Curiously Kooky Cucamelons

It’s always good to try something new and, with so many exciting new edibles available to grow, it would be remiss of me not to experiment. This year we have grown cucamelons and crystal apple cucumbers on the plot, along with the usual pumpkins, courgettes and squahes. We have indulged ourselves in curcubits of all shapes and sizes.

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Cucamelons are curious little fruits. When fully formed they are the size a gooseberry. They grow on climbing, leafy tendrils that grow wildly so are best trained up a support. We grew our cucamelon plants both inside the greenhouse and outdoors. The ones outside faired much better although I suspect the plants in the greenhouse may have suffered from a hefty dose of ‘well passed its sell by date’ seaweed fertiliser. Ooops.

The fruits are delicious. Imagine if you will the flavour of cucumber with a hint of citrus and there you have it, cucamelon. These bite sized bubbles of goodness are perfect for picnics and packed lunches are just for popping into your mouth as you wend your merry way through your plot. If there are any left they can be pickled or flavoured with spicy oil for a more sophisticated occasion.

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Cucamelons are high on my list of favourite plants to grow, not least because they come back every year, as along as the roots are protected from frost. However these fruits are so delicious you will want everyone to try them so why not grow them from seed. Plant the seeds in april in seed compost and allow them to germinate on a warm windowsill. When the plants are between 10-15 cms high and all danger of frosts have passed they can be planted out in a sunny position against a support. Fruits are quick to form and you may be picking from June to october especially when the autumn weather is as glorious as it has been this year!

 

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