Animal Health Tech

Discover Winter Melon Growing Tips

Winter melon appears to be an oxymoron. Melons are typically linked with summer and warm weather.
Winter melon (ʙᴇɴɪɴcasa hispida), a native of Asia, is known by a variety of names. It is variously known as wax gourd, winter gourd, ash gourd, wʜɪᴛe gourd, or ash pumpkin, depending on the culture.

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The winter in the name refers to the fact that some types of winter melon grow ripe and ready to harvest in the late fall or early winter.

The ripe fruits have a lengthy shelf life and may be preserved throughout the winter due to the waxy layer that preserves its wʜɪᴛe flesh.

In the spring, the melons grow on a vine that yields vivid yellow bʟᴏꜱꜱoms. The little fruit grows at the bottom of the female flower after pollination. The oblong fruits can grow to be nearly a foot long and are covered in tiny hairs.

When it grows, it will weigh around 40 pounds on average and will have ʟᴏꜱᴛ its hair. Winter melon has long been utilized in Southeast Asia for both food and medicinal.

Yogis equate the fruits with spiritual awakenings, while the Chinese use them as the principal filling in their mooncakes. Their health benefits are still being researched.

During the epidemic year, some people in the Uɴɪᴛᴇᴅ Sᴛᴀᴛᴇs got unknown seeds in the mail. The seeds were identified as winter melon seeds after extensive testing. However, the rationale for shipping them from ᴄʜɪɴᴀ to random addresses in the Uɴɪᴛᴇᴅ Sᴛᴀᴛᴇs remains unknown.

Now that we’ve refuted the idea that wax gourd is a winter vegetable, it’s time to remind you that this is a summer vine.

To begin it in your garden, you must obtain the seeds from reputable sources rather than through unwanted mail. Here’s a step-by-step guide on growing winter melon.

The two weeks after the last frost is the best time to start the seeds. To grow successfully, winter melon requires approximately 110 frost-free days.

You can sow the seeds indoors approximately 6 weeks before the last frost to get a ʜᴇᴀᴅ start, especially if you don’t have a long growth season.

Break up the top 7 inches of soil and add in a substantial amount of old manure or organic compost. Before planting the seeds, allow the soil to rest in the sun for a few weeks.

Make little mounds of soil about one foot in diameter and one foot in height.In each mound, plant roughly six seeds. Plant the seed 1 inch deep in the earth and cover with a thin layer of dirt.

To moisten the soil, water it. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate. Depending on the soil temperature, it could take anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks for the seeds to germinate. When the seedlings have three genuine leaves, thin them out to leave around three seedlings per mound.

Winter melon vines can also be grown on inverted hills rather than mounds. They allow the vines to flow alongside the mounds, improving soil drainage and aeration.

Once the vines have established, you’ll need to take care of watering, pruning, and keeping an eye out for pests and ᴅɪꜱᴇᴀꜱᴇs. The important word for winter melon success is well-drained loamy soil.

Because you’ll be growing it on mounds, even deep clay soil will suffice. However, it is recommended that you add a lot of organic elements to such soil in order to increase its tilth and structure.

While you’re arranging the soil into mounds, check the pH to ensure it’s either slightly acidic or neutral. Any reading between 6.0 and 6.8 is sufficient for the wax gourd.

Winter melon vines prefer continually moist soil. It is not tolerant of both dry and wet soil. Keeping your vines healthy and ᴅɪꜱᴇᴀꜱᴇ-free requires striking a balance between the two ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇs. Once the fruits begin to form, the melons’ water requirements will increase.

The average fruit contains approximately 95% water, and all of the juices are derived from the moisture in the soil. When watering the vines, avoid getting the leaves wet since this may cause a fungal infection.




You must also consider the rainfall and humidity conditions in your area. Water the soil just when the top one inch is completely dry.

The length of time it takes for the fruits of your winter melon to become ripe and ready to harvest is determined by the kind you produce.

The good news is that ripe fruits have numerous telltale signals that allow you to harvest them before wildlife beats you to the juicy melons.

Fruits that start out hairy lose their hair as they ripen, whereas those with green ꜱᴋɪɴ change color and becoming yellow or creamy as they ripen.

However, the leaves on the vine becoming yellow is a common indicator of a ripe winter melon regardless of variety. It’s a solid sign that the vine has turned off the nutrients and moisture spigots because the fruits no longer require them.




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