Bottle gourd, kodu, or dudi are eaten widely within the Asian community. They have been cultivated for around 8,000 years. Regular consumption has medical effects including lowering blood sugar, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Sow seeds in twos in 9 cm pots at 18-22°C. Germination is within three weeks. Choose relatively infertile soils with full sun and regular water supply. Kodu is a very vigorous climber and needs substantial support: it will overwhelm bean-poles but can be grown over a sturdy shed. Beautiful large white blossoms appear from July onwards. Male flowers have longer stalks and open first. Female flowers have a baby fruit just behind the petals.

Growing calendar for kodu

Lutfun Hussain

Lutfun’s kodu at Spitalfields City Farm. Photo: Sara Heitlinger


Seed Guardian, Spitalfields City Farm

My name is Lutfun Hussain. I started here in 1999 as a volunteer and began working as the Healthy Eating Coordinator in 2000, originally it was called Ethnic Minority Support Worker. I work with the...

Where the seeds came from
This is my seed. I have saved it here every year for the last 17 years.

How to grow
You have to know the timetable properly if you want to be successful. Kodu seed is difficult to germinate. At the farm I use a propagator to germinate, but at home I don’t use a propagator. At home, end of March, I start planting seeds in a pot. I put it on top of the boiler where it is warm. When the seeds start to germinate, I put the pot on the window. If you leave it on top of the boiler too long, the plant will grow too big and it won’t survive.
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Lutfun on Kodu