Cucamelon AKA mouse melon, Mexican sour gherkin, Mexican miniature watermelon & Mexican sour cucumber. These tiny watermelons lookalikes have a refreshing flavour and bags of personality. Their lush vines will produce masses of fruit throughout the summer with a ‘cucumber and lime’ taste. They are ready when they are grape-sized and still firm to the touch. Easy to grow. Vigorous climber/trailer. Pest and drought resistant. Origin: Mexico.
These tiny watermelon look-a-likes from Central America are small enough to fit into a teaspoon, yet bite into one and the flavour is pure cucumber with a fresh tinge of lime. Popular since pre-Columbian times, these rampant trailing vines produce a constant stream of fruit throughout the summer, known in Mexico as ‘Sandíitas de Raton’, literally “Little Mouse Watermelons”. Despite their exotic origins and adorable appearance, they are much easier to grow than regular cucumbers. They are ignored by pests, resistant to drought & perfectly happy to grow outdoors, given a sheltered sunny site.
Cucamelons can also be treated like a perennial providing you with fruit year-after-year. In late autumn once the fruiting period is over, lift the cucamelon's main radish like root and store in barely moist compost in a garage or shed over winter. Plant out again in early April to achieve early fruiting. Sow: April-May. Harvest: July-September.
|How To Grow||We suggest starting these beauties inside early 4-6 weekds before last frost in our Canadian climate. Cucumbers grow best in a rich, warm, sandy loam soil. Before planting, work into the native soil 30 cm (12") deep large amounts of garden compost or composted manure. As cooler soil will reduce germination and increase the chance of the seed rotting before it sprouts, wait until the soil has reached a temperature of at least 18 C (66 F) before planting. Mound the soil up into hills about 15-20 cm (6-8") high and about 30-60 cm (12-24") across. Space the hills about 120 cm (4') apart. Sow the seed 2 cm (3/4") deep with 6 to 8 seeds per hill then after the seed sprouts, thin to 3 or 4 plants per hill. If you have limited space, most cucumbers grow on trellises. Protect the plants from any late spring/early summer frosts and keep the plants evenly watered through the growing season. Even soil moisture is very important as cucumbers become very bitter if the plant becomes moisture stressed by hot dry weather. To prevent damage to the plant, harvest the cucumbers by cutting them from the vine with a sharp knife - do not pull or twist them from the vine. We suggest growing this variety on a trellis to support the long vines and myriad fruit as well as make harvest much easier.|
|Blooming Season Begins||High Summer|
|Propagation||Sow Direct After All Danger of Frost Has Passed|
|Days to Emergence||7 to 10|
|Growth Habit||Requires Support|
|Frost Tolerance||Killed by Frost|
|Days to Harvest||70|
|Degree of Difficulty||Easy|