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Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Bangladeshi Allotment Vegetables

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Bottle gourd (Lageneria vulgaris) or Dudhi  or Lauo or Khodu
Very vigourous. Grows to 6 metres height in UK. Harvest fruits for eating 4 weeks after setting. Hollowed dried fruits made into water containers and instruments (calabash). Shoots are cooked and eaten like spinach.
Heavy fruits need support (eg gourd structure or wires)
Sow in April inside (eg windowsill at 18 degree C) for growing-on indoors in good light in 20cm pots to 120cm high for planting outside late May/ early June in prepared beds of rich, well drained,airy soil with lots of manure (on mounds of manure). Avoid root disturbance.
Likes as much sun as possible
Needs  to be moist but not wet and keep dry in cold weather
Keep mature plants well watered and spray in hot weather to set fruits. Once flowers start, feed with high potash fetilizer every week.


Serpent gourd (Lageneria vulgaris)
Grown in Sicily as well as Asia/Africa. Probably imported from North Africa.
Grows to 4 metres high. Flowers more prolifically than Bottle Gourd. Fruits up to 2 metres long (either hanging vertically or snaking on roof of gourd structure).
Cultivation as Bottle Gourd


Snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina) or chichinga
Grows to 3 metres height in UK. In Asia grown on 2metre high frames and trained along cross-wires with fruits hanging down
Cultivation as for Bottle Gourd but seed takes long time to germinate and seedlings and young plants must not be overwatered and kept on the dry side


Ridge gourd ( Luffa acutangula ) or Luffa or Jhinga
The bathroom luffa is the dried fruit of the smooth (non-ridged) variety Luffa aegyptiaca (Luffa cylindrica) which has yellow flowers
Habit and cultivation as for snake gourd


Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) or karela or balsam pear 
Habit and cultivation as snake gourd except it likes moisture and needs a lot of water


Asian pumpkin or Fig leaf pumpkin (Cucurbita ficifolia)
Extremely vigourous. Grows to 8 metres height and more (up trees,across fences, and sprawls)
Continues growing and fruiting late in cold weather (eg November in UK)
Cultivation as for Bottle Gourd except that it grows anywhere and will find the sun


Lablab beans (Lablab purpureus) or hyacinth beans or Seem
Grows to 3metres height (but beautiful dwarf varieties are available).
Sow in March/ April on windowsill or greenhouse in pots/trays (one seed per pot to avoid root disturbance). Keep seedlings moist but not wet. Do not overwater in cold conditions.
Transplant to prepared bed with one plant per cane or thick stick. Plant dwarf varieties eight to a 40cm pot.
Needs plenty of light and sun and rich loamy water retentive soil containing organic matter (eg in double dug trench). Feed weekly with high potash fertilizer after flowering starts. Spray in warm weather to set fruits.


yardlong beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis) normally green but photo shows purple and white varieties.
Cultivation as Lablab Beans but propagation and initial cultivation in greenhouse/coservatory with heat or big sunny window. Plant out in June in hot, sheltered position


Climbing Malabar spinach (Basella alba)
Grows up to 3metres height eg on cane pyramid or trellis for harvesting leaves and stems
Soak the seeds in water the night before planting. In spring, sow seeds 6mm deep indoors two per pot and water well. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate.When seeds germinate pour liquid fertilizer over the seedlings, making sure to wet all of the leaves. Do not allow to dry out but water sparingly. Plant out four to a 40cm pot and place in garden or greenhouse. Malabar spinach doesn't have many pests or diseases. If the plant gets too big, simply cut it back. Can be overwintered indoors or in greenhouse.


Amaranth (amaranthus cruentis, blitum or dubius) or dougie in Bangladesh or calaloo in West Indies (often confused with similar American grain varieties, some of which are also ornamentals)
Grows to 1metre height either in dense beds or four to a 300mm pot. Requires sushine and warmth.
Leaves and tender stems are cut once plant is 30cm high and reshoot. Thick stems need peeling.
Sow indoors in April in seed trays on light window sill. Fine seed germinates densely in a few days. Prick out seddlings three to a 30cm pot of rich, well drained soil (50% grit and crocks in bottom). Water well and shade after transplanting . Then place in sun and keep on dry side to encourage tap-root growth. Feed weekly with fertilizer.
Alternatively, sow fine seed direct into prepared bed of fine rich loam in June and water well.
Once tap root has grown it thrives in drought when other crops fail


Amaranth (Amaranthus Gangeticus) or Denga
As dougie above but grown for red stems giving beetroot like colour


Indian brown mustard (brassica juncea) or mustard greens
Very hardy and easy to grow, but bolts in hot weather
Sow direct in March but not too thickly. Harvest leaves May. Suggest don't sow in summer but resow in September


Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Seed is purchased from Asian grocers in bulk for sowing direct in late April (as a lawn). Dark seed is best. Seed should be sprouted before sowing. Wrap a the contents of packet of seed in a wet cloth and place in a polthene bag in a dark war place for about a week. Sow when seed has sprouted into prepared beds of fine rich well-drained loam. Either flick sprouted seed onto soil to seperate and acheive spacing (or mix seed with soil before sowing). Then cover with 1cm fine soil. Coriander can be sown in deep trays or pots instead if desired. Needs sun for 30% of day. Coriander can be harvested anytime but is most pungent when in flower. Flowers attract bees and other insects and are good for environment

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