ASH GOURD WINTER MELON WAX GOURD CHINESE WATERMELON WHITE PUMPKIN BENINCASA HISPIDA SEEDS $2.20

Ash gourd, also known as Benincasa hispida, winter melon, wax gourd, white pumpkin, and Chinese watermelon, is a fruit native to parts of Southern Asia.

It grows on a vine and matures into a round or oblong melon, approximately the same size and color as a watermelon. Once ripe, the fruit’s fuzzy exterior transforms into a powdery ash-colored coating, giving the fruit its name.

Ash gourd has a mild taste reminiscent of cucumber, and its flesh is a popular ingredient in Chinese and Indian dishes.

The fruit is believed to offer various health benefits and has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

  • Seed Preparation:
    • Soak the ash gourd seeds in room temperature water for 24 hours to soften the seed coat and enhance germination.
  • Sowing Seeds:
    • Fill seed trays or pots with a mix of potting soil and compost.
    • Plant the seeds about 2.5 cm deep in the soil.
    • Cover the seeds lightly with soil and gently water them using a spray bottle to avoid disturbing the seeds.
  • Germination:
    • Place the seed trays or pots in a warm, sunny location. Ash gourd seeds need a temperature of around 25-30°C for germination.
    • Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
    • Seeds should germinate within 7-14 days.
  • Transplanting Seedlings:
    • Once the seedlings have 2-3 true leaves and the weather is warm (preferably above 20°C), they can be transplanted to the garden or larger containers.
    • Choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil enriched with compost or organic matter.
    • Space the seedlings about 90-120 cm apart to give them plenty of room to grow.
  • Care and Maintenance:
    • Water the plants regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering.
    • Mulch around the plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
    • Provide support for the vines to climb, such as a trellis or fence, as ash gourd plants can grow vigorously.
    • Fertilize the plants every 2-3 weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer to promote healthy growth.
  • Pest and Disease Management:
    • Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids, beetles, and caterpillars. Use organic insecticides or neem oil if needed.
    • Ensure good air circulation around the plants to prevent fungal diseases. Remove any infected leaves immediately.
  • Harvesting:
    • Ash gourds are usually ready for harvest 3-4 months after planting, when the fruits are large and the skin has developed a powdery coating.
    • Cut the fruit from the vine using a sharp knife, leaving a small portion of the stem attached.

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Seed Count: 10
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