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Old 5 Days Ago   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Laurinburg, North Carolina, zone 7
Posts: 3,124
Default cukamelon or west India burr gherkin?

Anybody grow either of these? Which do you prefer? How long do they take? Will they tolerate starting in the hot ,humid heat of North Carolina? We seem to be having an extra wet, humid summer.
Also, are there any true cucumber varieties that can handle this time of summer or should I just plant Armenian cucumbers for our main salad and pickling cucumber for now since I’m getting such a late start? I know they will handle the heat as I grew them during the summer in AZ, although usually in part-shade. They are actually a melon, too so more equipped to summer climate here I assume.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 4,169

are the cukamelon the tiny ones that look like watermelons? I have grown those and they are a novelty. it takes like 50 of them to lake make quart basket. these are very time consuming to pick. if you have nothing else to do they are a great way to pass the time picking them. 10x worse than picking cherry tomatoes as they are green and hard to see.
carolyn k
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Old 4 Days Ago   #3
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 282

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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