“JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

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karstopography
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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#21

Post: # 54167Unread post karstopography
Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:22 pm

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Picked these at a much more ripe stage. Seeds are red as you can see and pretty tasty as is. A hint of sweetness.

The melon itself is quite good, a hint of bitterness and something else pleasing that I can’t put a finger on. I omitted the onion on this salad and added matchstick carrots. Much better than the onion. Rice vinegar and olive oil.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#22

Post: # 55612Unread post karstopography
Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:11 pm

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This bitter melon keeps hanging in there. Maybe the Hurricane Nicholas even rejuvenated it a bit. Doesn’t Okinawa get typhoons? Must have felt like home. One fruit is getting close and there are three or four little baby ones on the vine. I’ll leave until it succumbs to cool weather whenever that will be.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#23

Post: # 55951Unread post karstopography
Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:46 am

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October seems to agree with the bitter melon. Still flowering and fruiting.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#24

Post: # 55964Unread post pepperhead212
Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:08 pm

That's great that those are still growing so well! What are the temperatures staying at now?
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Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#25

Post: # 55965Unread post karstopography
Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:53 am

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Warmer than long term averages for this upcoming period. We had two or three nights in the mid 50s and days in the mid 70s a week or so ago, but the trend has been warmer recently. Not really all that unusual for these tropical conditions to hang on way into October and even into November. Once the flow returns off the Gulf of Mexico like it is now, it’s back to the tropics, warm and humid. I’m almost the same latitude here as Okinawa, just not completely surrounded by warm ocean like Okinawa.

Every cool/cold front that comes from the north and west cools off the Gulf of Mexico just a bit so that the return flow off the gulf becomes increasingly cooler as fall progresses. Being 12-13 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, that body of water asserts itself here much more readily than points inland.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#26

Post: # 55977Unread post pepperhead212
Fri Oct 22, 2021 11:37 am

That makes sense, now - that's about the best temps my bitter melons grow in. They didn't do real well in the superhot times, when it kept getting into the 90s (those varieties from southern India would probably do better!), and pretty much stopped when it got down in the 70s.
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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#27

Post: # 56730Unread post karstopography
Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:06 pm

Pulled up my plants today and harvested the last two melons. Cooler weather making bitter melon cultivation a losing game. I made the thin sliced bitter melon, matchstick carrot, fine chopped onion, rice vinegar and olive oil slaw or salad and my old friend had some. He loved the bitter melon! He ate pretty much 3/4 of the salad, I had a 1/4. Another bitter melon convert.

I salt the thin sliced, seeds scooped out bitter melons, then later wash them and drain. Then that’s what goes into the salad.
Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#28

Post: # 56894Unread post mama_lor
Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:04 am

Since this has bitter in the title, I finally got some pea eggplant, and damn is it bitter. Has a nice crunchy texture due to being basically a sack of seeds (they should be eaten immature), but the bitterness is next level. It was in the smallest possible container (about 1 gal), but it grew about 7ft, and had 5 nice bunches of fruit, so maybe the stress increased the bitterness.
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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#29

Post: # 56957Unread post pepperhead212
Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:04 pm

Those bitter eggplants are definitely bitter - only bitter melons I have bought in an Indian market were as bitter as this. Still, a half cup was delicious in all the Thai curries I put them in! The container I grew them in was an SIP, with maybe 14 gal of mix, and it was solid roots, at the end, so I can't imagine it growing in a 1 gal container! That is incredible, and maybe that is why they were so bitter.
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Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#30

Post: # 58050Unread post zeedman
Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:31 pm

Baker Creek carried a "Taiwan White" variety several years ago, that was advertised as being low in bitterness. I grew it in 2018. It was moderately productive; but for some reason, all of the melons developed numerous brown spots as they matured, which began on the spikes, but spread & had to be cut out. We eventually gave up on it (we had another variety in a different garden to fall back on). We grow a lot of bitter melon each year (usually two varieties) and have never had a green variety develop lesions like Taiwan White did. I'm a little apprehensive about trying "Jyunpaku", wondering if it basically the same as Taiwan White... but may try it next year.
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"But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.“ - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: “JYUNPAKU” Okinawan White Bitter Melon

#31

Post: # 58055Unread post karstopography
Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:42 pm

My last two ones got a few little brown spots. Nothing too deep or serious, I cut them out. Might have been a weather/temperature issue, I had them going into early November.

I plan on doing these again, might start in May 2022. I certainly didn’t fuss over them or pay attention to nutrients very much or anything. Low stress for the gardener plants. Looks pretty on a trellis.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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