unusual shape.
The color of the fruit ranges from white to bright orange and tastes like pumpkin. The shell tastes a little bitter, but this adds a spice to the dishes. Inside the fruit is a red pericarp.
It is also edible, but tastes like persimmon. In the countries of Asia and Africa, Momordica dishes are included in the national cuisine. The fruit goes well with meat, potatoes and cucumbers. To soften the bitter taste of the shell, the fruits are pre-soaked in salt water. An unpretentious liana can be grown on window sills, loggias and personal plots. A short summer is enough for her to mature.
Momordica seeds have a hard shell. Because of this, it is difficult for them to germinate. The seed can sit for several months before the shell breaks down naturally. Scarification is damage to the top layer to accelerate germination. There are 2 types:
- thermal: the seeds are alternately dipped in boiling water, then in cold water for a few seconds
- mechanical: the shell is rubbed with sandpaper
After such a procedure, Momordica will quickly sprout. At the next stage, the planting material is soaked in a solution of potassium permanganate for several hours for disinfection. Then the seeds are wrapped in a damp cloth, placed in a container and placed near the battery. Germination takes about two weeks. It is necessary to ensure that the napkin is always saturated with moisture. After the sprouts appear, the seeds are ready for planting in a pot.
If the plant grows in an apartment, then the seed can be germinated at any time of the year. Growing vines for open ground begins in the second half of April. Fertile soil is poured into the pot, consisting of humus, peat and leafy earth. The elongated liana is planted in the garden when the apple trees are blooming.
The momordica fruit belongs to the strongly branched vines, therefore, it is necessary to take timely care of the support on which it will curl. A trellis works best. The foliage burns your hands a lot, so you should work with gloves. After flowering, the plant loses its protective properties.
Care and harvest
Momordica prefers a sunny location, sheltered from cold winds. According to the rules of agricultural technology, the predecessors of the crop in the beds should be carrots, beets, cabbage or green manure plants. Organic fertilizers are applied to the garden before planting. If the soil is acidic, then slaked lime should be added in the fall.
Plants are planted at a distance of 60 cm from each other. During the summer season, it is necessary to regularly weed the beds, make mineral fertilizing every two weeks, water the vines as the soil dries. Excessive watering can provoke rotting of the root system.
Thickening of the crown should not be allowed. Leaves shading the fruit should be torn off. All lateral processes are cut off as soon as they reach 50 cm in length. Momordica blooms in early July, and the fruits themselves can be harvested after 2 weeks. The more often the crop is harvested, the more the liana bears fruit. Fruit is stored for 10 days.
Diseases and pests
Most often momordica suffers from fungal diseases: powdery mildew, black mold, gray mold and anthracnose. Such ailments affect thickened bushes, which are rarely weeded. Plants are sprayed with fungicides "Ordan" and "Fitolavin" at the first signs of damage. Liana is resistant to pests, like other representatives of the pumpkin family. After planting in the ground, the bushes are treated with the "Bud" preparation for the rapid formation of ovaries.
Fruits are a source of potassium, zinc, selenium, and a whole range of vitamins. Their use has a beneficial effect on the pancreas. Beneficial substances regulate the concentration of sugar in the blood. Besides:
- fresh fruits are able to cleanse blood vessels from cholesterol plaques, help the heart;
- a decoction of the leaves relieves headaches and lowers blood pressure. It relieves bronchitis and dry cough
- the infusion of crushed seeds is rich in carotene, which is absorbed better than carotene from carrots. Seeds have been shown to increase hemoglobin levels
Pregnant women should not use momordica for medicinal purposes, as it has abortive properties.
Momordica in cooking
Slightly unripe fruits are used for food, they do not taste very bitter. The seeds are most often not cooked. The pulp can be boiled, fried, made jams and added to ice cream.
Soak the fruit in salted water for two hours, then rinse and cut into small pieces. Cut carrots, tomatoes and onions into cubes and send to a salad bowl. Before serving, beet tops, balsamic vinegar and vegetable oil are added to the salad.
Cut the soaked fruit into thin slices. They are dipped first in an egg and then in a breading consisting of flour, salt and paprika. Stir-fried chunks are served with soy-honey sauce.
After soaking, the fruits are cut into slices and fried in a pan. Then eggs are broken in them. As soon as they thicken, the dish is served. An exotic plant will add variety to every garden plot. Momordica fruits will enrich the table and saturate the body with useful substances.
Video about momordica fruit: