Useful information

How to grow Kiwano?

Kiwano (Cucumis metuliferus)

The easiest way to grow Kiwano is from seeds. You can buy ready-made seeds that do not require special preliminary preparation. Or you can buy a ripe fruit, choose planting material with a spoon, and just eat the pulp. Horned melon can grow not only in a greenhouse or greenhouse (like cucumbers), but also as a houseplant in a pot.

The day before sowing, the seeds are soaked in an aqueous solution of "Epina Extra". The purchased seeds must first swell. If they were collected from ripe fruit, they just need to be wrapped in cotton cloth and sprinkled with water. The skin of the seeds will become soft and ready to plant.

The prepared seeds are planted in pots with a diameter of 10 cm, filled with a nutritious soil mixture. The seeds are buried 3 cm into the ground, watered moderately. Cover the pots with foil or glass. The soil should be constantly moderately moist and loose. The optimum temperature for germinating Kiwano seeds is + 25 ... + 35 ° С. Seeds germinate in 3-8 days. Germination is completely inhibited at temperatures below + 8 ° C. Plants are transplanted into planting containers at the stage of two true leaves.

For growing indoors, a plant will need a 20 liter container. As befits a liana, a kiwano will also need a vertical support. Liana can be accommodated on a balcony or a well-insulated veranda.

At home, Kiwano does not require complex care. The main danger for him is sudden changes in temperature. The main stages of care include watering, regular loosening of the soil, top dressing, which forms the pinching of the shoots. It is recommended to regularly twist the growing stem on the support. It is better to do this only clockwise. Periodic pinching of the shoots will be needed if the vine grows too thickly. It is better to remove the lateral stems; they also remove all the barren flowers so as not to interfere with the formation of the ovary. It is recommended to apply complex mineral supplements once every 3 weeks.

With proper care, Kiwano bears fruit abundantly, regardless of the length of daylight hours. Horned melon begins to bloom 1-2 months after germination. To get a bountiful harvest, the ovary should be pinched for the first 4-5 days. Ripe fruits should be removed from the vine regularly every 1-2 days in order to stimulate the ripening of new ovaries.

It is interesting that this fruit, exotic for Europe and America, has won the hearts of many culinary gourmets in different countries of the world, and the number of culinary recipes with its participation is constantly growing, and in their homeland it is eaten only in times of food shortages.

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