Kiwano (horned melon)

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Elmigo
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:05 pm

You can hold the store bought fruit in your hand like an apple, about the same size but more of an egg shape rather than a ball. Those are indeed hairs, but they are only soft on the young shoots. The older stems' hairs are a little harder and you can feel very tiny stings if you grab them. It's not like a thorn though...
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Elmigo
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:30 pm

Really, this is beautiful! There is a kiwano on my plant and it increases in size. I never expected this to happen in our maritime climate. This plant grows in the Kalahari desert...

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Westi
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:01 pm

What an amazing looking fruit!
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:08 pm

With so many unpredictable things that can go wrong in gardens everywhere, it's always exciting to see some improvements like the Kiwano. Recently the flower with fruit showed up and now it's also actually growing! There is also a lot more coming...

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Last edited by Elmigo on Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Stephen
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Stephen » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:40 pm

Well done!
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Elmigo
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:49 pm

The lettuce and spinach were ruined by the mid summer heat wave but our tropicals produce like never before!

Kiwanos are gathering...
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To give you an idea, this is just the bottom of the plant. I think most of the fruits gather at the bottom so the plant doesn't have to pump water all the way to the top fruits but well, I don't know what mother natures plan was, it's beautiful...
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Elmigo
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:53 am

For anybody else trying Kiwano next year, I figured that I really need to organize this plant the next time! It literally makes new side shoots everywhere in every corner. I'm trying to remove any new flowers to focus all energy on the growing fruits. It's not quite possible as this plant is a huge mess! Next year I'd much rather place it in rows and limit to a couple of side shoots.
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Westi
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:06 pm

I'm kind of glad I didn't succeed with this beast - it sounds more thuggish than anything else I grow & prickles to boot! I suffer enough with wounds from plants & biting critters without introducing something that is not going to take no for an answer! :)
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Primrose
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Primrose » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:15 am

It's a combination of good and bad news that your plant is doing so well with fruiting, because, as you say, we're now getting to the turning of the season when dropping temperatures are going to work against it just at the time when I imagine, in its natural climate the heat would be at its maximum to encourage fruiting.

Still, it's been an interesting experiment, although I imagine it might be more difficult trying to grow it next year outdoors in your garden. It must be hugely frustrating that you don't have a nice big conservatory where you can bring it indoors now to see what happens to the existing fruit in a more protective environment.

Still, you've learnt a lot about its growing habits, which you certainly wouldn't have known if you hadn't embarked on this experiment. I suspect next year outdoors in your garden, exposed to a 100% natural environment, your experiments may have to be a little more conservative!
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Elmigo
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:55 pm

Definitely, next year some innovation will be needed! Still there are always possibilities for another kiwano plant, maybe just slightly less productive. Maybe not, who knows? :mrgreen:
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Westi
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:14 pm

Just never give up Elmigo! You have real land coming soon so you can grow the normal of today but you are young & creative enough to set aside a corner of your plot to continue experimenting. You already know bricks/concrete are great holders of heat & they pop up in most skips, along with double glazed windows! Looking forward to your future posts & how you tackle the real land with beasties good & bad!
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:56 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words! I will definitely continue the experiments as I just love gardening and plants so much. It makes me realize what real vulnerability means when I see those plants just growing. The avocados keep avocadoing! Speaking of which, it looks like it really has to get used to the soil I have put it in. I hope this experiment turns out well.
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giaur500
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby giaur500 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:04 pm

I'm getting grey dimming on fruits, especially young ones, it's like some kind of dust or more like mould, but I'm pretty sure it's not actually mould, it can be removed eaisly. Is that normal? It can't be any kind of mould in my opinion, because it's too dry and too easy to remove.

BTW how long it takes to get mature fruits? As I live in temperate climate zone, summer is over now, I think 2 monhts left to firs frost, but now it's rather cold, max +20 C day and +5 to 10 night temperature. Some fruits are a bit yellow, but far from being mature as they should. I guess I can harvest them and wait to get ripen indoor? Should I wait for first frost or rather harvest now?
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Elmigo
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:18 pm

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We have a final bit of summer warmth (Day 25°C / Night 15°C) next week. After that I'm going to put the plant indoors at the brightest window we have. I left many fruits on it so I can try a few things and mess up some without losing all my harvest at once. By now I have also cut off the smallest fruits and I take away all new flowers and growing tips. All of the plants energy now goes to remaining fruits. They may not get as large as they do in Africa and it's probably getting a bit too cold and wet. I think if they get a bit mouldy something is not quite right so perhaps it's best to put them indoors for the final stages of the fruits ripening, preferably at the brightest window too.
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giaur500
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby giaur500 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:47 am

You got very small fruits. Mine are even bigger than I can buy in supermarket (I planted seeds taken from one of them), 15-20 cm:

Image

(picture taken 10 days ago, now they are a bit more yellow and they seems to be bigger).
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