Cucamelons - A worthy crop?

Cucamelons - A worthy crop?

A quirky crop for greenhouse growers, the cucamelon is a mexican gherkin with a flavour like cucumber and melon. Ellen Mary always seems to end up growing them, but she's undecided if they deserve spot in her Rhino...

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How is your garden growing? We are well into the summer, yet the majority of us have seen barely any blue sky and sunshine, well definitely here in Norfolk anyway! It has been weeks on end of grey, cloudy skies and rain. Us gardeners forever live in hope though don’t we, so I am sure the sunshine will come. And much needed it is! My allotment at the moment is full of lush, green growth from climbing beans to potato foliage. But, there is very little colour and very slow progress of ripening fruits and growing vegetables. Sun is on order. 

In the Rhino Greenhouse, the tomatoes are growing well, with many flowers and the first to set fruit is ‘Honeycomb’ - a delicious variety I tend to grow most years. Others are ‘Black Russian’, ‘Green Zebra’ and a few I forgot to label so only time will tell! Cucumbers are also growing well and I am thrilled to see ‘Crystal Lemon’ growing, since last year I had no luck with it at all. The yellow ball shaped cucumbers are incredibly tasty. As all of the plants grow, I use string to support them by threading it through the holes made for hanging baskets inside the greenhouse and train the plants in the direction I want them to grow. Works really well and creates space and good air flow. 

 Growing Cucamelons in the Greenhouse

 

Every year, I remind myself not to sow Cucamelons, yet every year I tend to end up with some one way or another. This year I have 4 strong trailing plants in pots standing on the staging and tied in to keep the unruly vines from attaching to everything else around them, namely the Aubergines and Chillis! 

Cucamelons are small melons that taste like sweet cucumbers, small as in grape size and grow on fast growing vines undercover. The reason why most years I say I won’t grow them again is there tends to be a great deal of foliage compared to crops but they are so tempting, I can never resist. Pop them in a cocktail, mocktail or just as a refreshing snack when you are working in the garden. Equally nice on salads too for a fresh zing, so yes they are worth it - if you have space. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

 

Author: Ellen Mary

 

To read more about Ellen Mary, you can find her on social media and on her website - https://www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk/

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