Mexican Sour Gherkins cucamelon is an old heirloom with a long medicinal and culinary history in its native territory of Mexico and Central America. The compact plants could be mistaken for regular cucumber plants, but they produce cute tiny watermelon-like fruits that taste like a citrusy cucumber.
Cucamelon are best harvested at 1’’ in size, before the seeds develop. The vines with tiny leaves and flowers are quite ornamental and they can easily be grown vertically with a trellis for better support. Mexican Sour Gherkin is a heat-loving tropical plant so it is most productive in hot weather or in a greenhouse setting. They are a novel favourite enjoyed fresh of the vine, but also excellent sautéed, pickled or in salads. No need to peel these little beauties, they are the perfect size for snacking when doing rounds in the garden!
- Row Spacing: 90-120 cm
It is a beautiful sight to behold when, in midsummer, an abundance of cucumbers are ripe and ready to pick. If plenty of sun and water is available, you can easily produce a plethora of potential pickles!
Seeds can be started indoors about 3 weeks before the last frost. Bottom heat and warm soil is an important factor in germination. Cucumbers will also do well directly sown into the garden, but don’t plant too soon. Soil must be at least 21°C for seeds to sprout. Multiple plantings can be made every two weeks to ensure a continual harvest throughout the season.
Choose a site in full sun with fertile well-drained soil. Seeds can be sown directly at a depth of 2 cm. Cucumbers should be given plenty of room to sprawl, space at about 90-150 cm apart. Unless you’re planning to grow vertically on trellises, then space plantings to 30 cm.
Water frequently when sprouts emerge, they will require about 2 cm of water/week. Apply a layer of mulch to retain moisture and to keep fruits from laying in the soil. Water slowly and carefully, foliage should remain dry in order to prevent leaf diseases like powdery mildew. It is a good idea to apply a liquid fertilizer around the base of the plants after they start flowering. Lightly fertilize every few weeks during the picking season.
Harvest cucumbers at the size appropriate to its variety so they don’t get bitter. Slicers are best at 15-20 cm and picklers at 5 cm. Search well and pick often. Fruits are often missed and can quickly swell up to inedible sizes. The constant harvest will promote more blossoms and fruit. Use a knife or pruners to clip cukes to prevent damage to the fruit and plant. Cucumbers come in many different shapes and sizes and can be so refreshing in the sweltering summer months. Why not plant enough to pick a few pecks?
- Cucamelon is not actually a cucumber. Although the vines look quite similar to cucumis, the plants belong to a different genus, Melothria scabra. Often categorized as a ‘’specialty cucumber,’’ they are also known as ‘’mouse melon’’ and ‘’sanditas.’’ Cucamelon has been cultivated north of Mexico only recently, steadily gaining popularity amongst foodies and enthusiastic gardeners and reaching hefty prices at farmer’s markets.
- No need to worry about these tiny treats cross-pollinating with your other ‘’true’’ cucumber and melon vines.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!
Seeds sprouted and are growing! Can't wait...
Seeds sprouted and are growing! Can't wait till they are mature. Thanks!