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Also known as the Mexican Sour Gherkin, cucamelon seeds produce vines that could be mistaken for regular cucumber plants. The plants are not quite as productive as cucumbers, but the fruits are amazingly cute and novel. They look like tiny watermelons, but have a very appealing cucumber flavour with slight citrus notes. Eat them fresh or pickle them for a crunchy treat. Harvest them at the 2cm (1") size, before the seeds develop. This is a heat loving tropical plant that is most productive in hot weather or a greenhouse setting. Start the seeds indoors and treat as you would a conventional cucumber seedling.
Matures in 67 days
Season Warm season
Cucumbers need very warm soil to germinate. If direct sowing, wait until mid-June. If weather turns cool and wet after that, just re-sow. Or start transplants indoors in individual peat or coir pots 3-4 weeks before transplanting out into warm soil. If starting indoors, use bottom heat. Transplant when the plants develop their third true leaf. If the plants are too big, they may experience transplant shock. Optimal soil temperature for germination (and transplanting): 15-30°C (60-85°F).
Sow 3-4 seeds 2cm (1″) deep in each spot you want a plant to grow. Thin to the strongest seedling. Space plants 23cm (9″) apart in rows 90cm (36″) apart.
Plant cucumbers beside asparagus, beans, Brassicas, celery, corn, dill, kohlrabi, lettuce, onion, peas, radish, and tomatoes. Avoid planting near potatoes and sage. Both corn and sunflowers can act as a trellis for cucumbers to good effect. Dill will help cucumbers by attracting predatory insects, and nasturtiums is said to improve the flavour and growth of cucumbers.
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