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Vegetable sponges are also known as Luffas, they are the fruits of a plant of the cucurbitaceae family, related to pumpkin and cucumber and it is very easy to grow at home.
Luffa is a fruit that has many fibers inside and can perfectly replace the use of traditional sponges that are made of plastic. Vegetable sponges are natural and 100% biodegradable, unlike commonly used sponges, which makes them less polluting.
How is it grown?
This plant has more male than female flowers, so it is advisable to place more than 5-6 plants to have a reasonable production. Pollination is essentially carried out by bees and it is convenient to install 1 to 2 hives per hectare.
It can grow as a vine, climbing a wall or forming a pergola, incidentally, it will project a good shade.
Luffa adapts to many types of soil, but it thrives best in soils with a loamy or sandy texture, deep or well drained with organic matter, in addition to maintaining a pH of 5.5 to 7.5 preferably.
The plant grows best in areas with tropical and subtropical climates. They regularly flower on short days, but there are also long-day cultivars.
How is it used?
The main use of this vegetable is the production of natural sponges, but if it is harvested early, it can be eaten like zuchinis. The sponge is also used to make bath, beach and cleaning products, such as massage gloves, mops, hats and shoes. In addition, its flowers are delicious in salads or fried as well as pumpkin.
You can use it for the shower (it is a very good exfoliator), to wash dishes, wash the bathroom, etc.
Luffa also has medicinal properties as a laxative, topical, and diuretic.