Jade Dragon

Jade Dragon

SKU: SQ765
Jade Dragon bitter melon seeds are also known as ku gua, Goya, Karela. Scrape the white seeds and pith out of this warty vegetable, and chop into bite size pieces for use in soups and stir-fries. Read More

Exposure Full-sun

Matures in 65 days

Season Warm season

Shipping & Returns

West Coast Seeds ships anywhere in North America. However, we are not able to ship garlic, potatoes, asparagus crowns, bulbs, onion sets, Mason bee cocoons, or nematodes outside of Canada. We regret, we cannot accept returns or damages for orders outside of Canada. The minimum shipping charge to the US is $6.99.

More details about Jade Dragon

Momordica charantla. Jade Dragon bitter melon seeds are also known as ku gua, Goya, Karela. Scrape the white seeds and pith out of this warty vegetable, and chop into bite size pieces for use in soups and stir-fries. Fruits grow straight when allowed to hang as they mature, so provide trellis support in the warmest available spot. Plants are most productive in a greenhouse or up against a south-facing wall. Don't let the name "bitter melon" put you off. The flesh of Jade Dragon is similar to a cucumber or melon, just not sweet. It absorbs other flavours well, and is considered a cooling vegetable in Chinese medicine, so it balances well with chiles.

Matures in 65 days. (Hybrid seeds)

All About Jade Dragon

Latin

Latin
Cucurbita maxima, C. pepo, & C. moschata
Family: Cucurbitaceae

Difficulty

Difficulty
Easy, but all squash plants take up space, and some can be huge.

Season & Zone

Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun

Timing

Timing
Direct sow or transplant in late spring once the soil is warm. For transplants, start seeds indoors during the first two weeks of May. Optimal soil temperature: 25-35°C (77-95°F). Seeds should germinate in 7-14 days.

Starting

Starting
Sow seeds 2cm (1″) deep. Sow 3 seeds in each spot where you want a plant to grow, and thin to the strongest plant. Space summer squash 45-60cm (18-24″) apart in rows 90-120cm (36-48″) apart. Give winter squash and pumpkins even more room with a minimum of 90-120cm (36-48″) apart in rows 120-180cm (48-72″) apart.

Growing

Growing
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. These big plants need lots of food. Use 1 cup of complete organic fertilizer worked into the soil beneath each plant. All squash grow male flowers first, at later female flowers. The female flowers have tiny fruits at the base of their petals and require pollination by bees mostly. Incomplete pollination often happens at the beginning of the season, and results in misshapen fruits that are withered at the blossom end. Just discard these damaged fruits before they begin to rot. Encourage bees to visit the garden by growing Phacelia, sunflowers, or buckwheat for improved pollination.

Harvest

Harvest
Summer Squash: Pick when small, if fruit gets big the plant stops producing. Check the plants regularly.

Winter Squash:

Winter Squash: Fruit is ripe if your thumbnail doesn’t mark the skin and the stem is dry and brown. Cut the stem about 4cm (2″) from the fruit. Squash survive a light frost, but store better if harvested before frost.

Storage:

Storage: Field-cure for 10 days in the sun, or cure indoors in a warm room for 4 or 5 days. To prevent mould sponge the skins with a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach. Store at 10-15ºC (50-60ºF) with low humidity with good air circulation. Try on a shelf in the garage.

Seed Info

Seed Info
In optimal conditions at least 80% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 2 years. Per 100′ row: 180 seeds, per acre: 15M seeds.

Diseases & Pests

Diseases & Pests
Bacterial wilt (Erwinia tracheiphila) – Remove an destroy infested plants. If striped or spotted cucumber beetles appear, control as early as possible. Powdery mildew – avoid wetting foliage if possible. Water early in the day so that above ground parts of the plants dry as quickly as possible. Avoid crowding plants and eliminate weeds around plants and garden area to improve air circulation. Viral disease – remove and destroy entire infested plant along with immediately surrounding soil and soil clinging to roots.

Companion Planting

Companion Planting
Companions: corn, lettuce, melons, peas, and radish. Avoid planting squash near Brassicas or potatoes. Borage is said to improve the growth and flavour of squash. Marigolds and nasturtium repel numerous squash pest insects.

More on Companion Planting.

How to Grow Squash

Step 1: Timing

Direct sow or transplant in late spring once the soil is warm. For transplants, start seeds indoors during the first two weeks of May. Optimal soil temperature: 25-35°C (77-95°F). Seeds should germinate in 7-14 days.

Step 2: Starting

Sow seeds 2cm (1″) deep. Sow 3 seeds in each spot where you want a plant to grow, and thin to the strongest plant. Space summer squash 45-60cm (18-24″) apart in rows 90-120cm (36-48″) apart. Give winter squash and pumpkins even more room with a minimum of 90-120cm (36-48″) apart in rows 120-180cm (48-72″) apart.

Step 3: Growing

Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8.

These big plants need lots of food. Use 1 cup of complete organic fertilizer worked into the soil beneath each plant. All squash grow male flowers first, at later female flowers. The female flowers have tiny fruits at the base of their petals and require pollination by bees mostly. Incomplete pollination often happens at the beginning of the season, and results in misshapen fruits that are withered at the blossom end. Just discard these damaged fruits before they begin to rot. Encourage bees to visit the garden by growing Phacelia, sunflowers, or buckwheat for improved pollination.

Step 4: Germination

In optimal conditions at least 80% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 2 years. Per 100′ row: 180 seeds, per acre: 15M seeds.

Step 5: Harvest

Summer Squash: Pick when small, if fruit gets big the plant stops producing. Check the plants regularly.

Winter Squash: Fruit is ripe if your thumbnail doesn’t mark the skin and the stem is dry and brown. Cut the stem about 4cm (2″) from the fruit. Squash survive a light frost, but store better if harvested before frost.

Storage: Field-cure for 10 days in the sun, or cure indoors in a warm room for 4 or 5 days. To prevent mould sponge the skins with a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach. Store at 10-15ºC (50-60ºF) with low humidity with good air circulation. Try on a shelf in the garage.

Tips!

Disease & Pests: Bacterial wilt (Erwinia tracheiphila) – Remove an destroy infested plants. If striped or spotted cucumber beetles appear, control as early as possible. Powdery mildew – avoid wetting foliage if possible. Water early in the day so that above ground parts of the plants dry as quickly as possible. Avoid crowding plants and eliminate weeds around plants and garden area to improve air circulation. Viral disease – remove and destroy entire infested plant along with immediately surrounding soil and soil clinging to roots.

Companion Planting: Companions: corn, lettuce, melons, peas, and radish. Avoid planting squash near Brassicas or potatoes. Borage is said to improve the growth and flavour of squash. Marigolds and nasturtium repel numerous squash pest insects.

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