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Growing Cucamelon

ShepherdsBarnShepherdsBarn DevonPosts: 343
Can anyone share their experience of growing cucamelon, please?
I have 4 plants growing in a raised bed in the polytunnel. Although they look very healthy, the fruits are not swelling - just dropping off the plant. I am certain that it is not a pollination problem because everything else in the polytunnel is fine. I wonder if I am overwatering - being always one for killing with kindness! I have been feeding them with comfrey tea.
The seeds were sown in pots in the greenhouse on 6th March and planted in a 4'x4' raised bed on 30th April. There are probably hundreds of tiny fruits ready to swell and lots more developing. What conditions do the cucamelons need?
Any thoughts about what I am doing wrong would be much appreciated. 😊

Posts

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,893
    I found they produce masses and masses of tiny fruit, huge scrambling plants, and never bothered growing a second time. I grew mine in a polytunnel - maybe it's been too cold so far?
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,700
    We had them in our polytunnel last year and the harvest was amazing. You need to pick them when they are still small...don't think about the size of cucs/think very small...you can eat them raw but they can be pickled for use later in the year. I did use loads of them in a chutney/pickle lasy year.
    We didn't feed them so maybe you are giving them too much kindness.
    One has started growing again in the polytunnel...a seed that has fallen on the soil. We wait and see.
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,245
    edited 3 July
    I grew them once. The fruit wasn't setting, even though there were a lot of insects around, they never visited the plants. I tried hand pollination but wasn't successful. I once, only once, saw a bumblebee on of the flowers and that was the only flower that set fruit for me, out of four plants grown outside.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,671
    We found the skin on the fruit quite tough, and the taste unremarkable. They look very cute, but that's not a good enough reason to grow an edible for us.
  • EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 1,117
    I grew cucamelon a few years ago and found it rather tasteless; so haven't grown it since then.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,893
    I quite liked the taste, sort of a cross between cucumber and lime. Picked small enough not to be tough, they made a nice crunch in salads, but that only goes so far and the plants were huge. Not enough produce to make it worth the space, IMO
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • ShepherdsBarnShepherdsBarn DevonPosts: 343
    I did get to taste a small handful of cucamelons last year when I grew them in the greenhouse. I planted very late so was lucky to get the few I did. I agree, they are nothing 'special' ... at least not as good as they look. I am hoping for better as they got off to a good start this year and are in the polytunnel.
    I love the look of the whole plant - the delicate leaves and interesting little fruits - and think I will always grow them, even if I don't find the fruits particularly appetising. However, there are plenty of fruit, veg and cereals that I eat only for its health benefits (All-bran being one 😅) and the fruits certainly seem to have a lot of health benefits.
    A quick internet search (if correct) states ...

    The fruit contains:
    • powerful antioxidants (including lycopene and beta-carotene)
    • fiber.
    • vitamin C.
    • vitamin E.
    • vitamin K.
    • potassium.
    What are the benefits of cucamelons?
    Cucamelons are small but pack a healthful punch. They are full of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber, and are also low in calories. The nutrients they provide can help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

    A good reason as any to grow them?
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