Learn how to grow cucamelons in pots. If you are questioned, “What’s the most popular crop in your garden?”, perhaps the answer will be “cucamelon”. This is the very crop looking like watermelon and it has its flavor resembling cucumber. It’s a vine plant and the fruits are of inch-long. If you like to enjoy this amazing fruit, you can grow some of them in your garden or containers. Let’s learn how to grow cucamelons; happy gardening.
Families who love cucumbers, try different varieties of them. And, in every summer, we like to try a multiple variety of them in our cucumber beds. But, cucamelon is the very crop that is mostly traditional and hardly it has its companion considering its looks, flavor and taste. Learn about more vegetables gardening at www.smallveggarden.com
Things to mention
|Mouse melon, cucamelon, sandita etc.
|Type of the plant
|35-45 inches spread and 15 inches tall
|Type of the soil
|Any type soil having well drainage
|PH for the soil
|Possible to grow in all zones
|Central America and mexico
Cucamelons are rarely found in the farmer’s market but they are worth to produce. Cucamelon can fetch you $20 for a pound only. That’s why it’s important to grow some of this cucamelon of your won. They are easy to grow and the vines are highly productive. Another benefit of growing cucamelon is that the crops is not disturbed so acutely by the diseases and pests that plague cucumbers.
Time to harvest
Check for the ripe cucamelons after you see the first flower. You need to find them out as they tend to hide behind the foliage; look for them closely. Start picking if they become an inch long in size. If you allow the fruit on the vine for a long, the sourness will intensify. So, harvesting a less aged and young fruit will minimize the citrus bite. Within late June or early August, we start harvesting.
The vine of plant can produce both male and female flower at the same time and this is why, cucamelos are open-pollinated. For the next growing season, you can save the seeds collected from a fallen fruit. For the gardeners from a warm climate will find that some cucamelons left behind can self-seed easily.
Growing steps- first to last
It’s very easy and fun to grow cucamelons! Just note down the date of last spring frost of your reign and start the seeds indoors 6 weeks before. To ensure the development of substantial root system, sow the seeds in 4 inch pots at least. As soon as you are sure that the last frost has gone, harden off your plants and transplant them outdoors in the garden.
Growers from the northern reigns with unpredictable spring frost may use clothes or tunnel to protect the young plants. In this situation, open off the ends of the tunnel or uncover the clothes during the day to ensure the regulation of temperature, circulation of light and air.
The keys to successful germination and strong and productive plants are sun, heat, air and rich soil. So, select the site with bright sun, regular air and rich soil with compost or aged manure.
Trellis are the mostly need for cucamelons. So, think about it seriously. We recommend and apply an A-shaped trellis for the best outcome. Such a trellis can easily help to resist diseases by ensuring that the vines and the fruits are off the ground.
Let some fruit ripen fully on the vines and collect them when they are fallen at the end of the summer if you want to save some seeds of any member of cucumber family. It’s easy to take the seeds out. Scoop the seeds out that are coated with a gel like coating. Take a container and keep them inside along with small water.
Leave the mixture for about 3 days to ferment. Look closely; good seeds will surely sink to the bottom of your container. Once it happens, pour the mold off. Pulp and water. With fresh water, rinse the seeds left at the bottom of the container. Take a clean towel or tray and let spread the seeds on it. For a week, let the seeds be dried in sunshine. Preserve the fully dried seeds in poly bags or envelopes. This all you need to how to grow cucamelons in pots or containers.
How to plant cucamelon
This can first question of how to grow cucamelons in pots. Cucamelon might be slowly germinated. Start from the seeds indoors as you can control best humidity and temperature indoors. Starts from 3-4 weeks before the last frost date in your reign. Apply biodegradable pots in order to avoid disturbing the tender roots while transplanting.
Sow two or three seeds in a pot filling with good potting mix. Bury the seeds ½ inch deep. Ensure moisture and temperature as much as 70 degrees F. As I mentioned before, cucamelons are slowly germinate and can take at most 14 days to germinate; be patient and wait.
When your seedlings emerge, select the stronger one and thin them. It’ll take nearly 3-5 weeks to be 2-inch long. Harden the seedlings off. Transplant the plants in your garden when you are sure all the danger has passed away. Maintain a distance of 2 feet from plant to plant.
Cucamelon doesn’t take much area as taken by the other vines plants. But, still it’s wise to plan to grow cucamelon on trellis or on a wire net. It’ll ensure the fruit’s actual color and size and will prevent diseases by holding the fruits off of the ground.
Care for cucamelon
Proper caring is needed to cucamelon you grow as well as other plants. So, let’s know more about how to grow cucamelons in pots and caring.
The crop cucamelon needs a lot of sunlight. When the seedlings emerge, move then by the side of a sunny window or directly install a growing light over them. On an average, the plants need 12-16 hours of light.Don’t forget to harden the plants off before you transplant them permanently. Give them continuously larger visit outdoors for a week. once you transplant them, the plants need six to eight or more sunlight each day.
If you can ensure well drainage facility, cucamelon can be grown in any soil. Much like all other vegetables, they also tend to yield high from the addition of organic matter. To ensure moisture and temperature of the soil, mulching is best. Also mulching helps to keep the seeds under your control.
You know, cucamelons can grow better in moist soil but not saturated soil. Drip irrigation can be of great use in this regard. Ensure one inch of water per week. ensure drainage to deliver the extra water out. Never water just over the main root, rather water around the possible root cycle of the plant.
Temperature and humidity
Cucamelons are one of the crops that are frost- sensitive and thrive best a warm, temperature climate. Germination is not possible in the soil if the temperature is under 60 degrees F. over arid condition, this plant prefers high humidity.
At the age of three or four weeks, be prepared to fertilize the seedlings with a starter solution. By mid-summer, fertilize your cucamelon again. But, at this time, avoid the fertilizer containing a high ratio of Nitrogen as at this period, too much leaf growth is totally unwanted.
Common pests and diseases
Though cucamelons are more resistant to pests comparing to other vining plants, it can also be affected. The most common and main threat for cucamelon is Powdery Mildew. Still, nothing to worry, it’s not serious for cucamelon. Ensure air circulation and water carefully to avoid splashing soil onto the plant; it’ll help preventing mildew.
The plants can also be affected by aphids. The organic solution of it can be citrus oil or insecticidal soap.
Growing cucamelon in containers
For the growers from a cooler reign or having a small place, pot planting is a good way to produce a multiple varieties and it’s more funny than the regular ground production.
To grow cucamelons in pots you need some well container for growing. In cold areas pot planting is of great importance for the smooth mobility. You can take all the containers indoors soon after you notice rough weather like frost and heavy cold or strong wind. Store the pot in a cool and unheated space for the next growing season.
For patio or patio gardeners, cucamelons are a grate choice. Just, ensure a minimum distance of one foot between each plants in containers. Perhaps you’re able to realize what I intend to mean. Of course you need a large pot to plant more than one plants in a pot; a small pot will support a single plant only.
Install a good trellis for them and enjoy them growing.
Facts of cucamelon
A.K.A.: Mexican sour gherkin, Melothria scabra, Mouse melon
Maturity days: approximately 75 days from the date of transplanting.
Pollination of Cucamelons
Pollination is the most important issue for any crop. So you have to know it for how to grow cucamelons in pots . Let’s have a quick note on cucamelon pollination and perhaps it’ll help for better harvesting.
All the members of cucumber family produce male and female flower at the same vine and cucamelon is not an exception. In cause of cucamelons pollination, some insects play the vital role and bees are mostly. Melons, cucumber and cucamelons will face with the threat of distinction if the pollinators are declined except hand pollination.
For a good pollination, you should attract bees. And to do so, plant some other plants that can be source of bee food. You can consider hand pollination if your growing area is enough remote for natural pollination.
How to harvest and preserve cucamelons
Harvesting cucamelons resembles harvesting cucumber from its vine. You can pop them off easily. And within a short time, you can harvest a full basket of cucamelons.
Cucamelons can be stored for a long time in the room temperature but as the time goes, it starts drying out and shriveling. Even at that point, they are tasty. Only they might lost crunch.