Germ 4-10 days
This visually intriguing tropical fruit, with its bright orange skin and spikes, is a native vine of Africa. Toting a high price tag, you may have seen this in the exotic fruit section of your supermarket. You can now grow it at home! Flesh is quite interesting with a Jell-O-like consistency and a flavor that is similar to a mix of cucumber, kiwi, and banana. Toss in fruit salads, use as garnish for gourmet dishes, or use the cleaned out rind like a bowl. 5 seeds
Indoors- Individual biodegradable peat/cowpots 1/2” deep, 3-4 weeks before last frost with soil temperature 70 degrees. Transplant 36” apart after last frost without disturbing the roots.
Outdoors- 1/2” deep after last frost in warm soil at least 70 degrees.
Harvest- Look for the following signs as it does take some practice on telling when they are ready to harvest. The skin tone changes and netting becomes heavy, the ends soften, they will slip from the vines or a gentle tug will pull it away from the vine, a crack develops around the stem, the closet tendril to the stem dries, and the aroma increases when ripening.
Tips- Plant in fertile soil amended with compost or well rotted manure and keep well watered. They benefit from growing on black plastic and by using row covers for weed, insect control, and more rapid growth.