Cucamelon is a fruit that is a mix between a watermelon and a cucumber with a size of a grape.
This fruit is known as Mexican sour gherkin and has many health benefits and has been used in Latin and Central America as a nutritional food.
Even though they are tiny and adorable, the cucamelons are rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants and can be a great addition to one’s diet.
The main benefits of this fruit are:
- Due to its low calories, it can boost weight loss
- Can prevent strokes
- Keeps organs and body tissue healthy
- Slows down the process of aging
- Keeps the cardiovascular health safe
- Protects the body from the development of cancer
Watermelons are high in lycopene, a carotenoid, which together with beta-carotene, can help protect the heart and its health.
Cucamelons are also high in potassium and Vitamin C which can lower high levels of cholesterol in our body and boost the work of the body organs.
Even though you can rarely find this fruit on the market, you can grow it at home and enjoy all the health benefits it can give you.
11 steps needed to grow cucamelons:
- Finding the seeds
The cucamelon seeds are really rare to find because it is a hybrid fruit. However, you can purchase them online. If you do decide to buy the seeds, make sure that they are organic and are free of pesticides.
If you do have the fruit at home, you can extract the seeds from it when it’s ripe and place them in a jar full of water for one week. After, rinse the seeds and use a towel to dry them off. Then store them in an envelope somewhere that is cool.
To fully grow, cucamelons need 65-75 days. They also need warm weather and 75F to 85F temperature soil. If you live in an area that is colder, grow the cucamelons in a pot inside of the house in a bright and warm place.
- Growing them at home
In order to grow cucamelons, you will need to root them at home first between the months of April and May. Plant the seeds in a pot and keep them in the house to protect them from colder temperatures.
If you do have a greenhouse, you can plant them in a pot and half an inch into the soil, and make sure that the greenhouse’s temperature is around 72F.
The cucamelons will need 12 square inches of space between each pot that will be planted. It is important to choose the right sunny location for this fruit because it needs up to 6 hours of direct sunlight during a day.
- Wire Cage
Since the cucamelon is a vining plant, it can grow up to 10 feet, which is the reason why you should use a wire cage or a small trellis in order to keep the stem and roots of the fruit steady.
The perfect soil to use for the cucamelons will be one that is made of compost or manure since the fruit depends on nutrition-rich soil. It also drains nutrition pretty easily.
Additionally, you can add a tablespoon of 6-10-10 analysis fertilizer inside of the planted fruit individually. Furthermore, you can add tiny lava rocks to encourage improved soil drainage.
This plant will also require a 3-inch side compost dressing each month, something that you will need to start two months after first planting your cucamelon.
This fruit needs a steady and ongoing moisture supply. They require an inch of water for every 5-7 days, particularly during summer. This will guarantee the growth and development of the fruit.
For that reason, you will need to water the first 6-15 inches of the soil frequently. For the people that live in the colder areas, you can use a 3-4 inch layer of lightweight mulch to border the fruit.
- Pests and re-seeding
The cucamelons are very durable fruits and can undergo unexpected conditions. This makes them resistant to pests and diseases as well. Also, this fruit re-seeds itself so you will enrich your garden with these amazing plants.
You can wrap the vines together as they remain to grow to avoid twisting and harm of the tendrils. The vines will pick up the pace and shape the way you will arrange them since they are very flexible to change.
After their blossoming, the cucamelon will start showing their fruits soon. As soon as the fruit is grown to the size of a grape, it is ready to be harvested.
Since the fruits grow differently, you do not have to harvest them all at the same time. When picking the fruit, be careful not to tear the plant. The season for harvesting cucamelon starts in July and ends in mid-November.
Cucamelons don’t require trimming, but once the season comes to an end you can do it either way, especially if you see dying leaves.
The fruit can be used in different recipes, from sweet to savory. It is great in salads and salsas, as well as main courses.