edible gourds

How To Grow – Vietnamese Fuzzy Gourd

A relative of cucumbers and melons, this interesting veggie is just as easy to grow.

aka wax or ash gourd

aka Wax or Ash Gourd

It’s sensitive to transplanting, so be careful if you choose to start indoors, about a month or so before the frosts have ended.
You can direct seed in early summer, covering the seeds a bit and watering.
It produces a much larger flower than cucumbers, so it’s quite striking growing up a trellis.

Vietnamese fuzzy gourd flower

Bee shown for size reference. :-)

Picked at about 8″ long or so, there are only very tiny seeds.
Be sure to scrub the little hairs off before eating with the skin; or you can just peel it.
That would have been too easy, I had to go for it.

Vietnamese fuzzy gourd

Scrub those whiskers.

It smells like a cucumber when cut, has the consistency of a zucchini, but the flavor is very mild.
I used some of my first harvest for a delicious stir fry, and plan on trying a soup this weekend.

Vietnamese fuzzy gourd stir fry

fuzzy gourd stir fry

This same veggie goes by many names, such as Winter Melon and Wax Gourd-
Wikipedia has a niece piece on it here.
I just love the sound of Winter Melon Soup!

Botanical name: Benincasa hispida
Yield: one plant per seed, many fruit per plant.
Spacing: 2″, trellis
Storage: I’m sure it can be dehydrated, but I’m new to this veggie too. I’ve read that a fully grown plant can be kept in cool storage, but doesn’t taste nearly as good.

Growing Cucumbers

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Categories: edible gourds, How to Grow

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