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Fruit Cucumbers are a refreshing and delicious fruit that can be used in a variety of cooking methods or eaten raw. They're packed with health benefits and a delicious option for hot summer days.
Appearance: Fruit cucumbers are usually long cylindrical in shape, similar to vegetable cucumbers, but slightly smaller. They have smooth skin that can be light green, dark green, or yellow. Occasionally, cucumbers will have tiny, granular bumps on them, but they are usually not as rough as vegetable cucumbers.
Size: Fruit cucumbers vary in size, but generally speaking, they are slightly smaller than vegetable cucumbers, usually between 6 and 9 inches (15 and 23 cm), similar in size to the average fruit.
Inside: The inside of a fruit cucumber is usually made up of soft, watery flesh, similar to a vegetable cucumber. They contain a number of small, edible seeds, usually located in the center of the fruit.
Taste: The fruity cucumber taste is fresh, light, and lightly sweet. Fruit cucumbers are generally sweeter than vegetable cucumbers, making them an ideal ingredient for summer fruit platters and drinks.
|Botanical name||Fruit Cucumber|
|Germination days🌱||within 5 to 10 days|
|Day harvest||60-70 days|
|USDA Zone🌎||4 to 11|
|Position||Full sun, moist well drained soil|
🕧WHEN TO SOW IN YOUR CLIMATE
The below is a guide on which months to sow based on your climate
🌱How to Sow Fruit Cucumber Seeds
Cucumber seeds do not require any treatment (eg soaking, stratification) before sowing.
Cucumber seeds grow best when they are sown directly into the garden.
- Sow seeds directly in the garden 10mm deep and 40cm apart, with rows 120cm apart.
- Keep soil moist but never wet or dry.
- Seeds should germinate in around 4-10 days at a soil temperature of 18-35°C.
- Young seedlings will need protection from pests, pets and weather until they are established.
Cucumber is a tender crop that’s sensitive to frost. Do not transplant seedlings or sow seeds outside until all danger of frost has passed.
🪴How to Grow Fruit Cucumber
Cucumber plants may need watering during the growing season. Water when the soil is dry about 5cm below the surface (test this by scratching away a little soil with your finger). Water deeply in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid watering the leaves of plants to avoid fungal diseases.
If soil was well prepared no extra fertiliser should be necessary. In poor soil or to give your plants an extra boost, application of a balanced fertiliser or one formulated for fruit and vegetables can be beneficial:
- Apply slow release fertiliser at the recommended rate when transplanting or when seedlings are 5-10cm tall.
- Apply liquid fertiliser at the recommended rate and frequency while plants are fruiting or flowering.
Vines can sprawl along the ground or be grown up a strong trellis. If growing on the ground, allow at least 2 square metres per plant. If growing on a trellis, plants will attach themselves using their tendrils but extra support can be provided by tying plants gently using twine or plant ties. Make sure you have the support in place when you sow seed or transplant seedlings to avoid disturbing the plant’s roots later.
🎋How to Harvest Fruit Cucumber
Cucumber should be ready to harvest in approximately 60-70 days.
Fruit is ready to harvest when the skin is glossy and the fruit is large enough to eat. Harvest fruit when tender and young as older fruit can become unpalatable. Harvest fruit by cutting it from the vine or bush, leaving a small amount of stem attached. Store cucumbers in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge. For longer term storage cucumber can be pickled.
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