This may be a vegetable that you have never heard of but its common name is mouse melon or Mexican sour gherkin. While you can find plants in selective areas, it is best to simply grow your cucamelons from seed.
When it comes to starting your cucamelons from seeds you can either directly seed into the garden space or start indoors, which should occur in April or May. If you want to get a jump on the harvest, consider starting your seeds indoors. The reason for this is the fact that the seed of the cucamelon can take up to three weeks to germinate.
Since I know you cannot wait to try this new vegetable, let’s take a look at how to start your seed indoors. Prior to beginning this process let me say one thing. When it comes to this plant, I like to use peat pots. The reason for this is it reduces the chances of damaging the roots of the plant and prevents plant shock. While this plant will come out of the stress, it will delay fruiting until the stress is gone. Stressing the plant takes away from the jump on harvesting. In doing so, I use peat pots that do not require me to remove the seedling from the pot.
Next, the soil is another consideration. Yes, you can use a seed starting medium but I simply use a light bagged soil. This reduces the cost and frankly the short amount of time the seeds will be in that soil really does not warrant the extra cost, in my opinion.
To begin the planting process, fill your peat pots with a sterilized planting medium of your choosing. Place the peat post in a shallow pan of water and allow to sit until the soil is moist and the pot itself is dark brown. Once that has happened, plant several seeds per peat pot at a depth between ¼ to ½ inch deep. Mist the soil with water and place the potted containers along a windowsill in a room that is kept on the cool side. In about three weeks, you should see seedlings emerge from the soil.
After the seedlings have their second set of leaves, remove all but one of the seedlings from each pot by cutting them at soil level. Continue to monitor soil moisture and harden the seedlings off one week prior to your local frost free date.
If you are going to grow your cucamelons as container plants, you can go ahead and plant them in large pots with trellises prior to hardening off.
After the nighttime temperatures have been a consistent 50 degrees Fahrenheit for several days place your seedlings in their permanent place either in the garden plot or container.