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Old July 15, 2019   #3
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 298

I've grown both. The "cucamelons" are easy to grow & cute, but they are also sour, which limits their uses. Once they begin to turn dull in color (at about 1" long) they are full of seed, and worthless IMO. Picked very small - while still bright green - they were good in salads. My attempts to pickle them were horrible, gelatinous failures. Hundreds fell on the ground unpicked, and after a couple years, I stopped growing them. If you choose to grow them, I would recommend only a couple plants.

The West India gherkins are almost completely non-bitter, and very crunchy. They need to be picked young, before the soft spines harden. The vines are ground-hugging, like small watermelon vines... but only about 6' across here (maybe larger in longer season areas). An SSE member sent me a cultivar that is more domesticated than the generic WI gherkin, with fewer spines, and slower to develop seed... picked about 2" long, those made outstanding pickles.

Both "cucamelons" and WI gherkins are originally from hot climates, so should do well in N. Carolina. Cucamelons are slow to get started, WI gherkins should take about as long from seed as cucumbers.

You can't go wring with Armenian cukes, they will take the heat & produce sweet cucumbers. The only thing I don't like about them is that they get hollow quickly.
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