I live near Vancouver, Canada, USDA zone 8a. Our summers are fairly mild, only becoming consistently hot from mid-July to end of August and maybe the beginning of September. I want to grow karela (the warty Indian bitter melon) or the Chinese bitter melon (smoother and larger). I have no idea whether the hotter part of our growing season is long enough.
I've saved some ripe seeds from some karela and I have 3 plants started - about 2-3 inches tall now. They're right against a south-facing window. I know a trick to get heat-loving vegetables to grow well in a garden and plan to use it. What I need to know, though, is how long from planting till the plant will set fruit. Like other Cucurbits, the first flowers will only be male.
Has anyone grown karela or bitter melon in this area and been successful? If you have, could you please share any info that could help me?